How should Canada respond to Trump’s tariffs? First, do nothing – by Andrew Coyne (National Post – March 6, 2018)

With the world on the brink of a global trade war, the president of the United States turned to Twitter to broadcast his delight.

“When a country (U.S.A.) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win,” he advised. “Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore — we win big. It’s easy!”

Don’t trade any more. As always with Donald Trump, nothing about any of this is normal. The decision to impose tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum from every other nation on earth, proximate cause of the latest crisis, was made on the fly, without a word of warning to allies, Congress or his own officials, reportedly because the president was in a bad mood.

No details were released — what sorts of steel and aluminum would be taxed, whether there would be any exceptions and so on — for the simple reason that none had been decided, or even considered.

All the president knew was that he wanted to hit someone with something: because Jared was in trouble, because the U.S. has a trade deficit, and because, as he Twittersplained, “our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!”

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