Donald Trump Finally Makes His Stupid Tariff Announcement

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While I was at lunch Donald Trump finally made his big tariff announcement:

After a week of furious lobbying and a burst of last-minute internal debates and confusion, Mr. Trump agreed to exempt, for now, Canada and Mexico and held out the possibility of later excluding allies such as Australia….“The actions we are taking today are not a matter of choice; they are a matter of necessity for our security,” Mr. Trump said in a ceremony at the White House.

….Canada and Mexico would be exempt pending discussions with both countries….Mr. Trump indicated that the tariffs would go into effect on Canada and Mexico “if we don’t make the deal on Nafta and if we terminate Nafta because they are unable to make a deal that’s fair.” During a cabinet meeting earlier in the day, Mr. Trump singled out Australia as an example of another country that could be excluded, citing the trade surplus that the United States maintains with Australia, which imports more from America than it exports to the country.

Wait a second. First Trump says that these tariffs are being put in place as a national security measure. But then he says that Canada and Mexico will be exempt if they cave in on NAFTA, and Australia might be exempt because we have a trade surplus with them. So which is it? Are we doing this because the US needs a domestic steel industry to build F-35s and Ford-class aircraft carriers? Or do we actually have plenty of steel for that, and we’re doing this to punish countries that we have a trade deficit with? Inquiring minds want to know.

And since I know you want to stay current on your memes, here’s the latest one:

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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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