Trump promised to replace what he termed as “fool trade” with fair trade when it comes to America’s economic partnerships, especially those with NAFTA and the EU.
Tweeting from Singapore after the failed G7 Summit in Canada, the President wrote that “Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal”, before explaining how Canada and Germany “rip off” the US through their own protectionist tariffs and insufficient contributions to NATO, respectively. Trump’s sour that their leaders attacked him for his “Make America Great Again” steel and aluminum tariffs while hypocritically ignoring their own lopsided economic relations with the US, and he believes that now is the time to make right for what he truly believes are the historic wrongs that his predecessors committed in voluntarily handicapping American power. Proverbially speaking, the President conceptualizes America as Gulliver the “giant” tied down by a bunch of Lilliputian dwarves, albeit having previously put itself in this submissive position out of some sort of ideological masochistic-sadism that Trump wants to free it from.
The Cold War-era quid pro quo of the US providing costly security assistance to its NATO allies in order to enable them to concentrate more fully on building their utopian welfare states is no longer relevant because of the changing nature of geopolitics and the rise of asymmetrical threats, though Clinton, Bush, and Obama perpetuated this state of affairs because it advanced the Liberal-Globalist model that all three of them were pursuing at the expense of average Americans. Having entered into office because of the desperation that millions of regular folks in Middle America are experiencing as a result of the domestically catastrophic consequences of globalization on the American Heartland and especially the Midwest, Trump feels obligated to do something about this massive self-inflicted economic wound that’s bleeding hundreds of billions of dollars from the country each year for voluntary reasons that are impossible for this businessman to fathom.
Transforming “fool trade” back into fair trade will harmonize this imbalance, at least from the US’ perspective, though it’ll be detrimental to its semi-socialist partners who have grown accustomed to having the “big brother” that they love to complain about so much subsidizing their militaries and de-facto doing the same for their economies through this decades-long legacy of uneven trading arrangements that Trump now wants to change. The far-reaching consequences of the Europeans losing out on this multibillion-dollar bonanza are that their domestic growth and social stability will undoubtedly suffer while the elite scramble to appease the masses as they frantically try to negotiate more favorable trading terms with the US. America can deal with an indefinite disruption of transatlantic trade much better than the Europeans can, and Trump’s betting that he can exploit the resultant geopolitical tumult in order to strengthen the US’ unipolar control over the EU.