President Trump has been very prominent on the world stage in recent days. First, he attended the G7 meeting followed by the historic meeting with Kim Jong Un. They had very different results.
International trade is complex. If we are not being treated fairly, we should renegotiate and impose sanctions if they don’t go along. Instead, he went with his usual bull in a china shop approach. He arbitrarily decided that the steel and aluminum industries should be rewarded. Putting on tariffs will allow them to jack up their prices. This will be great for the roughly 150,000 workers. How about the millions who work in industries dependent on steel and aluminum, those affected when other countries retaliate and consumers paying higher prices? He claims this is to ensure we can supply the defense industry. They only use 3% of our domestic production. He further insulted our friends by his boorish behavior at the G7 meeting. He refused to sign the communique and called the Canadian prime minister a liar.
This is in sharp contrast to the meeting with North Korea. He went out of his way to be cordial. Some took a moralistic view and said we shouldn’t reward Kim with a presidential sit-down. Our purpose is to reach an agreement, not act like a parent punishing an unruly child. I give him credit for getting farther than any other president. Now the hard work of negotiating an agreement begins. Nobody knows if it will succeed or fail.
So, we are treating our most dangerous enemy with kindness and scorning our closest friends. About anything can happen in the Trump administration.