Trump threatens to take US out of WTO

BBC story here.

I mean this is only the organisation managing the basics of world-wide trade. What could possibly go wrong? If you thought that Brexit was bad then this is really going to make you steam. And Trump is old enough for his parents to have educated him about what happened in the 1930s when trade barriers went up. Smoot-Hawley, anyone?

Toys and pram, folks. Toys and pram.

Trump views all interactions as zeros sum games, everything transaction has a winner and a loser. So if a negotiation is good for someone else is must be bad for you. Therefore he is confused by multi-lateral organizations, in which there are more than two sides. If there are 3 sides how can one be the winner and the other be the loser. His desire for all negotiations to be one-on-one, is why he’s pulled out or canceled Nafta, the TPP, NATO etc. and despises the thought of the EU.

Trump has something of a point in these trade disputes.

At the core, there’s a game of “chicken” being played. In principle everyone wants fair trade rules, but the issue is extremely complex and there’s a lot of room for ambiguity, and naturally everyone tends to see what’s fair in line with what benefits them. And the problem is that if you make clear upfront that you value free trade and fear trade wars so much that you will never under any circumstances get involved in a trade war, then the guys on the other side of the table have that much less incentive to agree to terms favorable to you and all the more incentive to hold out for an agreement more along their lines. Trump’s position is that the US is essentially in this position. I suspect there’s something to it.

That said, there’s a lot of room between having “something of a point” and being correct about the details and right about the strategy. I’m not very up on the nitty-gritty details of many of these trade issues, but I don’t have a lot of confidence that Trump is either, to put it mildly.

…and yet here you are, like always, defending him.

And now, for a dessert topping, he’s fucking up trade negotiations with Canada.

Maybe he’ll piss off the donor class so much that even they want him removed in favor of Pence.

being a freakin’ bull in a china shop.


Now, now, I believe the Mythbusters at some point proved that even bulls are better behaved in china shops. :smiley:

No, he was making a general point about the strategy of trade negotiations, and then expressing doubt about 45’s grasp of the details of the situation.

So in this particular instance, your knee-jerk ended up kicking incorrectly.

I realize this is the Pit, but I thought it fair to acknowledge a decent post from this poster, if only for its rarity.

My brother made the same point over lunch. Trump’s an idiot.

The details are the only part that actually matters. A child can come up with the idea of taking his ball and going home if they don’t get their way. If an adult is using the same strategy in dealing with international trade, his grasp of the nitty gritty details is literally the only thing separating him from the child.

That’s the difference between a Decider and a Leader. Any idiot can decide between a variety of options, you don’t need to know anything but the most superficial characteristics to pick one or the other. A leader understands why they’re different, appreciates why they’re different, and chooses based on that.

I don’t think so. I agree with you that a child “can come up with the idea” but the reason others won’t do things like that is not because they couldn’t come up with the idea, so that’s a moot point. The reason others won’t do it even when they should is because it’s become extremely ingrained into the public consciousness and conventional wisdom that “you just don’t do that”. Whereas Trump, that ultimate political outsider and idiot, is a guy to whom “you just don’t do that” doesn’t apply.

The details are what matters in terms of whether it’s going to work out OK, of course, and this is Trump’s weak point. The question is whether he’s doing something workable that others weren’t bold enough to try or if he’s genuinely doing something stupid. A lot depends on the extent to which he’s listening to people who do know what they’re doing versus going with his gut. I don’t know.

Haven’t the donor class started openly backing “not Trumpers”?

I’m not entirely sure why you said 'I don’t think so" because that second paragraph is exactly what I was talking about. If Trump has a handle on the details and is going outside the conventional wisdom because he has a workable plan to create a positive result, then he’s approaching the problem like an adult, like a leader. If he doesn’t, he’s just that whiny little kid with the ball.

Really? It tastes more like a floor wax.

I explained why. I disagree with the second two sentences that I quoted (& possibly the first, if it was intended along the same lines).

As I said, the difference between Trump and others is not (just) that he’s a whiny child. It’s that he’s willing to act in ways that violate conventional wisdom and SOP. This is true whether he’s right or wrong.

IOW, the fact that others wouldn’t do what Trump does will in some cases be because their grasp of policy is better than his. But in some cases it will be because they don’t have the guts to go in the face of established procedure. Even if they know better than Trump in those cases too, it’s not that this added knowledge is what prevents them from acting like him in those instances. It’s the weight of conventional wisdom which influences the scales.

Bolding mine. Your argument seems to be that Trump-the-dipshit can accidentally stumble onto greatness because the established players and experts are all overlooking the correct course of action because they’re mindlessly entrenched by habit and convention.

I’m not even slightly convinced that’s the case on the subject of “should we make literally everyone our enemy”. And if that’s not the case, then I don’t see how the rest of your argument doesn’t fall apart.

No. You’re wrong. Stop being stupid. And stop being his tool.

That’s pretty much it. Another instance where this offered possibilities was his NK gambit, though that seems unlikely to be successful at this time.

I don’t think that’s necessarily what’s involved. But OK.

It’s a floor wax and a dessert topping!

Oh never mind, it’s just a dessert topping that tastes like a floor wax. Welcome to TrumpWorld.

I’ve seen races where they’ve been supporting the less over-the-top pro-Trump candidate, but if you can show me some examples of the GOP donor class backing GOP primary candidates who are opposed to Trump, I’d be interested in seeing them.