President Trump, "US Cannot Ignore Unfair Trade Practices"

US President Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump

Tusk, a former Polish prime minister, also criticised U.S. President Donald Trump's moves to what Tusk called a "trade war" and said Russian interference in Western countries showed the need for more, not less, Transatlantic cooperation. This is a direct, outrageous incentive for companies to move jobs and operations offshore or cook their books to report profits overseas. Steel and aluminium imports are not major contributors to the United States trade deficits, accounting for merely 2.5 per cent and 0.5 per cent of the total in 2016.

In August, the president directed Lighthizer to investigate whether China's intellectual-property policies discriminated against US companies.

While Trump has called China "helpful" in dealing with North Korea, his 2016 campaign focused on pulling out of global trade deals that he sees as detrimental to USA interests.

The European Union has called the new tariffs "deeply unjust", and has said it is considering new tariffs on American products ranging from cranberries to peanut butter.

While the tariffs would be chiefly targeted at information technology, consumer electronics and telecoms, they could be much broader and the list could eventually run to 100 products. It is very counterproductive. The EU had already signalled that it would impose trade retaliatory measures to the tune of more than €2.5 billion ($3.5 billion).

China has also tried to offer trade reciprocations by recently removing import duties on USA broiler chicken and promised to buy more U.S. energy products. And we urge the USA government to do the right thing to protect free trade and to avoid using these trade protectionist measures against trading partners in the world.

"I would like to stress today that the free world has survived the most hard decades only thanks to the fact that Europeans and Americans have been real friends, so let us cherish this friendship, not challenge it", he added. Brown's rhetoric had a combative aroma to it: "If we fail to stand up for steel jobs today, China will come after other jobs up and down the supply chain tomorrow". There have been two members of the politburo traveling to Washington to meet with their counterparts in the US.

Even though successive United States administrations have resorted to protectionist measures since the days of Alexander Hamilton's grand plan to build a powerful America in the 19th century, Trump appears to have taken the issue to a crescendo of misery.

But Trump thinks trade itself makes us poorer: "We lose ... on trade".

United States business groups, while uneasy about triggering Chinese retaliation, have increasingly pressed Washington to take action on Beijing's industrial policies, such as market access restrictions and the "Made in China 2025" plan, which aims to supplant foreign technologies with domestic ones.

Don't hold your breath for help from the World Trade Organization - a conclave of 164 nations, mostly poor and anti-American, empowered to impose binding trade rules. During the past quarter century, Canadian military forces have participated in virtually every aggressive US-led war around the world. And if it decides to completely disregard free trade measures and trample on free trade principles, be our guest.

Trump has introduced a new strategic doctrine on trade, and though I have some reservations (I opposed the steel tariffs), it's important we understand it and realistically assess its merits. We both benefit from our transactions, but they benefit more than we do.