No one expected Donald Trump to stay out of the news for long. For one thing, it’s the nature of the job of president to be in the news daily. For another thing, it’s the nature of the man named Trump. In fact, it seems he feeds on controversy and stressful situations almost to the point where you have to believe they only further energize him — assuming that’s even possible. Such is the energy the man brings to any task he tackles.
The next battle in which he engages could get especially nasty. It involves tariffs, taxes on imported goods that are something of an anathema to free-market economists, but quite popular with other groups such as organized labor. There is a populist appeal to tariffs, as they are promoted as protecting the “working men and women” of America from “unfair” competition from other nations.
The danger is that other nations might retaliate and ignite a full-blown trade war that damages economies world-wide. There is also the question as to whether American industries actually need protection from foreign business firms. And there is always the chance that the government will get it terribly wrong, creating problems that no one ever imagined.
More on what this portends for our economic future on page two.