Donald Trump has become predictable. He has no policies, just attacks. As usual, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average crashing by over 600 points today, Trump took to the offensive on Twitter, whining about the Federal Reserve.
“They don’t have a feel for the Market, they don’t understand necessary Trade Wars or Strong Dollars or even Democrat Shutdowns over Borders. The Fed is like a powerful golfer who can’t score because he has no touch – he can’t putt!” he said.
The Fed has nothing to do with tariff policy or immigration. And a strong dollar makes it more expensive for other countries to purchase American goods, so Trump calling “Strong Dollars” “necessary” is completely at odds with the purported goal of his trade war.
Trump’s trade war has hit the U.S. economy badly this year.
As I noted in my column in late November:
Agriculture has been particularly hard hit by retaliatory tariffs. Soybean exports to China since July have been close to nothing. The U.S. hasn’t come close to making it up in exports to the rest of the world. In October 2018, U.S. soybean exports globally were half of what they were in October 2017.
American manufacturers that use metal sourced from overseas to produce final goods are also paying a heavy price. While foreign-produced steel is more expensive due to tariffs, the price of domestic steel has also skyrocketed due to artificially increased demand for the stuff. In the first week after steel tariffs were announced in March, prices for steel made in the U.S. rose by 35 percent. The American Enterprise Institute published an analysis in October that said American steel prices are the most expensive in the world.
Caterpillar, a construction equipment company, and Ford have both seen their stock prices drop by over 20 percent over the past six months. Precor, a company that makes exercise equipment, says its material costs are rising.
It has to be hurting Trump’s pride. This is someone who bragged about “record” stock market highs multiple time a week his first year in office.
He can’t do anything to respond, because he’s a man of no policies. All he has is whining. The Federal Reserve is supposed to be free of political interference–for good reason; we wouldn’t want a self-interested president like Trump to abuse the process to try to prop up an economic bubble for political purposes.
But Trump has also consistently failed to execute his proclaimed policies on issues within a president’s legitimate scope of influence. Consider how he never got wall funding even with Republicans controlling Congress for two years or how Obamacare repeal failed in part because of Trump’s utter ignorance on the issue and inability to make a case.
Trump is whining today, and he’ll be whining tomorrow and the next day.