Sunday, June 24, 2018

How About Tariffs On Trump's Business?

As neo-fascist con man and sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump pauses ever so briefly from child abuse along the border with Mexico, the tariffs he's promised to impose on Canada and our European allies are set to take effect in July. Those tariffs will serve to drive up prices for U.S. consumers, while forcing some economic sectors to lay off workers (many of whom swallowed his "America First" nonsense). Of course, Rump carefully tailored some of the tariffs to avoid doing damage to his or his family's scams abroad, witness Chinese textiles being exempt so that object of his lust daughter Ivanka's can export her cheap, sweatshop knock-offs from there.

Some creative thinkers among our allies are suggesting that Rump's organization abroad (branded hotels, resorts, etc.) might be good targets for tariffs in those countries. In a fascinating article in Macleans, former Canadian diplomat Scott Gilmore sets the stage:
"As I’ve pointed out before, the President can be successfully engaged, and countries like Ukraine, China, and Qatar have demonstrated this. When they want something from the United States, they skip the State Department, and even the White House staff. Instead of approaching their problem state-to-state, they go state-to-man. These countries focus on what Trump wants on a personal level – to enrich his family. So Beijing granted Ivanka trademarks, Qatar invested in one of Jared’s office towers, and Ukraine, with Slavic candor, simply wired half a million dollars to the President’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen.

For the most part, the western allies understand that if we want the U.S. to do something we must negotiate with the man himself. What we have not grasped yet is, as strange as it sounds, the President of the United States is more concerned about promoting his interests than defending America’s.
" (our emphasis)
According to Gilmore, therein lies the key to pressuring Rump to back off of his tariff war on our allies, while giving him a richly deserved kick in his yuuuge ass:
"Until this President, every previous modern occupant of the White House divested their assets upon assuming office.... Trump, by refusing to give up his businesses, and by flagrantly violating the emoluments clause, has inadvertently handed us the perfect stick.

I propose that instead of taxing the import of American serviettes, we tax Trump. In the spirit of the Magnitsky Act, Canada and the western allies come together to collectively pressure the only pain point that matters to this President: his family and their assets. This could take the form of special taxation on their current operations, freezing of assets, or even sanctions against senior staff. Canada could add a tax to Trump properties equal to any tariff unilaterally imposed by Washington.  The European Union could revoke any travel visas for senior staff in the Trump organization. And the United Kingdom could temporarily close his golf course."
Will it happen? We'd love to think so, but our allies also know they're dealing with an unhinged, vindictive narcissist whose ego is wrapped up in his shady organization. He's capable of all sorts of evil against them if he's cornered (and even when he's not). But taking him and his corrupt family down this way would be a dream come true.


Infidel753 said...

It's the next logical step given that most retaliatory sanctions have already targeted red states and other Trump-friendly zones. This trade war is between the Trumpanzees and the rest of the world. Blue America is neutral.

If Trump's personal businesses get targeted, his fuming and invective will be a sight to behold, and he'll probably cozy up even more to his dictator pals. The problem is that the mafia states don't have economies that could easily substitute for the democracies Trump is alienating. Russian and North Korean cars instead of German and Japanese? Rely on Chinese pharmaceuticals instead of British? Saudi Arabian video games? Come on.

Hackwhackers said...

Infidel -- That's the problem. His tendency would be to hit back irrationally by going to alternative foreign markets, unless and until he's slapped down by consumers refusing to buy Russian cars, etc., or his international business scam collapses -- whichever comes first. Well, tariffs on his organization is a highly unlikely proposition anyway, but pleasurable to think about.

Gerald Parks said...

I notice that no one meantioned how the GOP/Republican lead Congress could or should shut this president down!
Humpt ... everyone KNOWS that there is NO help to be found there!
Oh ... and THIS MFer IS crazy!
For real!

Hackwhackers said...

Gerald -- They're spineless and are frightened about Rump's cult turning on them. History will treat them very unkindly.