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
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.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:
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)
"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.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.
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."