Donald Trump Finally Makes His Stupid Tariff Announcement

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While I was at lunch Donald Trump finally made his big tariff announcement:

After a week of furious lobbying and a burst of last-minute internal debates and confusion, Mr. Trump agreed to exempt, for now, Canada and Mexico and held out the possibility of later excluding allies such as Australia….“The actions we are taking today are not a matter of choice; they are a matter of necessity for our security,” Mr. Trump said in a ceremony at the White House.

….Canada and Mexico would be exempt pending discussions with both countries….Mr. Trump indicated that the tariffs would go into effect on Canada and Mexico “if we don’t make the deal on Nafta and if we terminate Nafta because they are unable to make a deal that’s fair.” During a cabinet meeting earlier in the day, Mr. Trump singled out Australia as an example of another country that could be excluded, citing the trade surplus that the United States maintains with Australia, which imports more from America than it exports to the country.

Wait a second. First Trump says that these tariffs are being put in place as a national security measure. But then he says that Canada and Mexico will be exempt if they cave in on NAFTA, and Australia might be exempt because we have a trade surplus with them. So which is it? Are we doing this because the US needs a domestic steel industry to build F-35s and Ford-class aircraft carriers? Or do we actually have plenty of steel for that, and we’re doing this to punish countries that we have a trade deficit with? Inquiring minds want to know.

And since I know you want to stay current on your memes, here’s the latest one:

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THE TRUTH IS...

what drives Mother Jones' team of 50-plus journalists. The truth is powerful, as evidenced by how hard those with something to hide, or profit to gain, seek to discredit it. The truth, stated boldly and reported meticulously, is what draws so many readers to Mother Jones.

And the truth is, going into the final 4 days of the year we still needed to raise $TK to hit our $350,000 goal and start 2021 on track. It's nerve-wracking, wondering if the big spike we normally see at the end of December is going to be another thing that doesn't go as planned in 2020, or worse, if, now that Donald Trump is set to leave the White House (for longer than a taxpayer-funded golf trip to a property he owns), folks might be pulling back from fighting for the truth and a democracy and think the hard work is done.

It's not, and if you can right now, please consider a year-end donation to support our team's fearless nonprofit journalism so we can close that big fundraising gap and finish the year strong, ready for all that's ahead in 2021. Whether you can give $5 or $500, it all matters in keeping us charging hard, and we'd be grateful.

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