Trump says in Bloomberg interview that he will put out of the WTO "if they don't shape up".
— Shawn Donnan (@sdonnan) August 30, 2018
If you can’t see the five-minute clip at the top, it’s well worth clicking over to Bloomberg directly, because it’s a comprehensive (i.e., terrifying) review of what passes the Oval Office Occupant for “thoughts”. And provides, IMO, key insights to some of this week’s agitations among the ‘permanent’ GOP ‘leaders’…
…“If they don’t shape up, I would withdraw from the WTO,” Trump said Thursday in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News. Trump said the agreement establishing the body “was the single worst trade deal ever made.”
A U.S. withdrawal from the WTO potentially would be far more significant for the global economy than even Trump’s growing trade war with China, undermining the post-World War II system that the U.S. helped build…
“In the last year, we’re starting to win a lot,” he added. “You know why? Because they know if we don’t, I’m out of there.”
Countries that bring complaints to the WTO tend to prevail and defendants in trade disputes lose…
Since World War II, successive U.S. presidents have led efforts to establish and strengthen global trading rules, arguing that they would bring stability to the world economy.
The WTO was created in 1994 as part of a U.S.-led effort by major economies to create a forum for resolving trade disputes.
Things I noticed, apart from the WTO dick-swinging:
– “He sort of radiates a kind of confidence, which not everyone is going to agree with… but he’s got that sense that he’s winning all the various battles”
– “He still hasn’t stopped thinking up [ed: being spoon-fed by his donors] new big ideas — he’s thinking about the capital gains tax”
– Jeff Sessions’ job is safe “until November, after the midterms”… “I asked how many days after that, and he ignored the question… but I don’t think it’s just Trump, I think there’s a general noise out of the WH at the moment that Sessions is okay through to there.
“What Trump went on, quite a lot, about, was the idea that he wants Sessions to be looking at other things, especially [unclear] the Democrats, and not him. And he returned to the idea that he thinks it’s impossible to impeach a successful president — “
– “Is he aware of, does he understand, his interaction with the stock market? Do you get the sense that he feels omnipotent, in that way? “I think he sees himself… he looks at the stock market as one indicator of how well he’s doing… I think he’s a little bit mystified as to why he might get beaten in the midterms, given how well he sees the economy going…”
– Trump’s “backed off a bit” on attacking the Fed; “He talks a bit about how he wants to be accommodated — if you push him on that, he doesn’t want to step over the line — it looks as though the Fed has begun to win that battle” [again, my impression: He’s been called to heel by the Actually Rich People, his donors/props, who are the only ones he respects]
– “Talk a little bit more, as he says, you can’t impeach a sitting president — ” “No, he thinks it’s very hard to impeach a successful president, which is how, very much, he views himself… He remains, on the midterms, very wary — but he thinks that if the midterms were purely about him, he would do very well.”
Ask President Bill Clinton how hard it was for the GOP to impeach a successful president — of course their manifold wasteful attempts failed to unseat Slick Willy, but you can’t say they didn’t give their and the national treasury’s best in the attempt.
But the general point remains: Trump assumes the world revolves around Trump, who is a Great (if underappreciated) Success, and that as long as he can browbeat his minions into propping up the stock market, he’s literally unimpeachable.
Those midterms, as ever, remain ours to win. And IMO it’s more clear than ever how crucially important — not just for Democrats, or Americans, but for the global financial markets — it is that we do!