August 26, 2019

After Trump melted down the stock markets on Friday by going on a crazy Twitter rant against Fed Chairman Powell and China, the Wall Street Journal editorial board could no longer hold their tongues: "Just Another Manic Friday" (sub. required)

The trouble with trade wars, like shooting wars, is that once they start you never know how they’re going to end. The enemy gets a vote, and sometimes events escalate in ugly fashion. Take Friday, which saw China retaliate for Donald Trump ’s recent tariffs, Mr. Trump blow a gasket, markets tank, and Mr. Trump impose even more tariffs.

The WSJ then outlined the events on Friday that left most economic analysts and pundits scratching their angry heads.

And it all came to a head when Trump acted like a fascist dictator, and "hereby ordered" all American companies to not trade or deal with China any longer.

But then Mr. Trump began tweeting like a bull in a china shop. “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?” he tweeted, as if Mr. Powell isn’t a patriot. “We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far better off without them. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME.”

Order? Somebody should tell Chairman Trump this isn’t the People’s Republic of America. U.S. businesses have been trying to shift production out of China to avoid tariffs, but supply chains that have been developed over decades can’t be uprooted overnight. And no other country has China’s huge relatively skilled workforce, infrastructure and network of suppliers.

When you lose your mirror image over in England, that's bad.

When the conservative Wall Street Journal turns on a Republican president, that's a problem.

A very big problem.

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