Everything Trump Needed To Know About Tariffs But Was Afraid To Ask
So heartwarming to hear a Nice Times story once in a while! Let's enjoy this touching tale of that time on Wednesday when the European Commission sent President Jean-Claude Juncker all the way to the White House to read picture books to President Cranky Pants until he calmed down and stopped trying to plunge America into yet another trade war. Talk amongst yourselves, we're feeling a little verklempt!
Tell us, WSJ!
Backing up his points, Mr. Juncker flipped through more than a dozen colorful cue cards with simplified explainers, the senior EU official said. Each card had at most three figures about a specific topic, such as trade in cars or standards for medical devices.
"We knew this wasn't an academic seminar," the EU official said. "It had to be very simple."
He's not much of a reader, you know. So the clever Europeans made up a funny song about EXPENSIVE NATURAL GAS, SAD! And CHEAP STEEL, HAPPY! At first Trump was confused by the handclaps, but he really got into the dancing. Thanks for the tip, Saudi Arabia!
"If you want to be stupid," Juncker told Trump, "I can be stupid as well." (REAL QUOTE!) And boy did he ever want to be stupid! Here's what he said to steel workers in Illinois Wednesday night.
We lost $817 billion a year, over the last number of years in trade. In other words, if we didn't trade, we'd save a hell of a lot of money.
Did Juncker use one-syllable words to 'splain to the Very Stable Genius that Americans didn't "lose" the money -- they traded it for shiny BMWs and cheap sneakers? Did he suggest that Americans start attacking that trade deficit by planting coffee beans and mangoes in Minnesota? Of course not! He's European, and those people are FANCY!
Instead he promised (again) to buy more American natural gas, once the US government figures out how to make it cheaper.
At one point, talk shifted to Europe buying more U.S. natural gas, a move EU leaders had agreed to take back in May, even though U.S. gas, shipped liquefied, is as much as 20% more expensive than gas Europe buys via pipeline from Russia. The Europeans said U.S. companies need licenses to sell overseas, which inflates prices. Mr. Trump proposed scrapping licenses, the EU official said. Administration officials jumped in to nix the idea, saying licenses are vital for national security. Instead, the two sides agreed to negotiate license exemptions.
Which was good enough for the president! Just as National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow had assured Juncker's people it would be when they met the night before. ALLEGEDLY.
The US withdrew its threat to impose steel tariffs on Europe, and the Europeans agreed to come read picture books again real soon.
And then it was time to celebrate the big win. Trump pulled his GOP lawmakers out of cold storage and assembled them in the Rose Garden. The NYT reports,
Republicans said they were summoned to the White House believing they were there to negotiate. Then they were ushered into the Rose Garden for the announcement.
"We arrived there and then we became eye candy on the set," said Senator Pat Roberts, Republican of Kansas, who was singled out by the president for his farm advocacy.
Every party has a pooper, that's why we invited you, Senator Roberts. Well, and also to bless this moronic farce.
LOL, there was absolutely no agreement on agriculture, just a promise to talk about it in the future. But you should definitely buy a hat!
AND THE COUNTRY WAS SAVED!
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PS We got a better hat for you.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.