Trump's top economic adviser and former television pundit Larry Kudlow has always been a little ridiculous, but if you traveled back in time just a few months you would find Kudlow espousing the merits of free trade and open markets.
Fast forward to today and you'll find Kudlow threatening to abandon the World Trade Organization (WTO) and ignore any rulings the organization hands down.
“International, multilateral organizations are not going to determine American policy,” White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told reporters at a press briefing organized to preview President Trump’s trip to Canada for the G-7. [...]
“We are bound by the national interest here, more than anything else,” Kudlow said, painting an uncompromising stance ahead of Trump’s bilateral talks with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and French President Emmanuel Macron.
If you're a regular reader, you're probably already aware that the United States wins the overwhelming majority (91 percent) of complaints we file against other nations at the WTO. Most complaints filed at the WTO are settled before they actually reach a panel of judges, but Trump apparently has no interest in settling with anyone.
In the event that Trump decides to ignore and abandon the WTO, other nations will be free to impose as many tariffs on American goods as they please with no legal recourse to stop it.
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Kudlow also said Trump is not responsible for tearing down the same system he supposedly wants to build.
Kudlow said other countries have taken advantage of low trade barriers in the U.S. for decades and that Trump is attempting to reset global trade to the system that emerged after World War II.
"Don’t blame Trump," Kudlow said. "Blame the nations that have broken away from those conditions."
Trump is doing that. Trump is breaking away from those conditions.
Kudlow is in a position to directly tell Trump that he's wrong -- that he has everything backwards -- but Kudlow has decided to become a ridiculous person.
Gary Cohn must have seen all of this coming when he jumped ship.