According to multiple internal sources who spoke to the Washington Post, Trump is planning to impose tariffs on foreign cars and parts regardless of what his advisers tell him.
The Post's sources say Trump's advisers and congressional Republicans have told Trump that it's a really bad idea, but Trump is absolutely convinced in his own genius.
Trump has become increasingly defiant in his trade strategy, following his own instincts and intuition and eschewing advice from his inner circle. He has told advisers and Republicans to simply trust his business acumen, a point he tried to reinforce Wednesday morning in a Twitter post. [...]
The disunity within the White House and Trump’s insistence on pushing ahead on auto tariffs was described by three people briefed on the status of negotiations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to reveal internal deliberations.
The Post's sources also say the Commerce Department is trying to placate Trump with other measures, but we've seen this movie before.
Commerce Department officials are now considering a variety of options to address Trump’s insistence that cheap foreign cars are flooding the U.S. market, and some of those measures would stop far short of imposing tariffs, two people briefed on the discussions said. But several of Trump’s advisers think he is expected to follow the approach he took with steel and aluminum imports and choose the most severe restrictions and his favored tool — tariffs across the board, according to the three people briefed on White House discussions.
Trump's tariffs on steel and aluminum were delayed for a short period of time to make room for a deal, but Trump eventually went through with it because he doesn't make deals. He doesn't even know what a deal is.
European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker is meeting with Trump today, but he's wasting his time. Juncker could offer Trump a deal that is actually more favorable to the Unites States than we deserve and it wouldn't matter.
If you've been paying any attention at all, none of this may be a revelation to you. I've certainly assumed that Trump will go through with his tariffs on cars, and his full tariffs on imports from China, because he's believe in his own genius more than he believes in anything else in the world.
As I've said before, one of the biggest dangers of Trump's advisers, officials, Republicans, and Wall Street pretending everything is normal is that Trump will be convinced that his actions are totally normal. For the past several months, we've seen investors panic and recover within the span of a single day, carrying on as if Trump will be talked down at some point, but you can't talk him down.
The Washington Post reports that Trump is expected to announced his tariffs on foreign cars and car parts relatively soon, perhaps within the next month.
This economy is living on borrowed time; time we borrowed from President Obama.