European Union President Jean-Claude Juncker will visit the White House this week where Trump will almost certainly make nonsensical trade demands that don't comport with empirical reality, but before their meeting the White House is hosting an exhibit where products that are made in America will be on display.
Trump and most of his cabinet will attend today's showcase where one of the products that will be on display is not like the others.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump will showcase American-made products ranging from beef jerky and cowboy boots to the Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jet on Monday, as his administration wages trade battles on a series of fronts. [...]
Other products to be displayed at the White House on Monday include Wiffle balls and bats from Connecticut, Viking Range LLC stoves from Mississippi and Moon Pies sweets from Tennessee.
Look, I love Moon Pies and beef jerky as much as the next person, but I don't think you can sustain an economy on that. You certainly can't flip our trade deficit with it.
Ironically, a Ford F-150 truck will also be on display at the White House today, but if Trump goes through with his tariffs on cars and parts the price of each truck will increase by several thousand dollars.
Meanwhile, the F-35 fighter jet may be the only thing that is never subjected to Trump's tariffs because the nature of defense contracts and treaties exempt it. Parts for the F-35 are manufactured in every state and we sell F-35s directly to allied governments rather than through an open market.
Not coincidentally, defense is our largest export with $143 billion in sales in 2017. Our next largest export is food and beverages ($133 billion in 2017), but Trump's trade war is already taking a toll on American agriculture and we should expect to see exports of food and beverages sharply decline when full data for 2018 is available.
I don't think there will be any soy beans or sorghum on display today.