On Thursday, President Trump signaled that he may be preparing to back off his tariff plan after all — after a week of touting the glories of a possible trade war. Kristen Welker of NBC News reported:
Stephanie Ruhle at MSNBC reported something similar last night:
And according to Mark Knoller at CBS:
So, is Trump preparing to back off his tough talk after public blowback from so many members of his own party? We can only hope so, given how terrible tariffs are for the economy. Trump was foolish to consider the tariffs in the first place, and he’d be wise to back off of them now. But if he doesn’t, Congress should certainly consider removing his trade authority. Trade was never meant to be a presidential prerogative, and there are no national security implications to the decisions Trump was considering on steel and aluminum — particularly not if Trump was planning to exempt Canada, the top steel importer into the United States.
Trump has a nasty habit of floating trial balloons that have real world impact — such as a drop in the stock market — and then walking them back when things go wrong. But better for him to walk back a mistake than continue down the road of 18th-century mercantilism.