Did he say that? Well, not exactly – but he did say, in his presidential announcement speech, “Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have people that are stupid.”
In the same speech he declared the need for a “talented and smart” leader (President) to conduct trade negotiations and abandon the free-trade model. One must question whether “The Donald” understands the concept of “Free Trade”.
Is it possible that he was only talking about trade between countries and not trade between individuals, like his resort guests? Think about it, how could he have implied that? There is no trade been countries (except for the goods consumed by the governments themselves;) there is only trade between individuals or their contracted representatives.
And all such trade, to be truly free, must be negotiated only between such individuals or their representatives, without the intervention of governments and their leaders. Trade negotiations conducted between government leaders is not “free trade;” it is “managed trade”, usually managed via quotas, tariffs or other restrictions.
I think it’s fair to assume that when Trump refers to trade that he is talking about only international trade, which would include the trade that he conducts with his international resort guests. Let’s further assume, for this illustration, that the trades conducted at resorts owned by Trump follow his advice that only the “talented and smart” should negotiate for hotel rooms.
So are Trump’s guests smart or are they stupid? If they are stupid, do they have talented government agents negotiating for them? If not, should they? Trump has resorts in the U.S. and at least five other countries. Should the leaders of these countries negotiate the rates for Trump’s stupid guests or set quotas or protective tariffs to benefit the competing hotels owned by local citizens? That’s exactly the way Donald Trump wants to negotiate for the products we (as individuals) buy from China.
He has previously called for a 25% tariff on all Chinese products. That is effectively negotiating a 25% price increase for us. How stupid does Trump think we are?
While I may come to trust Trump to negotiate government purchases, I do not trust him to make my purchase decisions or even to negotiate on my behalf.
To show him how smart we are, let’s extend Trump’s call for tariffs to his resort business and advocate for a 25% tariff on all resort revenue, as well as call for the imposition of maximum occupancy quotas for each of his international hotels.
Notes: To learn what free trade really is, read Senator DeMInt here. For currency manipulation see this. Also regarding currency manipulation, look up the Nazi collaborating George Schwarz, now known as Soros, the black knight of progressive extremism who made fortunes harming governments worldwide.