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Trump trade war should force relationship rethink

April 9, 2018 Business News No Comments Email Email

US President Donald Trump’s tariff bluster shows how dangerous it is for Malcolm Turnbull to insist we remain joined at the hip with the United States, Greens trade spokesperson Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said today.

“Trump thinks a trade war is good for his polling figures, so he’s starting a trade war. We shouldn’t wait to discover how he’d approach a military war if it promised the same effect.

“Trump thinks export dollars are just points on the scoreboard, and if you’ve got fewer than your trading partner, you’re losing.

“Trump is instigating a trade war he can’t honestly expect to win. For him, he doesn’t care how much hurt this causes, so long as it hurts China more.

“It’s a senseless war designed only to inflict loss. The winner in this conflict is the one whose wounds are less severe.

“When two of our major trading partners are in an escalating tariff war, we pay a price.

“We’re the collateral damage in this enormous disruption global supply and distribution chains. Trade wars push up prices for consumers, hurting living standards, and inflicting the greatest pain on those least able to absorb it.

“What Trump doesn’t realise is that the nature of trade that matters more than the volume. We don’t restrict the importation of blood diamonds because we’re trying to boost GDP – we do it because what we’re trading, and who we trade with, is a reflection of who we are and what we stand for.

“Trade barriers aren’t always bad. But, like free trade itself, they always create winners and losers. But the fact Trump doesn’t care about that shows how dangerous our dependency on the country he leads has become.

“He doesn’t care if cost of living goes up, so long as his polling numbers do too.”

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