Global Themonuclear Trade Wars!

Well, maybe. Today The Creature went on a tear about tariffs again.

The first shot in President Donald Trump’s trade offensive against American allies will be fired at midnight.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced Thursday morning that hefty tariffs on aluminum and steel imports from the European Union, Mexico, and Canada will go into effect Thursday at midnight. Steel imports from those places will be taxed at 25 percent and aluminum imports at 10 percent. Those are huge numbers; the average tariff rate on US-EU traded goods is under 3 percent.

The targeted countries responded almost immediately. Mexico announced it will impose tariffs on American imports in retaliation. EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström said in a statement that Europe would “impose rebalancing measures,” likely meaning some kind of retaliatory tariff on US imports, and take any other “necessary steps to protect the EU market.” Possible European targets for tariff increases include American bourbon, jeans, and motorcycle exports.

This is a big deal. The EU, Canada, and Mexico are (respectively) the United States’ first-, third-, and fourth-largest trading partners. While steel and aluminum tariffs alone aren’t the end of the world, a trade war — defined as the two sides getting locked in a cycle of retaliatory tariff increases — is.

What the bleep is wrong with this man? There must be an angle in there somewhere in which Trump thinks a trade war will make Trump the Company some money, but I cannot imagine what it is. Trade experts are baffled and see no point to what Trump is doing.

I understand that the global steel market is currently screwed up mostly because of overproduction in China, but Trump is not messing with China. Well, China just gave Ivanka a bunch of trademarks, after all.

The immediate impact of these tariffs will be mixed, but probably on net negative. US steel and aluminum industries will now face less international competition, which means they’ll be hiring and producing more.

But it’ll be bad for all the other US industries that depend on cheaper steel and aluminum — little things like construction and manufacturing. One study, from the Council on Foreign Relations, estimates that the steel tariffs will destroy 40,000 jobs in America’s automobile manufacturing industry alone, one-third of the entire domestic steel industry.

Speaking of the automobile industry,  there’s this:

President Trump wants to impose a total ban on the imports of German luxury cars, according to a new report from CNBC and German magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

Several U.S. and European diplomats told the news outlets that Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron about his plans last month during a state visit.

Trump reportedly told Macron that he would maintain the ban until no Mercedes-Benz cars are seen on Fifth Avenue in New York.

In 2017, 21 percent of Mercedes Benz cars sold in the U.S. were made in the U.S. That’s a lower percentage than a lot of car companies, but it’s not zero. BTW, the only 100 percent American-made car is Tesla. A lot of U.S. based companies are manufacturing cars overseas and importing them. Only 17 percent of Lincolns are made in the U.S., while 33 percent of BMWs are made in the U.S. Go figure.