Trump Continues Divisive Tariff Rhetoric Before Giving Unifying Speech During D-Day Ceremony
Against the backdrop of the unifying ceremonies to commemorate the D-Day invasions of WWII, President Donald Trump returned to his divisive rhetoric, continuing to flaunt his threats of tariffs and trade barriers against some of America’s biggest trade partners.
The president recently announced that on Monday he would put into place a series of tariffs on Mexico in order to pressure the country into taking a larger role in preventing illegal immigration into America. The trade barriers would reach as high as 25% on imports from America’s southern neighbor, which many fear would slow down the United States’ burgeoning economy. This policy is profoundly unpopular both among Democrats and Republicans, with many viewing it as legally questionable, ethically dubious and financially disastrous.
Addressing reporters on the tarmac of an Irish airport, Trump took the opportunity of a moment’s media attention to slam his congressional opponents, lambasting them for their criticism of his plan. “The Democrats — Congress has been a disaster. They won’t change. They won’t do anything. They want free immigration — immigration to pour into our country,” said the president before his flight to Normandy. While he expressed hope that negotiations with Mexico would prevent the introduction of the tariffs at all, Trump continued to defend his idea, asserting that his tariff rhetoric was not just an empty threat. “We’ve told Mexico the tariffs go on” starting Monday, the president said. “And I mean it, too. And I’m very happy with it.”
Trump went on to attack another of his favorite trade targets, China, threatening to further escalate the economic conflict with the East Asian giant. The president warned of the possibility of adding tariffs to another $300 billion worth of goods from China, hoping that Chinese President Xi Jinping would submit before the U.S. economy is significantly damaged. “In the meantime, we’re getting 25 percent on $250 billion, and I can go up another at least $300 billion,” said Trump.
Following the interview, the president did a tonal 360, giving an uplifting and hopeful speech that stressed the importance of friends and alliances during the D-Day commemoration ceremony in Normandy, France. “To all of our friends and partners, our cherished alliance was forged in the heat of battle, tested in the trials of war and proven in the blessings of peace,” Trump said in his speech. “Our bond is unbreakable.”