Brexit Britain won’t stand up to trade bully Trump

by Luke Lythgoe | 01.06.2018

Brexiters think Donald Trump is our best buddy. He’s actually a bully.

The US president has slapped 25% tariffs on European steel and 10% on European aluminium. That’s a new fact for the post-Brexit world, unknowable at the time of the 2016 referendum vote. And it’s a particularly unwelcome fact for the 31,000 workers employed in our steel industry.

Trump is bringing the US to the brink of a trade war with its closest allies, with Canada and Mexico also hit by the new tariffs. The EU is already threatening retaliatory tariffs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, bourbon whiskey and Levi jeans.

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Emmanuel Macron has called Trump’s move an “illegal decision”. Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau, has promised “dollar for dollar” retaliation.

And the response from the UK? Liam Fox says limply that it would be “a great pity if we ended up in a tit-for-tat trade dispute with our closest allies”.

The trade secretary must be worried that the fantasy deal he promised to clinch with the US straight after Brexit will go up in smoke if he attacks Trump. But if these tariffs show anything it’s that, in any pact we get with America, we’ll be bullied.

Fox can afford his weak response because the EU is doing the muscle flexing for us. It’s much more effective at this because its market is bigger than America’s.

If we want to be a proud nation, we have to stand up to bullies. Self-imposed Brexit isolation will make that almost impossible.

One Response to “Brexit Britain won’t stand up to trade bully Trump”

  • ”Oh, but Trump is an Anglophile, he LOVES Britain”…”his mother was Scottish”…”he has a golf course in Scotland”…

    All of which means diddly! Trump will do what’s right for Trump. This means he will appeal to his hardcore base of 30% in the US who’ll support the unqualified idiot no matter what. If this means pissing off the Canadians, Mexico (no surprise there) and European allies, so be it.

    Sadly, Britain is in no position to weather this. Unlike the EU which can threaten to retaliate and back it up hitting key state the idiot-in-chief needs to win.