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Romney Sees the Light

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Romney Sees the Light

Salon Conservatives Club is retracting its endorsement of Mitt Romney.

In 2012, the New York Times reported that Romney was a bit of a trade warrior with China.

“I think the president is leading with some policies that will wake up our friends in China and they’ll recognize that business as usual is going to have to change,” the former Republican presidential nominee said. “China over the years has taken advantage of the attitude in America, which is we haven’t watched very closely and they’ve been cheating.”…

A massive trade war with countries placing tariffs on each other would not be good, Romney said.

“I don’t think we’re going to go there,” he said.

Well, we might actually be going. The main point of China adding tariffs on key U.S. agricultural exports instead of more marginal goods was to warn Trump that they will not be intimidated.

Trump is now chattering about another $100 billion in tariffs, and the sky is the limit on how far this will go. The market is feeling the heat, even if Romney doesn’t know yet.

Friday on CNBC, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin said, “There is the potential for a trade war.”

If Trump moves forward with the next round of tariffs, it is unclear as to how China will respond. Rare-earth metals? Treasuries? The nuclear option? An indefinite ban on all Trump-branded products?

Trump could possibly be carrying out a closely held master plan, carefully turning the vise on tariffs, knowing that he has a trump card that’ll surprise the Chinese and make them capitulate on protection for U.S. intellectual property.

Maybe Trump thinks he should simply show enough “strength” and everything will work out:

To White House insiders, this is the most dangerous phase of Donald Trump’s presidency so far, from the brewing trade war with China that he denies is a trade war, to the perilously spontaneous summit with North Korea.

Checks are being ignored or have been eliminated, and critics purged as the president is filling time by watching Fox, and by eating dinner with people who feed his ego and conspiracy theories, and who drink in his rants. Both sides are getting more polarized and dug in — making the daily reality more absurd, and the potential consequences less urgent and able to grab people’s serious attention.

Trump’s closest confidants speak with an unusual level of concern, even alarm, and admit to being confused about what the president will do next — and why.

Confidently, Mitt Romney said, “I don’t think we’re going to go there.”

Republicans are letting Trump know that a trade war wouldn’t be helpful to the party’s chances this fall. That’s another risk Trump is taking, a small one compared to the potential economic and foreign policy fallout, but a risk nonetheless.

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Credit: Hot Air

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