Once again, President Trump has decided not to follow through on a threat he made during the campaign. This time, he doesn’t just look hypocritical; he looks weak in the face of one of our most important rivals.
After promising throughout the campaign that he would label China a currency manipulator “on day one” of his administration, Trump has today announced that he was, in essence, just kidding.
“They’re not currency manipulators,” he told the Wall Street Journal this morning in a stunning display of impudence.
After Mexico and the media, President Trump’s favorite target for tough talk on the campaign trail was China.
When speaking about the trade deficit, Trump told an Indiana campaign rally crowd, “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world.”
On manufacturing jobs leaving the U.S., Trump said during his first debate with Hillary Clinton, “Look at what China is doing to our country in terms of making our products. We have to stop our jobs from being stolen from us.”
Finally, on the subject of currency, he told the crowd at a Pennsylvania rally in June of 2016 that, “I’m going to instruct my treasury secretary to label China a currency manipulator, which should have been done years ago. Any country that devalues their currency in order to take unfair advantage of the United States, which is many country, will be met with sharply.”
Not so much, apparently. And then there are the tweets that have once again come back to bite the President in the behind.
He had the perfect opportunity last week, when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited the United States for face-to-face meetings with Trump, but he blinked. And now, as we enter the final weeks of his First 100 Days, he’s not only failed to deliver on that “day one” pledge; he’s completely changed his mind.
Almost as pathetic as the flip-flop itself is the reason he gave for it:
“I think our dollar is getting too strong, and partially that’s my fault because people have confidence in me. But that’s hurting—that will hurt ultimately. Look, there’s some very good things about a strong dollar, but usually speaking the best thing about it is that it sounds good.”
You heard it. Donald Trump has made America too great, too fast, and so delivering on a campaign promise now doesn’t make sense anymore. Any other reading of this is quite obviously ‘fake news.’
Peter Mellado is a writer, producer, and a branding and messaging specialist with over 15 years experience. He studied history at San Jose State University, and resides in Los Angeles.