“If we don’t win in 2020, everything that we have done — seriously, though ― everything that we have done, your 401(k)s, they are going to crash. The whole thing, it’s going to come down like a stack of cards,” said President Donald Trump at a North Carolina rally in July.

“You have no choice but to vote for me because your 401(k)s? Down the tubes. Everything is going to be down the tubes,” said Trump in a New Hampshire rally this month.


Trump is starting to sound desperate. But in his desperation, he is making things worse for the U.S. economy. While Trump warns us about how bad the economy will be if he is not reelected, he continues to do everything he can to destroy the good economy he inherited from his predecessor.

His economic numbers are tanking. His negotiations — if you can call them that — with China are failing. His trade war is driving a record number of American farmers out of business. The U.S. manufacturing sector has “declined for two straight quarters now, leading to a contraction in business investments in the three months that ended June 30” according to S.V. Date writing for the Huffington Post.

Last week, Trump announced that he would, again, increase taxes on all Chinese imports and ordered American companies to stop doing business with China. I wonder if Trump will take his own advice? Most Trump products, from ties to shirts, are made in China. Many of his daughter’s products are also made in China. Let’s see if the Trump family follows dad’s advice and moves the manufacturing of Trump’s family products out of China. Don’t hold your breath.

When China retaliated with their own tariffs, Trump tweeted that they were “politically motivated!” and that “the United States would be economically stronger without China.” But those in the United States who know better strongly disagree and, as a result of his tweet, the Dow Jones plunged 623 points. The stock market closed for the fourth straight weekly loss. No one who understands global economics believes we would be stronger without China.

Trump wants us to worry about our retirement accounts if he is not reelected. I’m worried about what crazy thing he’s going to do to blow up the world economy this week.

Trump is trying to blame Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for his economic failures, asking, “who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?" Powell was appointed by Trump, of course. Don’t you love the way Trump blames his staff for his mistakes? Loyalty in the Trump world is a one-way street.

Trump’s tariffs on steel and aluminum products continue to hurt car manufacturers and the canned food business. According to Date, canned food giant Del Monte announced last week that it “would lay off 800 workers and close two plants because of increasing” metal costs associated with Trump’s tariffs.

Then there are the American farmers who have been hurt the most by Trump’s tariff war with China. Roger Johnson, the president of the National Farmers Union said in response to Trump’s new tariffs, “Every time Trump escalates his trade war, China calls his bluff and why would we expect any different this time around? And it’s no surprise that farmers are again the target. In just the past three years, U.S. soybean exports to China have fallen nearly 80 percent, and once these tariffs kick in, things are likely to get worse.”

“Instead of looking to solve existing problems in our agricultural sector, this administration has just created new ones,” said Johnson. “Between burning bridges with all of our biggest trading partners and undermining our domestic biofuels industry, President Trump is making things worse, not better.”

What Trump does not understand is that China is going to simply wait him out. He’ll be out of office soon, and while the Chinese people are also hurting because of these tariffs, too, Chinese officials don’t have to run for reelection in 2020. Unlike Trump, they don’t have to explain their economic policies to anyone. Unlike Trump, their survival is not dependent on their stock market, food prices, or how many farmers declare bankruptcy.

Trump’s new tariffs against China will bring price increases to hundreds of products in America including clothing, appliances, computers, monitors, keyboards, headphones, toys, diapers, video games, and Christmas decorations, according to the Huffington Post.

Last Friday, before boarding Air Force One to attend the G-7 Summit in France, Trump made three false statements about his tariffs to reporters: “I think our tariffs are very good for us. We’re taking in tens of billions of dollars. China is paying for it.”

Is he trying to convince himself or does he believe his followers are that gullible?

Tom Zirpoli writes from Westminster. He is program coordinator of the Human Services Management graduate program at McDaniel College. His column appears Wednesdays. Email him at tzirpoli@mcdaniel.edu.