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Trump: Trade War With Canada Justified Because Brits Burned the White House in 1814

I mean, sure, that makes as much sense as any other reason.

During a phone call with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last weekend, President Donald Trump reportedly justified his decision to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum by invoking...the burning of the White House by British troops during the War of 1812.

At least, that's what CNN is reporting this afternoon. Here's how they put it, citing information from "sources familiar with the call: "Trudeau pressed Trump on how he could justify the tariffs as a 'national security' issue. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, 'Didn't you guys burn down the White House?'"

That is, presumably, a reference to the War of 1812, during which British troops invaded Washington, D.C., and set fire to the White House. Despite the war's name, the burning of the White House actually occurred in 1814. And it wasn't carried out by Canadians because, well, Canada did not become an independent nation until 1867—or 53 years after the White House burned.

But, sure, whatever. The War of 1812 makes Canada a national security threat in the year 2018, despite our having been allies for the last century, sharing the world's longest unpatrolled border, and exchanging more than $620 billion in goods last year. The rationales for war with Canada in Canadian Bacon and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut are more grounded in reality.

Sadly, "because you burned the White House" might be the best argument Trump has for tariffs. The national security rationale for steel and aluminum tariffs, published in late February by the Commerce Departmet, argues that American weapons of war depend on steel and aluminum supplies, and so domestic producers must be protected from international supplies that could be cut off in the event of a conflict.

But as I've written before, this is nonsense. Any scenario where Canada restricts aluminum exports to weaken U.S. national security occurs in a world where Washington has much bigger problems than domestic aluminum capacity.

But at least this latest episode allows for a unified theory of the two Trump-centric controversies making headlines this week.

After sacking Washington, the British military moved farther up the Chesapeake Bay and laid siege to Baltimore. While that was happening, a Georgetown-based lawyer named Francis Scott Key happened to be aboard one of the British ships, trying to negotiate the release of several Americans taken prisoner during the attack on Washington. His experience became the basis for a poem, "The Star-Spangled Banner," that now serves as our national anthem—something that also happens to be in the news a bit these days.

And isn't it at least possible that Trump's got the War of 1812 on his mind at the moment because his staffers are trying to educate him about his much-beloved anthem?

Trump's defenders will surely argue that his "burn down the White House" comment was a joke. Maybe so. But Trudeau doesn't seem to be laughing. During an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press this weekend, the Canadian PM said "the idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable."

Photo Credit: YouTube

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  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think that makes more sense than many reasons.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    He should have used the Chewbacca Defense.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    "Wookie" is a Coruscanti street walker slang term. I believe you were thinking of another, only tangentially related word.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Now?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    H. Solo-y being a sugar daddy is as OT as it gets, son.

  • SQRLSY One||

    Would you like to play hooky, and get some nookie with a wookie? And instead of after-diddle mints, maybe some milk and cookies? If so, come and see my bookie!

    (I am hoping NOT to get Reason.com thrown into the same bucket as "Back Page" or Craigslist or sluts.cum and whut have ye).

  • SQRLSY One||

    SQRLSY's got more nuts and sluts than ye can shake yer dick at! Cum on IN, Baby!!!

    (Waiting to get banned, will share jail cell with "Back Page", Craigslist, and sluts.cum... Can I withstand the Gulag Archipelago? Stay tuned for more tomorrow, same batty time, same batty station!)

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    What's this "instead of" bullshit?

  • gormadoc||

    Boy, it's "Wookiee".

  • DarrenM||

    Wouldn't that make more sense than a 2-foot-tall Ewok wanting to live on a planet with a bunch of 8-foot-tall Wookies?

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I'm still personally fond of because they couldn't even get the weed image on their flag right.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Let me just say that I'm kind of sick of winning

  • gormadoc||

    Both of these people are idiots. Can we have a new Border Commission and let them have Oregon in exchange for a cage match between the two?

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    Do you own a map?

  • Darwin's Flinch||

    Can we let them hane gormadoc?

  • gormadoc||

    Things don't need to be contiguous. Look at Alaska. I just like Washington more than Oregon.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    Just give them the UP and be done with it.

  • a tandem||

    Yeah because Obama whining about trade sanctions with Canada over lumber and dairy was Trumps fault?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Nobody is gonna buy the claim that you had sex with a woman.

  • Shirley Knott||

    Reality is quite frankly disgusting and unacceptable.

  • Dillinger||

    >>Trudeau doesn't seem to be laughing

    and?

  • Don't look at me.||

    If tariffs are so ineffective, why is everyone so upset?

  • Old Mexican - Mostly Harmless||

    They're as ineffective as using fire to fix the roof of a house. Now ask again why is everyone so upset.

  • Agammamon||

    Look, the roof isn't leaking anymore, is it?

  • a tandem||

    They work. China caved. The idea that because Trump opening negotiating position wasn't the final outcome, is meaningless. Trump did get concessions oblamer never got.

  • Zeb||

    I think that in this context, "effective" means that they will bring about the intended results, not that it will have some effect on something. They will certainly be effective at throttling the economy and disrupting supply chains if that's what you are going for. And they might be effective at saving or creating a few new jobs in certain narrow sectors.

  • a tandem||

    That is simply not true. All countries threaten sanctions. Are you saying Obama did not? he did. Are you saying Canada has not? It has. So has the EU.

    Trump is not mercantile, he is picking very specific aspects of Canada's government or China's government engaging in trade practices that prior US administrations have also said are against agreements. Trump is being focused and successful and this is upsetting the left.

  • HGW xx/7||

    Here's how they put it, citing information from "sources familiar with the call: "Trudeau pressed Trump on how he could justify the tariffs as a 'national security' issue. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, 'Didn't you guys burn down the White House?'"

    And I present to you the greatest trolling ever dished out by any head of state, ever. I would have paid good money to be in on that call and to see their faces. You know Truml had that wise-ass smirk on his face.

    Just precious. Wow. This our president, folks.

  • Dillinger||

    >>greatest trolling ever dished out by any head of state, ever

    I read it that way

  • Jerryskids||

    How quickly you've forgotten "If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor". And Obama repeated that joke dozens of times and never once cracked a smile.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    During an appearance on NBC's Meet The Press this weekend, the Canadian PM said "the idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly...

    "...a remarkable compliment, really, much more than we could've ever hoped for."

  • Dillinger||

    "always" and "Cup's been in America since 1994" may be counteractive

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    They are technically capable of it in any given year. Just like the Browns are technically capable of winning the super bowl in any given year.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    That's what the TSA is for.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Our Canadians and Russians are superior.

  • Curt||

    "the Canadian PM said "the idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable.""

    An insult to the US... maybe. It sounds like a huge compliment to Canada. We're talking about a country where the closest that they come to having heavy cavalry is a bunch of hosers loaded up on labatt's, riding moose, and swinging hockey sticks.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    First!

    Also, cavalry can still be quite useful under certain modern circumstances.

  • 100% Satisfaction Guaranteed||

    "First"

    You don't seem to understand how that works

    "Also, cavalry can still be quite useful under certain modern circumstances."

    You've got a Wikipedia article with the claims of success uncited, and clearly written by a pole as propaganda, and a story not about cavalry, but some guys riding horses because proper ATV'S were unavailable.

    That's not much of a case. And by that I mean it's no case.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    My initial response to your comment was just going to be to link you to here, but your attempt at Serious Mode is so dumb I'm actually going to line-item you:

    You don't seem to understand how that works

    I said it was a compliment to Canada at 5:36 PM, he said it was a compliment to Canada at 5:38 PM.

    You've got a Wikipedia article with the claims of success uncited

    They are, in fact, cited, but if for some reason those are insufficient for you, feel free to look around. I'm sure if you go enough pages on, you'll eventually find a neo-Nazi site that agrees with you.

    and clearly written by a Pole as propaganda

    Says the guy parroting, with no cites of his own, 70-years-stale fascist propaganda.

    and a story not about cavalry, but some guys riding horses because proper ATVs were unavailable

    Very well, "dragoons", then, if you insist.

    That's not much of a case. And by that I mean it's no case

    Which makes your failure to disprove any of it that much more embarassing.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Also, Northern Alliance troops actually did charge Taliban positions on horseback, using the horses as a way of crossing no man's land faster than they could've on foot, and succeeded in overwhelming entrenched Taliban positions wherever the latter's armor was absent or destroyed by the USAF.

    So even by the prim-and-proper definition of "cavalry" as "people who charge and fight on horseback" as opposed to mounted infantry or dragoons who simply ride to & from the battle, cavalry has actually been effectively deployed in the 21st century, under the exact same circumstances the Poles used it 70 years ago: as a means of overrunning small infantry formations or closing the distance with entrenched troops when flanking or shelling them was impractical, friendly armor was unavailable and enemy armor was (assumed to be) absent.

    Nobody uses cavalry if they have armor available, but sometimes, they don't. A Canadian patriot insurgency against Fasci-Murican occupation in Afghan-type geography could therefore be expected to occasionally make use of the tactic in those circumstances. Albeit with "horses" and "Colt Canada C8s" in place of "moose" and "hockey sticks". Presumably.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    I would also like to note that my misspelling of "embarrassing" is balanced out by 100%SG's misspelling of "ATVs", failure to capitalize "Pole" and absence of a period at the end of his first sentence. Which isn't to say that equivalency is what I was hoping for, but still.

  • Telcontar the Wanderer||

    Also also, ATVs are extremely loud, require much more fuel, and are inferior on extremely broken up or narrow terrain compared to a horse or mule. ATVs are fast, but they're wide, they're unstable, they can't jump, and they can't run on grass.

  • Leo Kovalensky II||

    I think it's spelled Calgary

  • DarrenM||

    You underestimate the impact of a charging herd of moose (mooses?).

  • Z565||

    Someone should ask Trump to explain why he supports reparations for this, but doesn't support reparations for slavery and Jim Crow.

  • HeteroPatriarch||

    No matter how embarrassing Trump is, there's always somebody on the other side happy to out-stupid him.

  • yet another dave||

    How the hell did Trumpelstilskin find out about Zoolanders plan to burn the whitehouse... again... As we speak a fleet of canoes piloted by voyageurs carrying a crack team of hudson bay men is on it's way up the Potomac.... or is it down the Mississippi.... bwahahah

  • Agammamon||

    . . . To the Gulf of Mexico!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    It's finally time to initiate War Plan Red.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    There's a reason I always pack some dude wipes in my fanny pack.

  • Nardz||

    Canadian beer sucks!

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Canadian whiskey sucks!

  • Zeb||

    Crown Royal Northern Rye is excellent.

  • Mickey Rat||

    Yes, they burned the White House and Buffalo. We did burn Toronto (York) first.

  • Dillinger||

    yeah well they shouldn'ta built it so close to Detroit

  • buybuydandavis||

    #FakeNews

    Negotiating trade deals is a "Trade War".

    Reason is such a clown show. "We're All Gonna DIIIIIIEEEEE because a little bird heard Trump say..." It's an algorithm.
    1) Make out of context claims about what Trump said
    2) Claim the world will end because of it
    3) Send resume again to Salon

    Boehm is the designated Trade Clown.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Praise Kek!

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    There you are. Was wondering where you were in the sex robot thread earlier today.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I've been busy making some cake.

  • buybuydandavis||

    #KekLivesMatter

  • Agammamon||

    There are no trade deals being negotiated.

    Only how the government is going to use violence to enrich a politically favored minority at the expense of the rest of us.

  • Zeb||

    What happened to separation of powers? Rule of law? Or maybe you never cared about that. Trump's actions with the tariffs is clearly not what congress intended. There is no national security threat. He's acting outside the law.

  • Jerryskids||

    Trump's okay with joking about the Canadians burning down the White House, I guess that explains why he has no problem joking with the Nazis who bombed Pearl Harbor.

    Give me a minute, it's a work-in-progress, I know I can shoehorn a Nazi reference in here somehow.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Was Hitler on record saying anything about Canada? Or did he just lump them in with the Commonwealth or the U.S.?

  • HGW xx/7||

    Nah. Once he heard Canada referred to as the "Great White North", he was quite conciliatory towards them.

  • damikesc||

    God knows CNN hasn't been wrong on stuff before. I bet they totally got this correct.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    Almost certainly, I always trust unnamed sources concerning what was said during somebody else's phone call.

  • josh||

    Yeah, but do you really think they have the imagination to come up with this gem?

  • damikesc||

    Cuomo argued the press had the right to see Wikileaks but it was illegal for us commoners to do so.

    They are nothing if not creative in their idiocy. Ask Don Lemon about airplanes and black holes...

  • Echospinner||

    Had to go with a classic here.

    Canada?

    http://www.satirewire.com/news/feb02/warship.shtml

    No really they burned the White House. You know 1812. Something happened not sure but Canada was in there somewhere.

  • Tony||

    I would have preferred that life imitated the West Wing instead of South Park, but that's not what real Murcans had in mind.

  • Juice||

    I would have preferred that life imitated the West Wing

    ouch

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Considering this is now the Democratic party platform, you're not far from the truth.

  • Zeb||

    Where is Alan Alda playing a squishy centrist Republican when you need him?

  • Tony||

    Indeed.

  • Longtobefree||

    He was NEVER that good an actor - - - - - -

  • Ken Shultz||

    "At least, that's what CNN is reporting this afternoon. Here's how they put it, citing information from "sources familiar with the call: "Trudeau pressed Trump on how he could justify the tariffs as a 'national security' issue. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, 'Didn't you guys burn down the White House?'"

    Arguments in favor of free trade are soooooooooooo much more persuasive than CNN's broken sarcasm meter; unfortunately, there probably isn't anyone at CNN who believes in free trade.

    So, they're relegated to reporting sarcasm as if it were fact.

    They did the same thing to Reagan. Trump is in good company.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Anybody remember when Trump joked during the debates that if the FBI couldn't find Hillary's missing emails, maybe they should ask the Russians?

    It was a joke at the expense of Hillary's failure to secure her private email server while using it for official State Department business.

    Stupid people still cite it as evidence that Trump was colluding with the Russians.

    Remember when the press went all obsessive trying to decode "covfefe", which was nothing more than a typo? There are still people out there filing FOI requests for anything associated with Operation Covfefe, I'm sure.

    It was a joke, people, and it was a funny one, too.

  • This Machine Chips Fascists||

    I saw a C. Hitchens talk on T. Jefferson where someone asked what TJ might think of the modern world. Hitchens replied he would be appalled that we hadn't conquered Canada yet, that the British still had a footprint on our shores.

  • Echospinner||

    Just the corridor in coastal BC. Easy peasy. We already have the navy ready to go.

  • Juice||

    unpatrolled border

    Where did you get that?

  • Yellow Tony||

    It's either unpatrolled or poorly patrolled because an illegal Canadian immigrant traversed our border and raped his fucking son in Maine.

  • Robert||

    His son was fucking, and then the father made it an involuntary 3some?

  • Agammamon||

    despite our having been allies for the last century,

    The Klingons have a saying, "revenge is a dish best served cold".

  • Ken Shultz||

    What does it say about the mentality of people who are privy to Trudeau's conference calls, the mentality of the people they talk to at CNN, and the mentality of the people who republish CNN's stories?

    1) That they're all eager to believe the worst stories possible about Trump?

    2) That no one in that whole chain is capable of critical thinking when it comes to stories about Trump?

    This is the substance of TDS.

    This is like when Reagan joked about bombing the Russians.

    He was kidding, fer goodness' sake!

    They're making fools of themselves. I don't understand why their bosses are okay with being made to look like fools,, too, but to each their own.

  • Ken Shultz||

    This is how people come to genuinely believe what was in the Pissgate Dossier.

    Jesse Walker should be writing articles on this stuff: "How Silly People Came to Imagine that Trump hit Canada with Tariffs to Avenge Dolly Madison"

    LOL

    Some people are so gullible, it's friggin' amazing.

  • Sevo||

    Wife ended up with a news feed on her computer this afternoon. I was doing some business at my desk when I heard some twit mentioning that Trump's wife accompanied him to FEMA to get a briefing, and then (I swear!) whining that Mrs. Trump costs the taxpayers money and therefore she should have been filing updates regarding her health over the last couple of weeks!
    I can't see wife's desk from mine, but I asked her whether that was a CNN feed. Yep.

  • Ken Shultz||

    They truly are deranged.

    They can only see the world through their warped perspective, and it's presented as if all other views are freakish and absurd.

  • Brett Bellmore||

    But it made watching them on election night 2016 so much fun! Spent that night together with my brother in a bar, and we just loved watching them melt down as the evening went on.

  • Ken Shultz||

    "The Canadian PM said "the idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable."

    So Trudeau has to either capitulate to Trump or hurt the Canadian economy--and either way, he needs to come across to voters as something other than the Pajama Boy image he's had so far.

    Meanwhile, Trump is pushing for tariffs against Canada for the same reason Trudeau is posturing--to appeal to voters.

    Trump won because swing voters in rust belt, swing states thought he would do something about NAFTA and China.

    Well, either that, or it's all about the War of 1812.

    LOL

  • Just Say'n||

    Let's be serious here. This quote was clearly fabricated by Trudeau's people to embarrass Trump.

    There is no way Trump knew anything about the War of 1812 or possibly that there ever was such a thing as the War of 1812. We're actually suppose to believe that Trump knew anything about history that happened before the 1970's?

    It was fun watching smarmy news reporters on Twitter trying to do a snarky fact check on Trump's statement by saying "Actually we fought the British in the War of 1812".

  • Ken Shultz||

    I knew the story of Dolley Madison saving the painting of Washington when I was a little kid. It's like the story of Washington chopping down a cherry tree and getting in trouble for it from his father. Everybody above a certain age knows that story.

    Watching smarmy news reporters split hairs between Canada and the British circa 1812 is funny, but they better be careful or they can easily anger French-Canadians, First Nations, the Inuit, the Metis, . . .

    I don't know, maybe so long as you're going after Trump, it's all okay.

  • josh||

    He lives in the WH. I don't find it hard to believe that an employee pointed out the part of the building that still shows damage (it's my understanding they kept a small piece in place for history), and he just got it confused in his head.

  • DenverJ||

    "the idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable."
    Unacceptable? Ha! What are you going to do? Burn the White House?

  • Yellow Tony||

    Burn? The implications are too broad. Here's a specific and plausible example.

    Part I

    Trudeau orders some of his most elite troops, the Seal Clubbers, to clandestinely drip wax from a burning candle onto the White House's naughty sandstone. Their boners at full mast, the Seal Clubbers then sensually drain the milk from their bags onto those dirty, dirty windows. Then, taking the pelts from the nemeses they beat and trash, they smear the formally bagged milk against the glass. At this point, these men are panting and rocking their hips back and forth; they need to finish the job.

    They drop their fur pants revealing a noticeable absence of underwear and thus showcasing their proud Canadian penises. The men bend downwards as their pine-scented cocks point upwards and prepare for their final act; however, one of the men gasped. He told his compatriots that they need to apply their lubricant before sexually inserting their meal rods into their target. His comrades nodded in agreement and momentarily closed their eyes in shame for nearly forgetting to properly consummate their task like true Canadians. Thus they all remove their maple syrup bottles from their coats, and drizzle their country's pride onto their fleshy yet ostensibly bony poles. Now they're ready.

  • Yellow Tony||

    Part II

    Each man grabbed their manly pride and thrusted against the White House's exterior walls. Their veiny Canadian baby-makers squished against the white stone, leaving bloody and sticky imprints with each thrust. While one would think these men would be in great pain, they were too mesmerized by their patriotism to care about some mere missing skin.

  • Yellow Tony||

    Part III

    Eventually each man finished up, their dicks hardly recognizable as human penises, and clumps of semen and smegma pooling together with the maple syrup and blood in a cocktail that could be only found on the White House's wall. Before pulling up their trousers, each proud Canadian man sucked the other's male equipment in an act of brotherly cleaning. But in the midst of this cordial act, the Secret Service members and policemen intruded with lights and weaponry aimed directly at the poor, just souls. Upon discovery of the Seal Clubber's patriotic zeal covering the walls and penises, the guards merely shook their heads. One man exclaimed that this situation justifies building a wall on the United State's northern border instead of on the southern border; he went further in saying that a moat is also needed to confine these "freaks." In the end, the Seal Clubbers were arrested and deported back to their homeland. In response to this incident, the authorities said that no repercussions were possible as the Canadian people's ways cannot be corrected just as a dolphin's natural desire to rape cannot be suppressed.

  • Sevo||

    Uh, OK.

  • SQRLSY One||

    "Upon discovery of the Seal Clubber's patriotic zeal covering the walls ..."

    PLEASE tell me that these exquisite works of art were transported, at NEA / USA taxpayer expense, to the nearest art museum, where they are still proudly displayed today?! WHERE can I go and see them???

  • ||

    Be very wary. We Canadians aren't nice to look at when we're angry.

    We're libel to....to.....kick a pebble.

    In all seriousness, sounds like he was kidding.

    As for the national security threat, ha ha. I mean, seriously, ha ha.

  • Sevo||

    "As for the national security threat, ha ha. I mean, seriously, ha ha."

    Somewhat echoing Ken above: Ha ha!
    Some dimbulb TDS victim overheard that (or perhaps imagined she did) and CNN ran with it. Fox got slammed for running a vid of a prayer meeting, but it's a slam-dunk that CNN isn't about to eat this one

  • xsommer||

    It seems there are Canadians who have stated with pride that it was Canada who burned down the Whitehouse too, something about the British troops that did it being from Nova Scotia or New Brunswick or some such? Here they are making the claim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aue-zWxYtEc

  • Homple||

    The literal-minded aspie who wrote this article can't grasp the concept of what normal people refer to as a "joke".

  • Tony||

    Well you are in the aspie hive mind central core.

  • Mark22||

    Actually, even weirder, he can apparently grasp it ("Trump quipped") and then immediately forget that he said that and go on as if it had been a serious statement.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I don't know which is worse:

    People trying to gaslight everyone here by insisting that it was a joke and that everyone who disagrees is crazy and deranged; or

    People who sincerely believe that it was a joke, because they have staked their self-worth in defending a man like Trump who truly isn't worth it

  • Homple||

    It's what's called a "joke" or "wisecrack".

  • Mark22||

    You mean like CNN and the author himself:

    Here's how they put it, citing information from "sources familiar with the call: "Trudeau pressed Trump on how he could justify the tariffs as a 'national security' issue. In response, Trump quipped to Trudeau, 'Didn't you guys burn down the White House?'"

    You're trying to gaslight us. Stop it.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Fine I didn't actually see the "quipped" part. But even you have to admit that the line sounds believable enough as coming from Trump even not taken as a joke.

  • Cyto||

    Your entire point was that people who are arguing that it was a joke are lunatic Trumpistas who's self-worth is tied to defending Trump and therefore they are pretending or delusional enough to believe that this was a joke.

    This when the original source says it was a joke.

    And then when that fact is pointed out you double-down and say that one has to admit that it sounds like something Trump would say.

    Talk about projection.

  • SusanM||

    I'm sure some Brits are up for a rematch

    https://youtu.be/TU9MqT9ZZYA?t=51

  • Mark22||

    Sadly, "because you burned the White House" might be the best argument Trump has for tariffs.

    No, it's a way of saying "stop asking stupid questions, I have explained this at length".

    But as I've written before, this is nonsense. Any scenario where Canada restricts aluminum exports to weaken U.S. national security occurs in a world where Washington has much bigger problems than domestic aluminum capacity.

    You seem to think that restating a conclusion vigorously and repeatedly amounts to an actual rational argument; it does not.

  • Cyto||

    On the "national security" argument, I can't tell if the vast bulk of Reason writers and commenters are completely ignorant on this topic, or just ignoring it for the LULZ, but I'm gonna mansplain it anyway:

    Every country in the world views native production of basic necessities as a national security issue. That's why Japan has such defensive tariffs around rice. That's why Europe is so protective of their food production with ridiculous regulation and tariffs designed to prop up native food producers.

    And that's why the EU, Japan, India, China, etc. have their own defense and space industries, subsidized and defended by their governments.

    Production of metals has been a basic need for centuries. Many wars have been fought over access to minerals needed for production.

    Today basic needs for "national security" include semiconductor production, computer programming, telecommunications, satellite imaging, composites, ceramics, robotics, etc. in addition to traditional areas like metallurgy, farming, shipbuilding, rocketry, nuclear production...

    Everyone hopes that peace is permanent and these concerns are becoming things of the past. But pretending that it is some silly canard is just plain stupid. Most of the wars that have ever been fought have been over these issues at the root of it.

  • Zeb||

    And the US has the resources and knowledge to do all of those things. It's not as if we will all of a sudden find ourselves without any way to get steel. If a major war did break out, production could ramp up pretty quickly. I don't buy it being a legitimate national security issue. If he wants these tariffs, get congress to pass them.

  • Cyto||

    That certainly is an argument. But you can't pretend like "steel production is a national security issue" is out of left field.

    Beyond that... I don't think you can ramp up steel production from zero to industrially relevant for national security in anything resembling "pretty quickly". Years would be quick.

    I'm not pretending to be personally isolationist on this issue... but it is just plain stupid to pretend that inserting national security into these arguments is out of left field. It just plain isn't. In fact, that has been the central argument worldwide for essentially all time when it comes to protectionism.

  • Agammamon||

    Except that you can.

    Just like we did in WW2. Just like Europe did - rebuilding factories immediately after they're bombed to shit so fast that it basically made strategic bombing pointless so everyone started targeting civilians.

  • Cyto||

    We didn't build a steel industry de novo in WWII. We repurposed a large industrial base from building tractors and cars toward building tanks and planes and other weapons.

    Precision bombing wasn't a thing in 1943. Reliably hitting things smaller than a neighborhood was almost impossible... hitting a sector of a city was even reasonably difficult. Things like steel foundries were always valuable targets. Hitting them hard enough to render them unusable was the tough trick. A weapons factory would be much tougher to target successfully, since that could be relocated relatively easily.

    The turn toward targeting cities like Dresden was controversial even at the time, with Churchill being concerned that sorties not be diverted from targeting the means of production. The books I've read seem to point toward increasing pressure on the populous in order to force Hitler to sue for peace as the Soviets closed in.

    And it took a good decade and over 100 billion dollars in aid from the US (in today's dollars) to get German industry on its feet.

    None of which suggests that the US would be able to conjure up a steel, aluminum and titanium industry in a timely manner should a rival world power launch an all-out attack.

    That being said.... I'm not on Trump's side in this at all. I'm just pointing out that his position is well within the world's mainstream view for the last... well, forever. Things like NAFTA and the EU are really recent innovations.

  • Sevo||

    Agammamon|6.7.18 @ 1:09PM|#
    "Except that you can."

    Yes, you certainly can make that argument:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_
    countries_by_steel_production

    (2nd try - skwerrls?)

  • Agammamon||

    Today basic needs for "national security" include semiconductor production, computer programming, telecommunications, satellite imaging, composites, ceramics, robotics, etc. in addition to traditional areas like metallurgy, farming, shipbuilding, rocketry, nuclear production...

    Then explain why we're not slaves to China already since they have a de-facto monopoly on rare earths mining?

  • Cyto||

    That doesn't even make a tiny bit of sense as a rejoinder.

    The point is that every nation on earth views these things as national security issues. Not that failing to have a domestic supply of molybdenum means you should immediately surrender and become the chattel of those who do.

  • DarrenM||

    While there may be national security concerns that justify tariffs, you can safely bet that those tariffs will get sorely abused and will end up being used more to protect industries that donate sufficiently to incumbents.

  • VinniUSMC||

    the Canadian PM said "the idea that we are somehow a national security threat to the United States is quite frankly insulting and unacceptable."

    It is, but probably not for the reasons he thinks.

    "Mounties, attack!"

    I'm sure there's a maple syrup joke to be made.

  • Agammamon||

    I'm sorry John. When they get that maple syrup in them they get all antsy in the pantsy.

  • John Thacker||

    And it wasn't carried out by Canadians because, well, Canada did not become an independent nation until 1867—or 53 years after the White House burned.

    Pretty clearly wrong, since Canada definitely claims it (and had troops involved, and saw it as revenge for the US invading and burning York/Toronto as part of the war.) PM Stephen Harper even had some celebrations of the War of 1812's bicentennial as a Canadian victory back in 2012.

  • crufus||

    Maybe Prime Minister Trudeau could promise President Trump that they won't burn the White House again.

  • DarrenM||

    Trudeau probably didn't want to commit himself.

  • Seamus||

    Canada may not have been an independent nation at the time of the War of 1812, but the Canadians are still inordinately proud of having beaten us when we tried to conquer them. They're especially proud of Laura Secord's role in warning the redcoats that "The Yanks are coming!"

    (And while it wasn't the Canadians who burned Washington, the British sailors who did it were taking revenge for the burning of York (now Toronto), by an undisciplined bunch of American soldiers. So maybe it's the Canadian who should worry about the Americans as a threat to their national security.)

  • Anna Demo||

    All Canadians were British (subjects) until July 1, 1867, Canadian Independence Day, when Canada became the Dominion of Canada. And the fleet that sacked DC sailed out of Halifax. There likely were "Canadians" aboard. So President Trump was right but it was a joke.......

  • MikeP2||

    Apparently it was a unit from Nova Scotia that claimed responsibility for burning the White House. Trump is not entirely wrong.

    What we don't know is...
    Was Trump intentionally twisting it to dig at Trudeau....or childishly confused.

    Everyone likes to thing the latter, but as his trolling seems to be surprisingly effective on many fronts, the former may be more accurate.

  • MikeP2||

    Too many here at Reason are utterly ignorant of both history and manufacturing.

    History pretty clearly teaches that we are in a peaceful, gilded age that is quite abnormal from what has passed before. Either things are truly different this time around, or it will cycle back to war and conflict.

    If the latter, then history also teaches us that victory and success is entirely related to a country's resource pool and proper management of it, including people, skills, commodities and infrastructure. The Romans didn't build roads for fun. The US didn't build a national highway system for cross-country vacationers.

    Manufacturing is infrastructure. Modern manufacturing requires high level skill sets, equipment, and resources. It is impossible to quickly restart an industry, certainly not within the timeframe of a war.

    Allowing key manufacturing to globalize outside of national control is historically ignorant.

  • MatthewMannn||

    As a professional historical writer, I want to say, that after so many yars we must forgive another and should be forgiven. Every time when someone from https://mcessay.com/ hires me to write an essay, they asked me to be softer in historical questions.

  • DarrenM||

    Any normal person would have to believe that was a joke, unless there if good evidence otherwise. Just basing any criticism on "Trump said it" says more about the critic than Trump.

  • rocks||

    Note to Reasons

    Even if that was Trump's response, which is entirely unverified btw, it still does not support your bullsh*t title or article.

    You morons are becoming as much fake news as CNN is.

  • Anna Demo||

    It was simultaneously a brilliant joke and effective put-down of Little Lord Trudeau. President Trump wins that round.

  • gphx||

    The US was banned from selling beef in China from 2003 until 2017 when the ban was lifted under the Trump admin's 'U.S.-China 100-Day Action Plan'.

    Canada has a 270% tariff on sales of US dairy.

    When Trump suggested such imbalances be corrected or the US could initiate tariffs of its own the media instantly proclaimed him to be a hostile embarrassment to the nation on the world stage.

    People love to shoot the messenger but Trump is following through with and delivering on campaign promises. This is what winning looks like.

  • Longtobefree||

    Dear God, not another Reason citation of CNN!
    I don't know which is worse, the citation, or 145 comments on the madness.

    Errata:
    1. It was Port Dover in Canada that was destroyed by Americans, not all the other cities named above.
    From Sir George Prévost, Governor General of The Canadas to Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cochrane:
    … in consequence of the late disgraceful conduct of the American troops in the wanton destruction of private property on the north shores of Lake Erie, in order that if the war with the United States continues you may, should you judge it advisable, assist in inflicting that measure of retaliation which shall deter the enemy from a repetition of similar outrages.
    2. Those Canadian troops assumed to be along would have to been members of the following British units involved in the raid: General Ross commanded a 4,500-man army, composed of the 4th (King's Own) Light, 21st Royal North British Fusiliers, 44th (East Essex) Regiment of Foot, and 85th Regiment of Foot.

  • a tandem||

    Trudeau made an idiotic and insulting comment. Trade does include a national security consideration.

    You have people on the left saying "Mexico is an ally" because of a trade agreement. so the US left and some libertarians here as well say it IS a security issue.

    so Trump just shut Trudeau's insult down.

    And ALL countries with any juice threaten sanctions. Obama did. France has, Canada has. The EU.has, in fact it has trade sanctions against and tariffs targeting China right now.

    Trump is not mercantile, he is picking very specific aspects of Canada's government or China's government engaging in trade practices that prior US administrations have also said are against agreements. Trump is being focused and successful and this is upsetting the left.

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