The first guest was Peter Navarro, who is the White House Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy. Navarro's goal today was to convince us that president Trump's surprise announcement of tariffs - 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum -- was a great idea, good for the president, good for our steel and aluminum workers, and #MAGA.
Navarro said the tariffs would go into effect next week, maybe the week after, once the White House lawyers get all their ducks in a row. Tapper played some video of the president blaming China for overproduction and saying that needed to be addressed, and then he reminded Navarro that China doesn't make the top ten steel importers into the US. Here's how Navarro responded:
So, the bigger picture is that China has tremendous overcapacity in both aluminum and steel. And so what they do is, they flood the world market with this product. And that ripples down to our shores and to other countries. So China is, in many ways, the root of the problem in both aluminum and steel for all countries of the world.
But let's be clear here about what the president's doing. Let's lay this on the table. This is an action, basically, to protect our national security and economic security. And the president was quite clear. We can't have a country that can defend itself and prosper without an aluminum and steel industry.Silly me - I thought we couldn't be a country without a border wall, and without getting rid of chain migration and stuff. I was wrong, I guess.
Tapper reminded Navarro, speaking of national security, that the Pentagon was not in favor of what Trump did.
The Pentagon wrote a memo about the tariff, saying, indeed the unfair steel practices do create a national security problem. But the Pentagon also said that the US should use targeted tariffs and avoid angering allies who are needed for other diplomatic national security reasons, such as Canada, such as South Korea. If you are invoking the national security exemption, should you not also be listening to the Pentagon on how to apply these tariffs?Navarro's answer was reminiscent of Trump's "I alone can fix it" comment.
What I love about this president is, he listens to all points of view, both within his government and outside, and then he makes the tough decisions.Which includes ignoring the Pentagon.
Also on the show was Ohio Governor John Kasich, who is considered a potential challenger to Trump in 2020. Tapper talked to him about the president's trade tariffs (Kasich is not a fan) and the president's 'gun control without due process' plan; Kasich is again not a fan. Rather, what he's trying in Ohio is a restraining order, which comes with due process.
In terms of our gun retraining order, it means, if you have somebody in the family who sees trouble in the family, they have an ability, either go to law enforcement or the court in order to get those guns out of that person who's having a very difficult time, get the guns away from them. If you're a neighbor or somebody outside, you can go to a police officer who can investigate and then go to the judge. There's got to be speed in this, because we don't want people who are emotionally - you know, emotionally in upheaval, who could pose a threat either to themselves or to somebody else, to be in a position where they can have a gun.Kasich also noted that the agenda changes, quickly.
And by the way, have we forgotten the Dreamers, the DACA, the young people who came here? They're not even in the news anymore. And I don't - I can't believe Congress is -- Congress has got to do something on guns.
And you know what? I think the president will sign something. If he doesn't, send it to him anyway. I mean, the deal is that you don't ask permission. You legislate; you get it to the president, you see what he does.
I believe he will sign some really good, strong, common sense gun legislation. Send him the Dreamers. We can't be taking these kids that have been -- or young people who have been here, some of them for 20 years, and ship them out of the country for political reasons.Tapper also asked Kasich about 2020, and whether someone should challenge Trump, even if it's not Kasich who does it. .
Well, come on Jake. We don't know what's going to happen next week. That's not -- you know, all I'm doing is making sure that, both now and when I'm out, that I can have a voice that can help the country, that can bring it together. That's all I'm particularly interested in at this point. And if I go any further than that, Jake, I won't be able to get in my house tonight. My wife will have it barricaded.
So, I'm not going there....And, listening to the entire exchange between Kasich and Tapper, I was reminded why I liked Kasich more than any of the rest of the Republicans. First, he's reasonable, and second, he has a great sense of humor and hes not afraid to use it - which is something we could use a whole lot more of in DC.
See you around campus.