United States

Jan 29, 2018

Turnbull needs to take on Trump’s Make America Cheap Again silliness

Donald Trump's protectionism is doing real damage to our exporters -- something Malcolm Turnbull needs to raise with the Americans.

Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane

Crikey business and media commentator / Politics editor

When Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull goes to Washington this week to demonstrate his doe-eyed fascination with Donald Trump, we'll doubtless hear a lot about those tax cuts that are being funnelled into share buybacks (if you listen to CEOs and analysts) or creating trillions in investment and jobs (if you believe the Financial Review). But there's a major issue that needs to be at the top of Turnbull's agenda, even if he won't discuss it publicly. 

Apart from Trump's protectionist stupidity, which is risking a global trade war, one of the few clear policies of his chaotic administration is to cheapen the US dollar. And that is going to hurt the Australian economy, making the job of the Reserve Bank and Turnbull’s own government that much harder in the coming year. At the Davos circlejerk last week, US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin touched off a currency firestorm when he said:

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10 thoughts on “Turnbull needs to take on Trump’s Make America Cheap Again silliness

  1. Dog's Breakfast

    Sort of makes a mockery of the value of trade liberalisation and the TPPIPIIII (whatevs!) if the value we supposedly get out of the deals has all the substance of a ghost when the currency is talked down.

  2. Venise Alstergren

    “orange thatch of Trump,” I have a feeling that during the American civil war the south, stripped of proper dye for uniforms, had to resort to a weird colour called butternut. Accordingly, I’ve imagined Donald Trump to be expressing-in a non verbal way- his support and affection for the deep south of that troubled era. “”I wish I was in Dixie, hooray.”” Or some such.

  3. PaulaM

    Re your leading comment – The dollar isn’t going anywhere good as long as we keep TOWING Trump’s line. – Should be ‘Toeing” as in ‘toe the line’:
    “accept the authority, policies, or principles of a particular group, especially unwillingly.” Derived from athletes putting their toes on the line when lining up for a race.

    1. rhwombat

      Another tradition has it that the line “toed” was a deck plank – by (barefoot) ratings on 18C Royal Navy warships. The devil in term “between the devil and the deep blue sea”, refers to the difficulty in caulking (waterproofing) the edge plank of the deck of a wooden ship.

  4. Justin Thyme

    The US empire is declining and the China empire is expanding. All the rest is minor detail.

  5. bushby jane

    Turnbull is forever reminding us how terribly clever he is; if so, he tells a lot of lies, as he could not possibly believe what comes out of his mouth.

  6. zut alors

    With every article read re the TPP I become more clueless in grasping why we are entertaining this dud deal.

  7. AR

    I doubt that any info penetrated the Orange Ogre’s expensive thatch, he simply repeated what the last person said to him, presumably someone with a firmer grasp than the Munchkin.
    The country with who we have had the largest longest standing trade deficit since WWII is the US – we have a trade surplus with our largest trading partner, China and, given the accelerating decline of the Benighted States, it might be a good idea to eschew further entanglement with the dying behemoth.
    Its death throes will be damaging enough without our being tied to its rotting, gangrenous carcass.

  8. klewso

    “If Turnbull is in Washington to represent Australia’s interests…”? I like that. Which ones, his major sponsor’s or ours?
    …. And it’s hard to imagine anything penetrating Thetan’s thatch.

  9. Graeski

    The U.S.A is the sick man of the world.

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