John Oliver calls out flaws in Donald Trump's trade war

George Back
Producer, Yahoo Entertainment

President Trump believes that “tariffs are the greatest!” and tweets about them quite a lot. But on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, the host pointed out that, like many things, the president may not fully understand how they work.

Trump’s imposition of tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods has resulted in trade wars with both allies and foes. “Everyone knows he doesn’t know a lot of things, but occasionally it’s important to remember that he also doesn’t know anything,” Oliver said.

He referred to Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs, which could generate about 26,000 new jobs in the U.S., which is great. But the increase in costs to companies could also result in the loss of over 400,000 American jobs, which is bad.

“If Trump’s trying to create jobs, almost anything would be a better idea than tariffs,” Oliver said. “He’d be better off dressing a turtle up like David Bowie and throwing him into a pool full of milk. Will that create jobs? No. But it won’t actively lose hundreds of thousands of them.”

Oliver’s concern for the president’s lack of understanding of how tariffs affect the economy led him to make an animated tutorial, with the hope that Trump will watch and learn. In the video, Uncle Sam throws a tariff boomerang at China, but it comes back to hit Sam’s groin. A narrator explains, “If you think you can use tariffs as a weapon, you should understand a tariff isn’t something other countries pay you, it is a tax you are forcing your own people to pay, which might end up hurting them a lot less than it hurts you.”

Last Week Tonight With John Oliver airs Sundays at 11 p.m. on HBO.

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