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It is very clear that President Trump feels the automobile industry is the best indicator of whether jobs are growing in America. During the campaign and during his early days in office, he has beaten up some of the automobile manufacturers over the head for what he says is, 'Moving those jobs out of America and overseas." To be fair, the President acknowledges that he does not read very much and television is his primary source of briefing. I have found television commentary, except for maybe PBS, on both sides, is often wrong, and generally lacking in depth.

So, on his critical first trip overseas, the President singled out Germany for a stinging attack on their revered car makers for building their cars off U.S. soil. As no less pro- business than The Wall Street Journal points out, the President got his facts wrong (again). Here is what the journal said:

'BMW produced 400,000 cars in South Carolina, and it {Germany] was largest automobile exporter in the U.S. A total of 8,800 Americans are employed in that plant. Mercedes produced 300,000 in Alabama. All foreign auto makers produced 5.5 million cars in America last year. Trump's fixation on the $15.4 Billion automobile trade deficit is meaningless because the automobiles are made up of a zillion parts, which are made by contractors all over the planet, based on the best quality and price."

Wall Street Journal, May 27, 2017

My guess is when Mr. Trump reads this Commentary, he will say, "Let's make the German car makers require all their zillions of contractors to relocate to America." I cannot even imagine the cost and quality of those cars and resulting layoffs in South Carolina, Alabama, and other U.S. plants.

President Trump prides himself as a tough guy. I think everyone gets that. But what we really need now more than ever is a smart guy as President. Perhaps reading a little would be helpful, Mr. President. Seriously.


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