What: The only way to explain Trump’s potentially disastrous trade policies back to him that has any chance of getting through at all.
Who: John Oliver and the team at Last Week Tonight.
Why we care: “Trade wars are good and easy to win,” is something the actual President of the United States actually tweeted before plunging the country into a regrettable, unnecessary trade war that it is so far losing bigly. At the start of the year, the U.S. faced tariffs on just 18 products total. At this point, however, after all of Trumps bluster and the tariffs he’s imposed, the U.S. is now looking at tariffs on over 10,000 products. So far, agriculture workers are feeling the impact the most, causing the Trump administration to revive a Great Depression-era program, the Commodity Credit Corporation, to pay the suffering farmers $12 billion. This move does not exactly gel with Trump’s promise that America is going to get so sick and tired of winning.
Because sometimes (read: all of the times) it seems as though Trump may not know exactly what he’s talking about with regards to trade, John Oliver has taken it upon himself to educate him. On the most recent episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver examines the work of White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, whom Jared Kushner apparently found by searching on Amazon. (Well done, Ace!) The man who has Trump’s full attention on trade is apparently responsible for the documentary Death by China, a bonkers piece of propaganda that makes its case using disaster movie cliches. After dismantling Navarro’s hollow arguments piece by piece, Oliver offers a counterargument about the realities of trade using the same stilted visual language as Death by China. Although this video will, unfortunately, be lost on the person who needs it the most, it’s a typically cogent and funny info-blast from the Last Week Tonight team.
Watch the full segment below, but if you want to skip right to the disaster doc parody, skip to 19:42.