《华盛顿邮报》评贸易战:特朗普是扭曲的天才 拥有惊人的无知

The thing to keep in mind about President Trump, as he thrashes around like a weak swimmer in a strong current, is that he has no idea what he’s doing. None. Not a clue.

关于特朗普总统,你要记住的是,当他像一名虚弱的游泳者在激流中挣扎时,他不知道自己在做什么。一点也不知道。一点线索也没有。

I know that he can be clever politically, in a tactical sense. I know that his lies are often both deliberate and effective. I know that his utter shamelessness can sometimes come off as some kind of warped genius. But the only thing that’s profound about Trump is the truly spectacular depth of his ignorance.

我知道他在政治上很聪明,在战术上也很聪明。我知道他的谎言常常是有意而为之的。我知道他的无耻有时会让人觉得他是某种扭曲的天才。但特朗普唯一深刻的地方是他真正惊人的无知。

The president’s decision last week to unilaterally boost tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports produced an entirely predictable response — retaliatory tariffs from Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. products, a freakout by the financial markets and a screaming plunge in the Dow and other major indexes.

就在上周,总统单方面提高2000亿美元中国进口商品关税的决定,引发了完全可以预料的反应,北京方面对价值600亿美元的美国产品征收报复性关税,随后,金融市场大为恐慌,道琼斯指数和其他主要股指大幅下跌。

The administration’s trade talks with China had reportedly been going well and were supposed to be nearing an end. Trump accused the Chinese of trying to renege on concessions at the last minute, but the president’s history suggests otherwise. Veterans of the high-stakes world of New York real estate have told me about what they described as Trump’s standard negotiating practice — pitching some kind of fit at the very last minute, when the other party thought things were settled, in hopes of bullying his way to a better deal.

据报道,特朗普政府与中国的贸易谈判一直进展顺利,而且本应接近尾声。但特朗普却突然指责中国在最后一刻试图违背承诺,然而,从这位总统的历史来看,事实并非如此。纽约房地产已经告诉我关于所谓的特朗普的标准谈判,那就是当另一方认为事情是要解决了的时候,他会在最后一刻推出某种条件,希望欺负对方,以此来获得一个更好的交易。

That might work with a subcontractor who doesn’t have the power to say no, or even with a fellow developer who vows on the spot never to do business with Trump again. But would any skilled negotiator think such a stunt would work with China, the world’s second-greatest economic power? Wouldn’t the Chinese government have to react in kind? And wouldn’t startled investors conclude that their fear of a serious trade war — the kind with no winners, only losers — had been realized?

这可能适用于无权拒绝的分包商,甚至可能适用于当场发誓再也不与特朗普做生意的开发商。但是,有哪位有经验的谈判者会认为这样的噱头会对世界第二大经济强国中国奏效呢?难道中国政府不会做出同样的反应吗?难道投资者不会惊讶地得出这样的结论:他们对一场严重贸易战的担忧,即没有赢家,只有输家的担忧已经实现了吗?

I assume Trump realizes that China isn’t really “paying” the tariffs and that the cost is in fact borne by U.S. consumers, who will pay higher prices for made-in-China goods. Either the president constantly lies about this on his Twitter feed, hoping to fool the gullible, or he’s even more clueless about trade than I imagined.

我猜,特朗普意识到,中国并没有真正“支付”关税,而这些成本实际上是由美国消费者承担的,他们将为中国制造的商品支付更高的价格。因此,要么就是总统不断在他的推特上撒谎,希望愚弄那些容易上当受骗的人,要么就是他对贸易的无知比我想象的还要严重。

Here are a few confident predictions: In the end, Trump will have succeeded only in further spooking the skittish financial markets. If there is a U.S.-China deal, it will be no more favorable — perhaps less favorable, I fear — than the deal Trump could have gotten before his little power play. And if there’s not a deal, well, the president will spend the summer trying to badger the Federal Reserve into cutting interest rates in an attempt to keep the economy from sliding into recession.

以下是一些充满信心的预测:最终,特朗普只会成功地进一步惊吓到动荡不安的金融市场。而且就算是达成了一项中美协议,这恐怕也不会比特朗普在玩弄他小小的权力游戏之前能够有多少让人满意的地方,我担心,可能会更不好一些。如果没有达成协议,那么总统将在夏季试图敦促美联储降息,以防止经济落入衰退。

Meanwhile, Trump will scramble to ease the pain he is causing his red-state supporters to suffer. He said Monday he would somehow channel billions of dollars in what amount to welfare payments to farmers whose livelihood depends on selling soybeans and other products to China. This is typical Trump — make a mess, then try to clean it up. It is no way to run a mom-and-pop store, let alone a great nation.

与此同时,特朗普想要竭力减轻他给自己的忠实支持者带来的痛苦。他在周一时承诺,他将以某种方式向那些靠向中国出售大豆和其他产品为生的农民提供数十亿美元的福利。这是典型的特朗普——把事情弄得一团糟,然后努力把它收拾干净。从根本上来说,这种方式,连经营一家夫妻店都不可能,更不用说一个伟大的国家了。

It was Jeb Bush who warned that Trump would be “a chaos president,” and he was right. Alas for the world, the administration’s willy-nilly approach extends beyond trade policy.

杰布•布什曾警告称,特朗普将是一位“混乱的总统”,他是对的。对世界而言,令人遗憾的是,特朗普政府的任性做法已超出了贸易政策的范畴。

One of Trump’s most significant foreign-policy decisions was to withdraw last year from the nuclear deal that the Obama administration had reached with Iran — even though the Trump administration acknowledged that the Iranians had been faithful to the agreement. Iran and other signatories are still observing the 2015 deal’s terms, yet Trump has steadily increased U.S. pressure on the Iranian economy. But to what end?

特朗普最重要的外交政策决定之一是去年退出奥巴马政府与伊朗达成的核协议,尽管特朗普政府承认伊朗一直信守协议。而且伊朗和其他签署国此前仍在遵守2015年协议的条款,但特朗普却稳步加大了美国对伊朗经济的压力。目的何在?

Predictably, Tehran is bristling. As tensions rise, world leaders have become concerned that the United States and Iran could bluster and blunder their way into armed hostilities.

不出所料,德黑兰已经怒不可遏。随着紧张局势的升级,世界各国领导人开始担心,美国和伊朗可能会以咆哮和失策的方式陷入武装敌对状态。

No one can have any confidence that this administration has thought out a step-by-step plan for anything. Look at the situation in Venezuela. There, the administration took a page from the Obama playbook — multilateralism — and assembled an impressive coalition of nations to demand President Nicolás Maduro’s ouster. But the effort to depose Maduro has failed, and he retains the support of the powerful military. Now what?

没有人有信心相信,本届政府已经为任何事情制定了一个循序渐进的计划。看看委内瑞拉的情况。在那里,特朗普政府借鉴了奥巴马的策略,即多边主义,同时还组建了一个令人印象深刻的国家联盟,要求总统尼古拉斯•马杜罗下台。但是推翻马杜罗的努力失败了,他仍然得到强大军队的支持。现在怎么办呢?

There are many fitting words to describe the Trump administration. One of the simplest is “dumb.”

有很多合适的词可以形容特朗普政府。其中最简单的一个就是“无语”。

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