The only person more preoccupied with China than Michael Scott is none other than Donald J. Trump, the former Celebrity Apprentice host turned presumptive Republican nominee for president.
At a campaign rally in Lawrenceville, New Jersey, last week, Trump lauded Garden State “wiseguys” while paying tribute to his boy Friday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. But Trump’s harshest words were reserved for his frenemy, China: the country he appears to loathe, though it finances his Trump Tower in—you guessed it—New Jersey in exchange for fast-tracked visas and makes his Trump-branded suits and ties.
Tough-talkin’ Trump criticized America’s trade deficit with China at the Jersey event, exclaiming that in King Donald’s America, “Every unit you make that you sell into the United States, you’re going to pay a 35 percent tax. Thirty-five, very simple. We’re losing our shirts, folks!”
Cue The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, who took issue with Trump’s claim on his program Monday night.
“We’re losing our shirts, folks! We’re losing our shirts to these foreign countries, and no one knows that better than Donald Trump, whose brand of shirts is manufactured in China,” said Noah. “So if you want American-made Trump clothing, you’ll basically have to wear a bunch of his steaks. It makes more sense than eating them.”
Noah, who also mocked Trump and his newfound pal Christie for their bizarrely chummy relationship—which the comedian insinuated came about to help wipe out Christie’s campaign debt—explained to his audience that Trump’s proposed 35 percent tax will have a major effect on American consumers, who will be forced to pay higher prices for goods.
“When Donald Trump says, ‘You’re going to pay a 35 percent tax,’ he means you—the American consumer,” said Noah. “That’s who ends up paying a tariff. When everything from those countries is suddenly one-third more expensive, Trump is basically putting economic sanctions on America. You know, sanctions—the same things the U.S. uses to cripple other countries? That’s basically Trump’s economic recovery plan, a plan that could actually deepen the trade imbalance, sink the U.S. into recession within a year, and lead to a trade war with China and Mexico.”
Cut to Trump, who at the Jersey event shouted, “These dummies say, oh, that’s a trade war! We’re losing $500 billion in trade with China! Who the hell cares if there’s a trade war?! It’s crazy!”
Well, according to The Washington Post, if the U.S. launched a trade war with China and Mexico: “Up to 4 million American workers would lose their jobs. Another 3 million jobs would not be created that otherwise would have been, had the country not fallen into a trade-induced downturn.”
Noah, naturally, is incensed by Trump’s plan. “No, you’re fucking crazy! How is this guy a presidential candidate?!” he exclaimed. “I know maybe you don’t care, Donald Trump, but you know who would care? The 4 million Americans that would stand to lose their jobs if a trade war happened. There is no war with China you can say you don’t care about.”