Brow Beat

John Oliver Compares Trade to Sex, Because Both Are Worse With Trump Involved

If you don’t know much about trade and talk of tariffs makes your head spin, fear not, because you still might know more than the president of the United States, at least according to Last Week Tonight. While Trump believes (or says he believes) that new tariffs imposed by his administration mean other countries “will pay us vast sums of money,” John Oliver points out that the financial burden of tariffs usually falls on importers and consumers instead—hence the administration’s $12 billion bailout for American soybean farmers, who would otherwise be casualties in Donald Trump’s trade war with China.

The fundamental problem with Trump’s approach to trade, argues Oliver, is that instead of trying to fix specific issues with China, Trump is acting as though trade itself is inherently bad. “The overwhelming consensus among economists is that trade between countries, generally speaking, can create jobs, lower costs, and be a net benefit to both nations.” That makes it a lot like sex, joked Oliver. “If you’re doing it right, it can be good for both partners, though the odds of that happening plummet as soon as Donald Trump gets involved.”

There’s another way sex and trade are alike: If your kink is having Jared Kushner choose the president’s economic advisor on Amazon, you’re in luck, because he reportedly did just that. According to Vanity Fair, Peter Navarro was hired after Kushner saw his book, Death by China, while looking for something to read on the subject. That bodes well for the next likely pick for Trump’s legal team: Crystal Kaswell, author of Dangerous Rock and other romance novels, and, more importantly, the mind behind the first result when you search Amazon for “good law person (smart).”

Slate is an Amazon affiliate and may receive a commission from purchases you make through our links.