It doesn’t sound like real-estate tycoon Donald Trump is going to get that apology.
After the leading Republican presidential candidate spent a good portion of Thursday raging against The Wall Street Journal for an editorial that questioned his trade-policy knowledge, the newspaper fired back with another editorial mocking Trump even more directly.
The new, Thursday-night editorial was titled: “Donald Trump Is Upset.”
“Being attacked by Donald Trump is one of journalism’s more exhilarating experiences,” the editorial began.
The board continued: “We got the treatment on Thursday when he took to various TV shows and Twitter with his usual soft sell and demanded corrections, apologies and resignations after our editorial reference to his trade policy. We haven’t had this much fun since Eliot Spitzer left office.”
Earlier in the day, Trump told Business Insider he was requesting a formal apology from The Journal because the paper opined that it “wasn’t obvious that he has any idea what’s in” the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
The paper made this argument because of Trump’s focus on Chinese trade-manipulation policies in his condemnation of the deal. As presidential rival Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) noted during last Tuesday’s presidential debate — which was co-sponsored by The Journal — China is not part of the agreement.
Trump insisted he knows that the massive Pacific Rim free-trade deal does not include China, but he has repeatedly argued that the deal is structured to give the country a “back door” into the pact. An infuriated Trump lashed out at the “third-rate” newspaper by calling for resignations and an apology from the “dummies” who work there.
In response, Paul Gigot, editor of The Journal’s editorial page, told Business Insider that his newspaper backed the piece.
“We stand by the editorial, which is accurate, though Mr. Trump is welcome to write a letter to the editor in response,” Gigot said in a statement, pointing to this week’s Trump op-ed in The Journal. “On Tuesday we published his op-ed on China’s currency policies.”
And in its follow-up editorial, the board doubled down on its questioning of Trump’s knowledge of the trade agreement:
Our editorial point was what everyone who understands East Asian security knows, which is that China would be delighted to see TPP fail. China is putting together its own Asian trade bloc, and those rules will be written to its advantage. TPP sets a standard for trade under freer Western rules. China could seek to join TPP in the future, but it would have to do so on TPP’s terms, not vice versa.
TPP would help China’s competitors by giving them greater access on better terms to the U.S. market. Production is likely to shift from China to Vietnam and other countries. In October the Financial Times quoted Sheng Laiyun, the spokesman for China’s National Bureau of Statistics, as saying that, “If the TPP agreement is finally implemented, zero tariffs will be imposed on close to 20,000 kinds of products. … That will create some pressure on our foreign trade.” Some back door.
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