AuthorTopic: 🚛 Trade Warz  (Read 9209 times)

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⛩️ Trump's frustration with China boils over
« Reply #75 on: August 03, 2019, 12:07:28 AM »
https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/02/trump-tariffs-china-1632801

Trump's frustration with China boils over

By ADAM BEHSUDI and BEN WHITE

08/02/2019 02:04 PM EDT


President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he’ll impose a 10 percent tariff on roughly $300 billion in Chinese imports starting on Sept. 1 | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Donald Trump’s decision this week to ratchet up the trade war with Beijing by slapping more tariffs on Chinese goods came after aides thought they had talked him out of it weeks ago, according to two people close to the discussions.

But the president’s annoyance with China finally boiled over this week after Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer returned from trade talks in Shanghai and reported that Chinese officials offered no new proposals for ending an impasse that’s persisted since May, according to the people.

Trump’s Twitter announcement on Thursday that he’ll impose a 10 percent tariff on roughly $300 billion in Chinese imports starting on Sept. 1 drew a quick reaction from China on Friday, further imperiling chances of progress in the talks. The U.S. is trying to get China to make commitments to rein in policies it says amount to widespread theft of U.S. technology and intellectual property.

“China will not accept any form of pressure, intimidation or deception,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference Friday.

China‘s Ministry of Commerce released a statement that said Beijing would impose countermeasures.

“The U.S. has to bear all the consequences,” the statement said. “China believes there will be no winners of this trade war and does not want to fight. But we are not afraid to fight and will fight if necessary."

The renewed tensions come after initial optimism following a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Japan in late June.
poster="http://v.politico.com/images/1155968404/201908/3221/1155968404_6066911064001_6066913279001-vs.jpg?pubId=1155968404"
Trump: China tariffs haven't 'cost our consumers anything'
true

Trump seemed convinced that China would resume huge purchases U.S. farm goods as a goodwill gesture for getting the stalled talks back on track, the people said. But the Chinese have not made significant purchases of soybeans or other commodities since the meeting.

One of the sources close to the discussions said the president is also deeply angry about what he sees as Xi’s failure to deliver on a promise to rein in exports of fentanyl to the U.S. The powerful opioid drug is blamed for fueling a U.S. addiction crisis.

Trump had been intent on making another tariff announcement in mid-July, but with the Shanghai meeting coming up, Lighthizer, Mnuchin and senior economic adviser Larry Kudlow initially talked the president out of the decision, the people said.

A USTR spokesperson denied that happened, saying it is “100 percent false” that Lighthizer had initially talked Trump out of tariffs.

On Friday, Kudlow defended Trump’s decision.

“In terms of the progress of the deal, the president is not satisfied,” he said to reporters at the White House.

Kudlow said there are still plans to meet with the Chinese for another face-to-face meeting in Washington.

“There’s certainly a month here before the tariffs go into place. A lot of things can happen in a month. A lot of good things can happen in a month,” Kudlow told Bloomberg Television on Friday. He added that agriculture purchases by China “would certainly help the story.”

Meanwhile, Kudlow downplayed the consumer impact of additional tariffs on China as “minuscule.”
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The targeted list of goods includes consumer goods like smartphones, clothing, shoes and other retail items. The decision earned backlash from the retail and business groups who warn that a continued tariff campaign will only damage what is now a strong U.S. economy.

The National Association of Manufacturers said the new tariffs would “certainly” get Beijing’s attention. “But it also has the attention of manufacturing workers in the U.S. and their families who are feeling the negative impact of the current tariffs and will be made even less competitive with this new tax on trade,” said the group’s president and CEO, Jay Timmons.

Kudlow later told Bloomberg Television that the White House has models to show a minimal impact the tariffs might have but declined to elaborate.

“The impact has fallen very heavily on China and our consumer sector remains strong,” he said.

Numerous studies have shown that tariffs on foreign goods are almost always paid by U.S. importers and the added cost is usually passed down the line to retailers and ultimately consumers.

The U.S. has already imposed a 25 percent tariff on about $250 billion worth of Chinese goods, representing mostly intermediate goods and inputs used in manufacturing.
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🎥 Trump's Trade War (full film) | FRONTLINE
« Reply #76 on: August 23, 2019, 02:44:14 AM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/4_xQ5JisFuo" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/4_xQ5JisFuo</a>
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https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/01/world/asia/trump-trade-war-china.html

As Trump Escalates Trade War, U.S. and China Move Further Apart With No End in Sight


A cargo ship in Qingdao, China. The president has raised American tariffs to a level not seen since the 1960s.Credit Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

By Ana Swanson

    Sept. 1, 2019, 12:01 a.m. ET

WASHINGTON — President Trump’s trade war with China entered new territory on Sunday as his next round of tariffs took effect, changing the rules of trade in ways that have no recent historic precedent and driving the world’s two largest economies further apart.

American tariffs on foreign goods had already climbed higher than any time since the 1960s before Sunday, when the United States imposed a new 15 percent tariff. The levies on food, clothing, lawn mowers and thousands of other “Made in China” products come as the president prepares to tax nearly everything China ships to America. The move will bring average tariffs on Chinese imports to 21.2 percent, up from only 3.1 percent when Mr. Trump came into office, according to data from the Peterson Institute for International Economics.

China has responded by raising barriers to American companies and their products, while easing them for other nations. Trade between the world’s two largest economies has slumped, and China, which had long been America’s biggest trading partner, dropped to third place in the first half of the year, behind Mexico and Canada.

American companies that once believed the trade war would blow over are now scrambling to limit their exposure to China, in some cases shifting production to other countries, like Vietnam, to avoid tariffs that will soon reach as much as 30 percent.
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When he initially began his trade war, the president said his goal was to improve conditions for American companies operating in China, reduce the trade deficit between the two nations and create a more level playing field for American companies competing with Chinese firms.

His combative approach, he said, would secure a historic trade deal that would result in China buying billions of dollars’ worth of American farm products and stop Beijing from “stealing” technology from United States companies.

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But after months of stalled negotiations and China’s refusal to give in to America’s demands, his strategy has taken a more punitive turn. Mr. Trump, who has emphasized his view of the two countries as economic enemies and geopolitical rivals since his presidential campaign, has more recently advocated a rapid “decoupling” between nations that have become economically dependent on each other over the past two decades.

Over a week ago, Mr. Trump called China’s president, Xi Jinping, an “enemy” and threatened to use his emergency powers to force American companies out of China. He increased existing and future tariffs and his aides said the president’s only regret was not raising them even higher.

Mr. Trump’s conflicting goals — trying to make China a fairer place for American companies to do business while simultaneously punishing companies that are operating there — are threatening to turn what began as a limited skirmish into a drawn-out and costly quagmire, with little sense of how the United States or China will retreat.

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“For those who supported tariffs as a tool to bring the Chinese to the table to reach a big deal, all of this now seems beside the point,” said Scott Kennedy, a China expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s pointless casualties. And those pointless casualties will be the companies whose exports are eliminated, and consumers who will pay more and have less choice.”

Mr. Trump could still reverse course if China makes concessions — or if the American economy weakens and shows signs of slipping into recession, particularly as the election nears.

But so far, there have been few signs of amelioration, only strident statements. Major gaps remain between the two nations. An initial discussion in Shanghai in July prompted no breakthroughs, though the two sides may meet again in September.

“I think that’s one of the reasons we’ve been unable to make a deal — that we have competing objectives in the administration,” said Wendy Cutler, a vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute and a former acting deputy United States trade representative. “I think that has caused China to be uncertain about where this is all headed.”

Mr. Trump continues to insist that his tariffs are hurting China but not the American companies that operate there. On Friday, he noted that American companies were leaving China in response to his tariffs, a development that put the United States in an “incredible negotiating position.” Any business that complained about financial pain from the tariffs were ignoring the obvious culprit for their troubles, he said.
ImageThe toymaker Hasbro is among the companies that have said they will shift their supply chains to emerging manufacturing hubs in Vietnam, India, and elsewhere.
The toymaker Hasbro is among the companies that have said they will shift their supply chains to emerging manufacturing hubs in Vietnam, India, and elsewhere.CreditJeenah Moon for The New York Times

“A lot of badly run companies are trying to blame tariffs,” he told reporters before heading to Camp David. “In other words, they’re run badly and they’re having a bad quarter or they’re just unlucky in some way. It’s not the tariffs. It’s called bad management.”

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The Trump administration continues to look for other ways to limit the ability of American companies to do business with China. The Commerce Department is moving forward with new export controls that would restrict American firms from selling sensitive technology, like artificial intelligence and quantum computing, to Chinese firms. And it has blacklisted several Chinese technology companies, including the telecom giant Huawei, from buying sensitive American technology.

“We’ve never seen anyone do what President Trump has done,” said Chad P. Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. “It looks more and more like this is the new normal.”

Mr. Bown’s research shows that the trade war is entering a period of rapid escalation. Tariffs between the United States and China remained roughly constant from October 2018 to the middle of this year. But after talks between the two sides collapsed in May, the president set into motion a series of increases that will raise American tariffs on China by about 12 percentage points in six months, and will ultimately tax the vast majority of goods China sends to the United States. China, in response, has raised tariffs on $75 billion worth of American products and halted purchases of farm products.

“The trade war has been kind of on a slow burn for a while, but things are now really ramping up in a hurry,” Mr. Bown said.

On Sunday, China began charging a 33 percent tariff on American soybeans, compared with just 3 percent for those coming from Brazil or Argentina, Mr. Bown says. On Dec. 15, China will start taxing American autos and auto parts at a 42.6 percent rate, compared with 12.6 percent for those from Germany or Japan.

Those barriers are quickly reconfiguring the global economy. American imports from China fell by 12 percent in the first half of the year, while exports to China dropped 19 percent. Chinese trade with other countries has increased, offsetting some of that fall from the United States.

Some major multinational companies have announced in recent days that they are trying to quickly reduce their reliance on China. The toymaker Hasbro and clothing retailers like Express and Abercrombie & Fitch have said they will shift their supply chains to emerging manufacturing hubs in Vietnam, India, and elsewhere. Some of that shift was already underway, given China’s rising wages, but the trade war has made that move financially imperative.

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“While we’re still in that part of the world, we’ve moved out of China in a very meaningful way,” Harvey S. Kanter, the president of Destination XL Group, which sells clothes for big and tall men, said last week on an earnings call.

Express, for its part, told investors last week that it planned to reduce the percent of units sourced from China from 20 percent today to approximately 8 percent by the middle of next year.

Those decisions, which require companies to make significant investments in setting up new facilities, finding workers and training them, are unlikely to be undone even if the two countries ultimately walk back from the trade war.

“We’ve created high hurdles to get back to the way things were, and that means we’re probably not going to,” Mr. Kennedy said. “I think the relationship now is essentially in free fall.”

Each tariff increase has also taken the United States in the opposite direction from where trade policy had been pointing for decades. After years of trying to reduce tariffs and encourage free trade, the United States now has a higher average tariff rate with the rest of the world than many developing countries, including China, Russia and Turkey, said Torsten Slok, the chief economist at Deutsche Bank Securities.

Mr. Slok said that while it had not been a smooth path, average American tariff levels had been trending downward for 200 years.

“That is now what is being reversed, by tariffs moving up to a level that we haven’t seen in decades,” he said.

Jeanna Smialek contributed reporting.
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Re: 🚛 Trade Warz
« Reply #78 on: September 01, 2019, 03:45:59 AM »
No problemo. "Trade Wars are easy to win," amirite? Right? Bueller?

Quote
"It’s not the tariffs. It’s called bad management.”
-Tangerine Twitler

There's the money shot. It is ALWAYS someone else's fault.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: 🚛 Trade Warz
« Reply #79 on: September 01, 2019, 04:00:57 AM »
In re Trade Wars, here's one take:

Donald Trump just sealed his fate

| 12:01 am EDT September 1, 2019

Palmer Report » Analysis

It’s midnight eastern time, which means Donald Trump’s new tariffs on Chinese goods have officially gone into effect. Unless Trump changes his mind between now and the opening bell on Tuesday morning, the stock market will plummet in such ugly fashion, it’ll make the recent downturn look like a walk in the park. So why is Trump doing this, and what now?

Even the ever-delusional Donald Trump has surely figured out by now that his tariffs have backfired, and that his trade war has been lost. China isn’t going to back down. The Chinese government, which will still be in power long after Trump is gone, has the luxury of simply outlasting him in this conflict. Whoever the next president is, and whatever her or his policies might be, China will find it favorable to Trump’s economic lunacy.

The thing is, if Trump backs down now, he’ll be admitting – to himself and to the American public – that he lost and that he screwed up the economy in the process. That’ll cost him votes in 2020. But if he keeps going with the tariffs, it’ll wreck the economy to the point that it’ll cost him a lot more votes in 2020. So he’s doing what people often tend to do when they know they’re going to lose: he’s continuing with his losing strategy in the hope some random impossible thing will happen and he’ll get lucky in the end. It won’t.

The thing is, Trump set this hard deadline for himself tonight, and now he’s stuck with it. Maybe he thought China would cave. Wrong. At this point China has made clear that it’s willing to tank its own economy in the name of tanking the U.S. economy, if that’s what’s necessary to get rid of Trump as soon as possible. China’s government can survive a recession. Trump can’t.

Donald Trump can still post a tweet in the morning, announcing that he’s decided to cancel the tariffs because he’s reached some kind of imaginary agreement in which China has caved to him. But that would just get him laughed at. He can wait until the stock market goes off a cliff on Tuesday, and then perhaps one of his handlers will sit him down and explain to him that his presidency ends now if he doesn’t cave. Then maybe he will cave.

But as of a minute and a half ago, Donald Trump has locked himself into either 1) escalating this trade war at the cost of his presidency, or 2) backing down in humiliating fashion, which would also likely cost him his presidency. Either way, Trump just sealed his fate.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

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Re: 🚛 Trade Warz
« Reply #80 on: September 01, 2019, 04:05:27 AM »
... and here is another. Chris Hayes in conversation with Henry Blodget. This is closer to my own view, in which it is difficult to envision a winning strategy. A recession may be baked in the cake.
there is video at the link.

MSNBC host Chris Hayes thinks President Trump's stance on China is 'not at all crazy'

Jan. 2, 2019, 10:50 AM
Volume 0%
  • Chris Hayes, host of "All In with Chris Hayes" on MSNBC, spoke with Business Insider at Ignition 2018 on political issues.
  • Hayes gave his take on the ongoing trade war with China and said "trade hawkishness against China" is justified.
  • He also said he doesn't trust President Trump to "navigate the difficulties of diplomacy" if the US entered a cold war with China.

Henry Blodget: Alright let's come back to the other question, which is, so what issue do you think President Trump is right about that most liberals are wrong?

Chris Hayes: I actually think the problem with the President is that there is the abstract position he has and then like the actual embodied version of it as run through his extremely strange brain. I think a sort of trade hawkishness against China and a posture of trade hawkishness against China is not at all crazy and not at all unjustified.

I think there are lots of things that China is doing and has been doing for a long time that are genuinely destructive that generally speaking the American political class has been too content to sort of play "Patty Cake" with them. I think there are really important geopolitical reasons not to enter into a cold war with China and I certainly don't trust the President to navigate the difficulties of that diplomacy but on a variety of issues there are all kinds of reasons to be genuinely more confrontational with China over their industrial policy.

Blodget: Just before we came on stage, you noted that the President just tweeted that he is quote, "a tariff man."

Hayes: I'm a tariff man!

Blodget: Yes! And so do you think that's reasonable?

Hayes: No, I mean that's a good example of like, he genuinely has a sincerely... sincerely felt and long-held view on trade that I think is deeply mercantilist and emanates from the fundamental worldview that he has over all other worldviews which is that everything is zero sum. Really views that, it's like if you're getting over on me, then I'm not getting over on you and vice versa. And that's the only way things work and who screws who. Who gets the bigger piece of the pie? I think he views all trade that way.

I think like the basic insights of Adam Smith "Wealth of Nations" and the idea of comparative vantage in trade are generally true. I think the modern trading system is broken in all kinds of ways and I think there are ways in which it's not crazy to use tariffs as a tactic to create different kinds of rules and regulatory structures for international trade. Again, do I trust him to pursue that? No I do not.

"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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