Trump spoke to reporters in New Jersey yesterday where he said some truly bewildering things about his trade war with China, so much so that an average person could be forgiven for having doubts about Trump's mental capacity.
Trump asserted that members of his regime have been holding "very good" and "productive" talks with Chinese trade officials over the phone, which is vague enough as to be meaningless, but then he veered toward the deep end.
Trump said China will not retaliate for his next round of tariffs and that his trade war will be "short" even though it's already long or "longer."
Trump said he did not think Beijing would retaliate for the U.S. tariffs and that he believes China wants to make a trade deal.
“I think we’re having very good discussions with China. They very much want to make a deal,” Trump told reporters. He said he had a call scheduled soon with Chinese President Xi Jinping, but he did not say when.
“I think the longer it goes the stronger we get,” Trump said of the trade war. “I have a feeling it’s going to go fairly short,” he said.
Patient zero for Trump's trade war was his tariffs on foreign solar panels, the majority of which are produced in China. Trump imposed those tariffs all the way back in 2017. Trump followed that up by imposing tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum along with tariffs on $250 billion in other Chinese goods in 2018.
If you exclude Trump's original tariffs, his trade war has been ongoing for over a year already and for nearly two years if you include them. I wouldn't call that "fairly short."
The idea that China won't retaliate for his next round of tariffs is a lovely but fantastical idea that was contradicted by Chinese officials yesterday morning before Trump even spoke to reporters. China has already announced that they will retaliate, but the exact details of how they will retaliate aren't available yet.
Trump's claim that the longer his trade war goes on the "stronger we get" is belied by Trump's own actions. His decision to delay tariffs on consumer goods to protect the crucial holiday shopping season was a signal of weakness.