Trade

“It’s going to go fairly short”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

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.

  • Badgerite

    I’m sorry for the farmers who have been and are going to be hurt by trump’s stupidity but they have to realize that they voted for a con man who has spent his entire life ripping off people like them. It is the hard working, law abiding that trump and his family have always preyed upon. It is the uber rich and the mega farms for the rich whose interest he will be soliticous of. Not the average voter and certainly not the average farmer. If they don’t know that, they haven’t really been paying attention to trump or the long list of people who he stole from and stiffed all throughout his trust fund baby career.

  • muselet

    Our Negotiator-in-Chief, ladies and gentlemen.

    Heaven help us.

    –alopecia

  • Draxiar

    I might be overthinking this but it seems to me that if he says China will do “this” his cult will believe that. When they don’t actually do “this” because they never actually promised to do “this” he can then turn to his cult and say that he acted in good faith and he’s being mistreated and it’s unfair and so on and continue to be the victim. This gives his cult something to keep hating event though it’s all based on horseshit.

    • Nefercat

      You’re absolutely right. He wasn’t lying or bullshitting. The other party was. All evidence to the contrary is fake news.