Why has Trump's trade war with China continued to escalate with no end in sight?
Well, Trump has no idea how trade works. He doesn't know what a trade deficit is or why we have one. He doesn't understand even basic, entry-level macroeconomics. And on top of all that, there's no indication that Trump is even interested in making a "deal" because he doesn't really make "deals." His idea of a "deal" is he gets everything and you get nothing.
With all of that said, Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow says the real problem is Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“So far as we know, President Xi, at the moment, does not want to make a deal,” Kudlow said at the Delivering Alpha conference sponsored by CNBC and Institutional Investor magazine.
“I think Xi is holding the game up. I think Liu He and others would like to move but haven’t,” Kudlow said. “We are waiting for him (Xi). The ball is in his court.”
I'm sure Xi is playing hardball in his own way, but the idea that he won't allow his lieutenants to make a deal is really quite hilarious coming from Larry Kudlow or anyone who works for Trump for that matter.
We have multiple documented cases of Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross trying to make some kind of deal only to be thwarted by Trump and his batshit advisers like Peter Navarro and Robert Lighthizer.
You may recall that Mnuchin and Navarro actually got into profanity-laced shouting match in front of Chinese officials at one point earlier this year.
I was going to say that China could offer Trump exactly what he wants and he would still turn it down, but that would be virtually impossible to do because, if you asked him, I'm certain Trump couldn't tell you what he really wants.
It's hard to say what you want when you don't even understand the basics.
China has responded to Larry Kudlow's accusations by saying he's just making shit up.
"In front of the whole world some U.S. officials are turning facts on their head and making false accusations," Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a regular briefing. "This is beyond the imagination of most people and is shocking.”