Since Trump let the cat out of the bag by admitting that imposing tariffs on popular consumer goods ahead of the holiday shopping season would have been very bad for business and consumers, Trump's lackeys followed suit this afternoon by making that more clear.
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared on CNBC where he was asked if China made any concessions that led to Trump delaying some of his tariffs and the answer is no; this is about not ruining Christmas.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China made no concessions to the United States after President Donald Trump postponed threatened tariffs on some Chinese imports until mid-December, senior U.S. officials said on Wednesday, adding that talks aimed at resolving the trade fight would continue and markets should be patient.
“This was not a quid pro quo,” U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told CNBC television in an interview, using a Latin phrase meaning a favor exchanged for a favor.
Trump's hardline anti-trade adviser Peter Navarro went a step further during a separate interview with Fox Business where he said something truly bewildering.
Looking for concessions from China in exchange for the delayed tariffs is the “totally wrong way to look at it,” Navarro said.
“The whole premise of what we’re trying to do is pain on them, not pain on us,” Navarro said. “And so ... if we simply put the tariffs on Sept. 1 that would be more pain on us, rather than pain on them. That’s just silly.”
He's not wrong but, at the same time, isn't he?
I mean, if inflicting pain on Americans is "just silly" then the Trump regime is full of some silly motherfuckers, isn't it?
Nothing has changed. This is the same playbook Trump has been running since he first imposed tariffs on foreign solar panels. If imposing tariffs on Chinese goods on September 1st is "silly," then it will also be silly on December 15th or whenever Trump chooses to impose more or higher tariffs.
If it's "silly" now, it was also silly in May of this year when Trump increased his tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent. It was silly when he originally imposed those tariffs last fall and it was silly when he imposed tariffs on $50 billion in other goods last summer. I suppose it was silly when he imposed tariffs on foreign steel and aluminum in the spring of 2018 and when he imposed tariffs on foreign solar panels in early 2017.
Trump recently imposed tariffs on over $6 billion in Indian goods, prompting retaliation against American agriculture, and Trump is also threatening to impose billions in tariffs on European goods. Wouldn't that be silly, too?
The federal government expects to collect a record $81 billion in tariffs in fiscal 2019 according to the Treasury Department and all of those tariffs have been paid for by American businesses and consumers, not China or any other nation nation whose goods are subject to tariffs.
In the words of Trump's adviser Peter Navarro, that's all "pain on us," or at least it would be if imposed during the holiday shopping season. Or something.
One may get the impression that the Trumps have no idea what they're doing anymore if they ever did.
This is the weakest they've ever looked.