Trade

Trump Says He’ll Blow It All Up On Friday

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Trump's tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods were originally suppose to increase from 10 to 25 percent on January 1st, but Trump delayed the automatic increase until March 1st after erroneously claiming victory in his trade war with China. At the time, Trump claimed that China had agreed to immediately resume large scale purchases of American agriculture, but they never did.

When the March deadline arrived, Trump delayed his increase in tariffs again while citing vague and dubious progress in trade talks with China, but the White House never spelled out when the new deadline for an increase would be.

Now, if Trump is to be believed, the new deadline is this Friday.

From Bloomberg:

Trump on Sunday raised pressure on Beijing to strike a trade deal by announcing he would increase tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports Friday to 25 percent from 10 percent. He also floated the possibility of extending a new 25 percent duty on another $325 billion of imports not already covered.

Trump continued tweeting on the trade situation Monday. “The United States has been losing, for many years, 600 to 800 Billion Dollars a year on Trade. With China we lose 500 Billion Dollars. Sorry, we’re not going to be doing that anymore!” he wrote.

Trump's staff and advisers have been telling anyone who will listen that they're close to making a deal.

A deal is right around the corner, they've said. They say they hope to strike a deal by the end of the month, but they've been saying that for almost three months.

It remains to been if any of them will still say that if Trump really does increase his tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on Friday; an increase that will be catastrophic for many businesses.

American businesses have dealt with Trump's tariffs of 10 percent by raising prices or simply eating the extra cost, but most businesses will not be able to eat the cost of or raise prices by another 15 percent. Supply chains could collapse and we'll probably see a wave of bankruptcies at small and independent businesses.

I'm sure I don't need to tell you for the umpteenth time, but the United States is not 'losing' hundreds of billions per year on trade as Trump insists. That's not how trade works. That's not how anything works. We have a trade deficit because American consumers buy lots of shit that we don't make here, but that doesn't mean we're losing anything. Americans partially owe their relatively high standard of living to the availability of cheap imports which power our service and consumer-based economy. Take that away the cheap goods and everything else will fall apart.

  • muselet

    The commentariat has spent the day trying to analyze Donald Trump’s threat. “It might be a negotiating ploy.” “He may be trying to keep the Chinese off-balance.” “Raising tariffs like this would destroy the world’s economy. What’s Trump’s game?” And so on.

    The problem is, Donald Trump is in dead earnest. He clearly hasn’t the first clue about how tariffs work; his negotiating skills begin and end with “Give me everything I want!”; and what he knows about the world economy would fit in a thimble with enough room left for a finger.

    Once the dust of the economic collapse settles, it’ll just be the cockroaches and the Trumps, fighting over bits of spoiled fruit.

    –alopecia

  • Draxiar

    My wife and I have a business. We make things by hand and sell them wholesale, online, and at shows. We just had to raise prices because our material suppliers had to raise prices. I can’t say for certain it’s the tariffs that have done this but it’s at least a decent example of the same outcome. I’m quite concerned that it will affect sales. Likewise, I’m concerned that the economic balloon will pop in spectacular fashion and that low unemployment rate and decent economy that trump insists on taking sole credit for will jack back up to 2008 levels. It’s the deep breath before the plunge.

  • waspuppet

    Also, people import raw materials from other countries and use them here to make stuff and employ people.

    Donald Trump has been running for/being president for four years and he still doesn’t know this. But tell me again that his brain isn’t broken and he shouldn’t be thrown out of office.