Economy

Trump’s Trade War With China is Back On, I Guess

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

It's only been a week since Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced that the Trump regime's trade war with China has been canceled, but it looks like the trade war is back on.

The White House made a surprise announcement this morning that they intend to impose the tariffs that were first announced earlier this year.

Beijing has already pledged to retaliate against the 25 percent tariffs, which the White House said will specifically target Chinese imports “containing industrially significant technology, including those related to the ‘Made in China 2025’ program.” The list of targeted goods will be announced by June 15 and imposed shortly after, the White House said.

Trump's tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods will target items like electronics, cars, and household appliances which aren't going hurt Chinese producers nearly as much as China's tariffs on American agriculture will hurt American producers. American pork producers have already lost $2.2 billion in profits on an annualized basis according to Politico citing research from Iowa State University.

And that's just one industry. American soybean and sorghum farmers looking to get back on China's good side after last week's brief reprieve should probably forget about it.

If Trump's tariffs are actually imposed in the coming weeks, China will retaliate (more than they already have) and things could escalate from there.

I feel the need to leave open the possibility that Trump's tariffs will be delayed or canceled again, or something, because this a rudderless ship with no clear direction or purpose.

  • muselet

    Good lord.

    The only way this madness has some internal logic is if Donald Trump believes, in the same way military planners believed during the Cold War, that China and Russia act as counterweights to each other, each implacably opposed to both the United States and the other.

    If Trump expects Russia to jump in and put pressure on China, he’s sadly mistaken. Vladimir Putin is just not that into him.

    –alopecia

  • Georgie

    Gee I hope Ivanka stuff will be ok.

  • Dread_Pirate_Mathius

    We are still the powerhouse. It’s not as one-sided as it used to be, but we are still the big kid on the block and Trump is right that China needs us more than we need them. A full blown trade-war would be devastating to China – destabilizingly bad.

    He is wrong about liberally everything else, however.

    He is extra special wrong that a trade war is a good thing. As catastrophic as it would be for China, it would be seriously bad news for us as well. But, I guess, his plan is to blame any negatives on Obama, and have Hannity back him up.

    —-

    PS: Unrelated, but I’m having an argument elsewhere that when Trump golfs, he’s actually working / networking / building support for his agenda, so it’s totally different than Obama’s shiftless celebrity-chasing golfing. Trump is, therefore, not a hypocrite on the subject.

    • ninjaf

      So, Trump golfs with the appropriate level of melanin in his skin. Obama did not, in their opinion. Got it.

      (I am willing to bet they will never be able to admit that to themselves, much less anyone else.)

    • JMAshby

      When half of all soybeans in American are sold to China and then China suddenly decides they’re going to buy from Russia and Brazil instead, that’s incredibly one-sided. In their favor.

      We don’t have nearly as many options, if any, to suddenly say we’re not buying products from China anymore especially not when Trump is picking fights with all of our other trade partners. We also don’t export many things that you can’t find somewhere else.

      The idea that Trump could “destabilize” China without destroying our own economy first sounds like a conservative fantasy out of Zero Hedge.

    • So with whom is Trump golfing? I’ll bet it’s not anyone we would care about him “networking” with.

      • ninjaf

        He’s only golfing with corporate titans and industry lobbyists. What could we have to worry about? Personally, I would much rather he be golfing with celebrities. At least then our country wouldn’t get sold to the highest bidder and maybe some of their “librul” ideas would rub off on him.