Trump has already directed his trade representative Robert Lighthizer to draw up a list of at least $400 billion in Chinese products they can impose tariffs on, but Trump says he wants to go further than that.
Trump spoke to CNBC this morning where he said he'd like to impose tariffs on virtually every single thing imported from China.
"I'm ready to go to 500," the president told CNBC's Joe Kernen in a "Squawk Box" interview aired Friday.
The reference is to the dollar amount of Chinese imports the U.S. accepted in 2017 — $505.5 billion to be exact, compared with the $129.9 billion the U.S. exported to China, according to Census Bureau data. [...]
Trump said the U.S. is "being taken advantage of" on a number of fronts, including trade and monetary policy. Yet he said he has not pushed the tariffs out of any ill will toward China.
Imposing tariffs on every product we import from China would directly effect every single American. It would increase the price of household items that Americans buy on a daily basis, from clothing and apparel to even things like candles, shampoo, toys and Christmas tree ornaments.
Why does Donald Trump hate Christmas?
We live in a consumer-based economy and imposing tariffs on all Chinese products would dramatically reduce American purchasing power across the board. Americans will buy fewer goods, stores will sell less, and layoffs will follow.
An increasing number of experts and investors believe the next recession will arrive in late 2019 or early 2020, but there's also the possibility that Trump's actions will make it happen sooner rather than later.
Asset managers at JP Morgan told Bloomberg yesterday they believe the current market can sustain itself until 2020. That's another way of saying 2020 is when the recession will arrive, but that doesn't account for Trump's intervention in the market. Trump is a distorting force that can't necessarily be accounted for.
The idea that the market will keep going until it burns itself out is based on a relatively normal political climate experienced under every previous president. There's no precedent for someone like Trump launching a global trade war based on vanity and incoherence.
The market is currently flat even though the GOP's tax cuts have sent corporate earnings soaring.
It's all a mirage.