Free Trade

Trump Is Standing on the Precipice of a Real and Serious Trade War

The trade war that seemed improbable for weeks is now slipping closer to inevitable. The first major deadline comes at midnight.

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Polaris/Newscom

With the announcement Thursday morning that the White House will press forward with a plan to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Europe, Canada, and Mexico, it seems that President Donald Trump has taken another step towards the precipice that turns threats and posturing into open conflict.

As the contemporary world's great powers have edged closer to a major trade war, I've thought a lot about something historian Christopher Clark writes in The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went To War in 1914, his excellent account of the run-up to the First World War.

The First World War, most Americans probably know, started because of the assassination of an Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand.

Like many historical facts, that's only partially true. Ferdinand was gunned down in the streets of Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, but troops did not mobilize for battle until the final week of July and it was mid-August before the real shooting began. The intervening time was filled with a flurry of diplomacy as various factions encouraged or dissuaded the war. From the perspective of June 28, though, it's not at all clear that a conflict was inevitable. Indeed, even a month later it could have been avoided, as officials from Germany and England—neither of which were directly connected to the war's inciting assassination and had at least some reasons to avoid a bloody conflict—nearly reached an agreement in mid-July that likely would have prevented the outbreak of a continent-wide conflagration.

In other words, the assassination alone did not make war happen. But at some point in the six weeks following Ferdinand's murder, the prospect of war tipped from possible to unavoidable.

"The outbreak of war was the culmination of chains of decisions made by political actors with conscious objectives," notes Clark. "The war was in fact 'improbable'—at least until it happened. From this it would follow that the conflict was not the consequence of long-run deterioration, but of short-term shocks to the international system."

The analogy between World War I and the looming trade war only goes so far, of course. Thankfully, there are not millions of lives at stake in the decisions that will be made in Washington, Ottawa, Brussels, and Berlin over the next few weeks—though the stakes are still quite high in other ways. Like in 1914, a trade war between the major economic powers of the globe in 2018 would threaten to smash an international system that has, despite some obvious failings, worked well for the better part of half a century.

A trade war, if we'll have one, is not the result solely of the Trump administration's economic nationalism or its assassination of domestic businesses. Trump trade policies are another short-term shock to the system, and there is plenty of blame to be shared by China and others.

Still, the inciting incident for the coming trade war will be remembered as Trump's announcement on March 5 of new tariffs on all steel and aluminum imported into the United States. That kicked off the period of diplomacy, with the White House agreeing to exempt several major U.S. trading partners from those tariffs until May 1, with the goal of reaching bilateral trade deals before then. In some cases, that worked. Deals are in the works with Argentina, Australia, Brazil, and South Korea.

But even an extension until June 1 did not bring Canada, Europe, and Mexico to the negotiating table. Instead, all three threatened to escalate the conflict by slapping retaliatory tariffs on American goods. Elsewhere, the Trump administration has so far fumbled its attempts to use tariffs to bully China into trade concessions.

"As has been the case every day for the past 16+ months, the U.S. and global economies remain exposed to the whims of an unorthodox president who precariously steers policy from one extreme to the other, keeping us in a perpetual state of uncertainty," says Daniel Ikenson, director of the Center for Trade Policy Studies at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, summing up the current state of affairs.

Now, the clock is really ticking. The exemptions for Canada, Europe, and Mexico will expire at midnight, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced.

The trade war that seemed improbable for weeks is now slipping closer to inevitable.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called the tariffs "unjustified" and said the EU will prepare countermeasures, CNBC reported. According to The Wall Street Journal, the European response will target some $3.3 billion in U.S. exports. American agricultural exports are likely to take the biggest hit, which is bad news for farmers who depend on export markets because America literally grows more food than it can consume.

Trump has preemptively responded to the expected European response by threatening additional tariffs on imported cars. That move prompted one German officials to wonder whether the United States is abandoning free trade.

Mexico plans to impose retaliatory tariffs on American steel, pork, apples, grapes, and cheese, among other things. The New York Times said the goods were chosen to have an impact on rural Republican congressional districts in the hopes of applying pressure to Trump's political allies.

Investors and businesses will get hit too. The Dow Jones industrial average fell sharply Thursday after news reports that tariff exemptions for Canada and Europe would expire. Steel-using industries have reported significant price hikes since Trump first announced the tariffs in early March, and a projection released by the Trade Partnership, a Washington-based pro-trade think tank, tariffs are projected to cause 146,000 net job losses—five jobs lost for every job gained—even without accounting for possible retaliation from China, Europe, and other nations.

All sides are still talking to each other and there's faint hope for a last second deal, but that looks increasingly unlikely. "Every country's primary obligation is to protect its own citizens and their livelihoods," Ross said in Paris after meeting with E.U. officials this week, according to the Journal. That doesn't sound like a man who is backing down.

The tariffs on steel and aluminum, don't forget, are being imposed on the administration's vague and unfounded claims that foreign metal somehow undercuts America's national security. The White House is already gearing up to make a similarly laughable argument for tariffs on cars. But how tariffs on European cars and Canadian steel will address the administration's worries about a trade imbalance with China—something that isn't even really a problem—remains completely unclear.

That lack of clarity—or, more accurately, honesty—between the Trump White House and America's top trading partners is compounded by the administration's decision earlier this week to pull the rug out from under a proposed deal with China. After first threatening to impose tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese imports, the administration said less than two weeks ago that those tariffs would be on hold, before reversing course again this week—apparently to the surprise of Beijing.

Negotiating for peace becomes incredibly difficult once trust is lost. A state of uncertainty makes improbable, unnecessary conflicts more likely. The First World War, concludes Clark, became inevitable not due to an assassin's bullet but because "a profound sundering of ethical and political perspectives eroded consensus and sapped trust."

Trump is walking the world to the precipice of another major conflict. It will be less bloody, but no less tragic for its pointlessness.

NEXT: Keith Mumphery, MSU Athlete Cleared of Rape but Expelled Anyway, Tells His Story

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  1. Additions to the cucky, faux libertarian proggie virtue signaling club:

    Citizen X

    Chipper Morning Baculum

    One requirement for admission to the club is an inability to ratiocinate beyond the puerile level. Another requirement is to ascribe racist collectivism to those who set forth facts which may be disturbing to the rainbow coalition racket.

    1. Goodness, i’ve struck a nerve! If you don’t like being accused of racial collectivism, maybe don’t collectivize people according to race? It really isn’t a good fit with the project of individualist libertarianism, which you otherwise make good points in favor of. Just a thought.

      Okay, two thoughts: enemies lists are so Michael Hihn. Don’t be like Michael Hihn.

      1. I didn’t even get a cuck mention, so clearly you’re doing something right. But I admit I have some alt-righty tendencies, like not giving two fucks what gender a stranger identifies as.

    2. puerile level

      Fun fact, whenever I use Swype to text the word “people” on my phone keyboard, 100% of the time it puts in “Peurile”. Coincidence? I think not.

      1. It’s important to clean off your keyboard with puerile every now and again.

      2. You should definitely always go with that.

    3. This is tacky. Very, very tacky.

    4. I guess “Libertymike” doesn’t want to talk about Trump’s trade war.

    5. Libertymike, I did not start giving you shit until you started obsessing over all kinds of statistics having to do with certain minorities. I am sure your motivations for that were pure and rational, and had nothing to do with certain biases on your part. So tone down the butthurt.

      I also object to the claim that a puerile discussion is somehow automatically less intellectual than a more disembodied one. I reject that sort of Platonic dualism, which smacks of religiosity, ascetism, and a rebellion against the physical world. Furthermore, discussing the merits of various specialized subgenres of porn with BUCS can be just as rewarding as discussing the finer points of Austrian business cycle theory. Bonus points if you can combine the two.

      1. The fast rise and fall of VR porn deserves serious study.

        1. sex-cylons are more fun?

      2. Okay, I can dig that discussing the finer points of specialized subgenres of porn can be just as rewarding as discussing the nuances of Austrian business cycle theory.

        Mixing Mises with Mature Milfs? Definitely not puerile.

        1. The preferred pluralization is “milves.” You know, ’cause of wolves and elves.

  2. No offense Boehm, but you have a tendency to hyperbole that has become increasingly apparent, so your judgment on this is… up for debate.

    1. Wow, you got both of the first two comments, that should definitely help make the puppets dance.

      1. Libertymike|5.31.18 @ 3:37PM

        You are very stupid|5.31.18 @ 3:41PM

        Reading is not your forte?

        Or is your schtick as that paranoid idiot who thinks everyone is the same person?

  3. How often can you cry “wolf!” before people start laughing? I was told we were ‘standing on the precipice’ of nuclear war several months ago.
    Does Reason have an editor, or do the writers simply post whatever they please?

    1. So I’m not the only one who noticed.

      1. That we haven’t perished in a nuke war?
        They keep this up, and I’ll expect and announcement that Reason has been acquired by American Media, Inc.

  4. Now for some real “trade” news:
    “Glut of marijuana in Oregon is cautionary tale, experts say”
    […]
    “”For the way the program is set up, the state (California) just wants to get as many people in as possible, and they make no bones about it,” said Hilary Bricken, a Los Angeles-based attorney specializing in marijuana business law. “Most of these companies will fail as a result of oversaturation.””
    https://www.sfchronicle.com/news/medical/
    article/Easy-entry-into-Oregon-s-legal-
    pot-market-means-12956252.php

    Seems Oregon didn’t keep the taxes high enough, and now weed is cheap there (THE HORROR!), and some farmers might go OUT OF BUSINESS – THE HORROR!
    No mention regarding the consumers, just that the state failed to regulate the market properly; assholes.

  5. If you are going to talk about history, know what the hell you are talking about, especially on this board which is filled with history geeks. World War I did not start because of a trade war. In fact, World War I stands as a monument to the fallacy that if goods don’t cross borders armies will. There was no trade war prior to World War I. In fact, the general belief that international trade would make war so expensive that it was no longer possible is one of the reasons why people were so shocked when the war actually broke out.

    World War I occurred for several reasons that combined in kind of a perfect storm of misfortune. First, Imperial Germany despite having the strongest economy and by far the best army in Europe was paranoid and convinced that it was doomed to become a second-rate power as Russia modernized and the rest of Europe surpassed it thanks to their colonies, which Germany did not have. It was total fantasy but that is what they believed. They felt if they didn’t go to war and defeat France and Russia soon, they would eventually have to fight a war against both that they were destined to lose.

    1. Second, Austria was a dying empire and fighting a losing battle to hold onto its Balkin territories. It had one consistent ally in the world, Germany and thought with Germany’s backing it could eventually get revenge for its loses in the previous Balkin wars and destroy Serbia and retain its empire.

      Third, France and Russia were just as paranoid and pessimistic about Germany as Germany was about them. Both felt that German was a giant that was only going to get stronger and force them to live under its thumb. Also, France had a national obsession with taking back Alsace and Lorraine. And Russia saw itself as the inheritor of the Eastern Roman Empire and the protector of the Slavs and Eastern Christendom.

      Fourth, Britain refused to adjust its foreign policy and saw maintaining a balance of power in Europe as its only means of security. This meant Britain deluded itself into believing that France was still a world power and thus could be a counterbalance against Germany. France had not been a world power since Napoleon. France never recovered from the Napoleonic Wars and Britain ended up bankrupting itself and murdering the best of a generation trying to pretend that it was.

    2. Add to all of this, the nature of land power in 1914. Armies were based upon reserve systems and trains. Once you called up your reserves, the other side could see where you were deploying and what your plan was. So once you mobilized, it was very hard to stand down. At the same time, if you didn’t mobilize and the other guy did, he would be able to invade and crush you before you could ever mobilize yourself. So everyone is in a position of having to go to war if they mobilize and having to mobilize if anyone else does.

      So to make a long story short, Austria saw the assassination as a blank check from Germany to finally settle the score with Germany. Russia saw Austria’s aggression against Serbia as an attack on Eastern Christianity and its duty to repel. Germany saw Austria’s launching of a war in Serbia and antagonism of Russia as a way to finally start the war that they knew was coming and thought they were going to lose if it didn’t start now. The Kaiser didn’t quite think this but his military did and they used the leverage of mobilization to force him to do so.

    3. Meanwhile, France was allied to Russia and had to go to war to honor that commitment once Germany declared war. And Germany knowing this and knowing the threat of a two-front war, demanded that France allow it to occupy most of eastern France including Verdun (the great fortress city of France) as a guarantee of peace. England meanwhile claimed to be intervening the name of Belguim’s neutrality but in fact, was just using that as an excuse to intervene and ensure that Germany does not become the single dominant power of Europe.

      And thus began the single greatest tragedy in modern European history. But it had nothing to do with trade or trade wars and should not be used as an example in a debate over international trade.

      1. Or as Blackadder succinctly put it, it just became too difficult not to have a war, so they did.

        1. In some ways yeah.

    4. World War I did not start because of a trade war.

      Typical John reading comprehension problem. The article didn’t say that. Thanks for playing. I like all your facts!

      1. It said that the current situation is analogous to World War I. And that is absurd. And the facts no doubt bother you because you are pig ignorant and seem to take pride in being so. Facts get in the way of that.

        1. What part of “analogy” is so hard to understand? The analogy is that the leadup to the war, whether military or trade, is full of stupid people refusing to back down from stupid positions because their egos get in the way.

          Criminy you can be stupid when you want to. Maybe you ought to try toning down the stupidity one in a while. But you are so busy spewing out insane comments that you don’t have any time left for actual thinking.

      2. And thanks for posting one of your high school history essays.

        1. If I had written on a high school level, you would not have been able to understand it. I dumbed it down to about 6th grade. That is still too high for Hail and JCW, but at least you understood it.

    5. World War I did not start because of a trade war.

      I guess it’s a good thing no one claimed it did. Work on your reading comprehension.

      1. I guess it is a good thing you are too stupid to know what the work “Analogous” means. You are just dumber than a post.

        1. The comparison was between the gradual escalation into WW1 following the archduke’s assassination compared to the possibility of a similar gradual escalation of a contemporary trade war. Whether or not you think that analogy is valid, there was absolutely zero explicit or implicit argument that WW1 was caused by a trade war. I’m not sure if you simply didn’t read carefully and don’t want to back down once you were proven wrong, or if you just resorted to building strawmen because you didn’t like the article.

          1. It’s how he do. He’s regularly wrong on the actual statements in articles and apparently spends his reading time writing up bad responses to arguments nobody made.

            1. No. You are just a fan boy who thinks that anything Reason prints, no matter how stupid must be right. Does the staff have a restraining order against you?

          2. IT is in now way analogous. WWI had nothing to do with trade and the escalation of it bears no relationship to anything that is going on now. As I explain, WWI had a lot of causes and none of them are analogous to today.

            1. Everyone agrees WW I was unrelated to trade, include the fucking author of this piece. You are the idiot who wants to insist it does because you’ve made that assertion and don’t want to lose face.

              Your behavior is perfectly analogous to the idiots who started WW I and the idiots who are leading up to this trade war.

              Your refusal to admit the analogy is a perfect illustration of the article. Congratulations on being useful by being recalcitrant!

  6. The WTO riots of the 90s were essentially the left railing against open and free trade because, they believed, open and free trade hurt the working class and marginalized poor people. Free trade was, we were told, a race to the bottom.

    Allowing cheap foreign goods into the country did several things. In no particular order:

    1. Subverted domestic labor by moving jobs overseas– or eliminating them entirely for cheap, foreign made goods.
    2. Led to the exploitation of workers in foreign sweat shops that didn’t maintain the West’s level of employee protections.
    3. Allowed goods or commodities into the country which weren’t made to the West’s high environmental standards, and contributed to the degradation of the environment.*

    (*I personally stood in the WTO riot crowd while a participant gave a megaphone speech about the US allowed dirty, Argentinian oil into the country instead of producing it locally to higher standards).

    1. “Free trade was, we were told, a race to the bottom.”

      When I was a yute, ‘Made in Japan’ meant cheap crap and the yellow bastards were causing a decline in US wages!
      Japanese wages are now close to US wages.
      Later, ‘Made in Taiwan”, ditto.
      And now, ‘Made in China, ditto.
      Seems that ‘race to the bottom’ got on the ‘up’ escalator by mistake.

      1. Japanese wages are now close to US wages.
        Later, ‘Made in Taiwan”, ditto.
        And now, ‘Made in China, ditto.
        Seems that ‘race to the bottom’ got on the ‘up’ escalator by mistake.

        Now, American workers are paid the same as Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese workers and Japanese, Chinese, and Taiwanese workers are as free as they’ve ever been!

        I step on the gas and the numbers go up! The car’s not in gear and nobody’s going anywhere but gas is being burned and numbers are going up!

        1. “I step on the gas and the numbers go up! The car’s not in gear and nobody’s going anywhere but gas is being burned and numbers are going up!”

          You’re right! Workers world wide are now living the same as impoverished post-war Japanese workers!

          1. When I was a yute, ‘Made in Japan’ meant cheap crap

            post-war Japanese workers

            I can’t decide which is more hilariously oxymoronic; that your ‘yute’ spans nearly four decades or that you think a good example of free trade are impoverished post-war Japanese workers aided by the same people who made them impoverished post-war Japanese workers in the first place.

            Japan is still notorious for cheating it’s employees out of IP and has been since ‘Made in Japan’ labels first started cropping up. I wonder how many hours were worked and/or spent commuting by the average impoverished post-war Japanese worker as opposed to today?

    2. That is all true. It is very interesting how the Democratic Party has totally walked away from any commitment to or anything other than complete contempt for the working class.

      1. Yeah, Bernie tried in his retarded and wrong-assed way to take them back in that direction and look how they treated him.

      1. The Riot? I saw a bunch of stuff dragged into the middle of the street and lit on fire, a lot of people dancing in turtle costumes and a bunch of plaid shirts and union people that didn’t seem quite comfortable with the crowd they were in, but were taking place because unions hate free trade. Oh yeah, some Free Mumia signs and a melee between some people with sticks beating on the riot cops’ shields so they could make sure the fire in the intersection stayed lit. Other than that, it was just a really big crowd and you could walk around downtown freely because there was no traffic.

        Oh yeah, and one smartly dressed woman passed out of the WTO barricade and through the crowd and she was verbally accosted by a bunch of scruffy protesters, but they didn’t really give her much trouble– no physical violence as far as I could tell. A couple even tried to engage her in a discussion about free trade but I think she was too scared to stop walking.

  7. Oh noes, Trump is starting a trade war, whatever will we do….

    Oh, you mean congress could rescind that power at any time?

    1. “Congress could do something”

      We’re doomed.

    2. Do you really think the Republican-controlled Congress is going to go against their President when they’re running for re-elections and using how much they licked his ass as a reason to vote for them? It’s hard enough to make them do the right thing when it doesn’t affect their chances.

      1. If this trade war results in a nasty period of inflation and job loss, instead of the mythical uptick in jobs and prosperity like they claim, a Trump mutiny certainly sounds like a possibility. I’d find it hard to believe that the redcaps would stick with Saint Donald when they can’t find a car for less than $60,000 and their construction buddies all end up in the unemployment line.

  8. This has not become the expected gathering of Libertarians For Tariffs And Protectionism, at least not yet.

    Progress!

    1. Well, unfortunately John is here so…can’t win ’em all I guess

  9. It’s about time Trump did something to put pressure on Canada and Mexico to shut down North Korea’s nuclear program.

    1. Blockade would be effective. Just park a battle group outside Vancouver for starters. This is a matter of national security after all. We need that steel to build more tanks to fight the Chi-com enemy.

    2. The pressure that Trump is putting on Canada and Mexico is not to force North Korea nuclear program shutdown. It is to equalize the tariffs between the US and these other countries. But so far none of the countries are negotiating new tariff deals. At this time the US charges a smaller tariff on the products that they export to US and they charge a much higher tariff on the products we export to them.

      1. Mexico is a net importer of steel. By far the largest source is from the US.

        The US is also a net importer of steel. The largest source is from Canada.

        What are Mexico and the US doing with all that metal? Making stuff that we use every day. That stuff can be domestic consumption or exported as tractors, motorcycles, air conditioners, whatever.

        There is no problem in negotiation. That happens every day. The problem happens when you get into a trade war which spills over into other stuff like soybeans, whiskey or cars. Now politics rears its ugly head and national pride steps in which gives politicians fodder to feed to the masses. Hayeck warned us about this and history proves him right.

        We are heading in the wrong direction. Trust the markets more than the government. No one man, no system of government can set prices and determine the price of anything. It is the road to serfdom.

        1. “Mexico is a net importer of steel. By far the largest source is from the US.

          The US is also a net importer of steel. The largest source is from Canada.

          What are Mexico and the US doing with all that metal? Making stuff that we use every day. That stuff can be domestic consumption or exported as tractors, motorcycles, air conditioners, whatever.”

          All well and good.

          But where the arguments fail is in the underlying assumption that these relationships are in any way static.

          Why is the US a net importer of steel? We have an abundance of iron deposits and metallic coal, a decent infrastructure, and a workforce more than capable of learning the industry.

          I’m not convinced the costs of reviving such an industry are worth the benefit. But to pretend that’s simply not possible is either economic ignorance or mendacity.

  10. Goddamnit. I was actually starting to think that it was all a brilliant negotiation tactic to get concessions from China, but I guess he really is that ass-ignorant.

  11. Remember the fiscal cliff(s)? Me neither.

    How about the economic collapse after Brexit? Nope.

    I do remember when opening up international trade caused the housing bubble and when trade policy put an end to it the bubble burst and triggered The Great Recession. It wasn’t until Obama sent a bunch of money to shovel ready jobs in China that we finally climbed out of it. I’m pretty sure the tech boom and bust was caused by the Great Chinese Firewall too.

    1. Britain’s economy is weaker after Brexit, though. The pound has fallen, wages have risen less, and investment has fallen. The sector of the economy that did the best was tourism, almost entirely due to the good euro-pound exchange rate. Future investment and wage increases hinge on whether they can secure the currently mostly free trade with the EU. If they can’t, you’ll definitely see Britain in a hard place.

      The housing bubble wasn’t due to international trade. It was due to federal involvement in housing and banking efforts. Beyond the normal guarantee the banks expected to be bailed out by the government and were encouraged (through Federal Reserve and legislative policies) to continue granting ever more risky loans. They wouldn’t have been doing this if they would absorb the costs of the risk but they knew the USFG would pick up the bill if they failed.

      1. The housing bubble wasn’t due to international trade. It was due to federal involvement in housing and banking efforts.

        So you mean a government like the US can bust its economy and significantly affect the world economy without any change in international trading policy? Huh. It almost makes you wonder if Icelanders should’ve been more or less pro-capital exchange free trade with Europe and the US in the lead up to the crisis. Might also cause you to wonder if China is similarly overextended in any of its own ‘markets’ and whether the US should similarly invest itself. I realize that Iceland’s recovery is due, in part, to it’s free trade policies, but a good part of its recovery also consisted of putting it’s own people back to work, capital controls, and insisting that it’s creditors take a haircut. Measures that wouldn’t necessarily work in the US.

        But all that kind of thinking would be hard and you might have to admit that you’re wrong and/or people might be doing the wrong things for the wrong reason (or vice versa). It’s much easier just to whip out the nationalist xenophobic paintbrush and call your opposition a bunch of bigoted morons who can’t learn the lessons of history… and then go on to act like anyone who doesn’t appreciate your art is a filthy socialist despot.

  12. The more this presidency goes on, the more I’m reminded of the “Star Trek” episode where aliens kidnap Captain Picard and replace him with a doppelganger. The doppelganger then behaves increasingly strangely so the aliens can see how weird things get before the crew mutinies.

    The obvious difference being, of course, that this is the real Trump.

    1. But it is not his crew that is mutining but those who don’t understand what he is doing and those who hate him. There are those who do hate him and would be very glade if for some reason he would be taken out of the office of Presidency. By death would be more than welcome.

    2. Whatever you may think of his trade policy (personally, I think it’s stupid), he is doing what he promised when he ran for office. Apparently, you expect politicians to lie to you so much that if they actually do what they promised, it throws you into a deep state of confusion.

  13. This tariff spat with these other nations would not be that hard to solve except the solution would break 70 years of presidents. The president where they get to tax products from the US at a much higher rate than the US taxes products for their countries. But the solution would (have been) for them to renegotiate these trade agreements and lower their tax rates some. This was started back after WW2 because most of the modern nations had just gone through the war and much of their economy was in a shambles and needed a little help. That is not the case today and they don’t need that advantage now.

  14. This tariff spat with these other nations would not be that hard to solve except the solution would break 70 years of presidents.

    Does this theory involve exhumation of the dead ones, or is it more metaphysical?

  15. “That lack of clarity?or, more accurately, honesty?between the Trump White House and America’s top trading partners is compounded by the administration’s decision earlier this week to pull the rug out from under a proposed deal with China.”

    North Korea.

    Are you ignorant or just dishonest? Anyone with two brain cells to rub together understands that N. Korea was supposed to be a good faith concession on the part of the Chinese. They pulled the rug out on that and Trump punched them in the nose for it. Masterful if you ask me; China saddened up real quick.

  16. The one advantage that a country has – besides being blessed with an abundance of whatever scarce natural resource is being exploited – is a low market wage. By & large the EU, instead of having that advantage, has a disadvantage in that regard (although the East has a slightly lower market wage than the American South); certainly Canada has no advantage. OTOH, Mexico has a huge advantage in this regard, which is why there has been that “giant sucking sound”.

  17. A few days ago i made an essay for business essay writers. After the White House announcement, I guessed that Trump wants to take another step in this trade war.

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