Free Trade

Did We Just Dodge a Trade War With Europe?

It's too soon to call this a truce in the trade war. But we may have a temporary ceasefire.



President Donald Trump and Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, held a joint White House press conference on Wednesday afternoon to announce an agreement to work towards ending the budding trade war between the United States and the European Union.

Though details remain sketchy, it seems too soon to call this a truce in the trade war—more like an agreement to stop further escalations of the conflict, at least for now, in the hopes that a truce can be worked out.

At that press conference, Trump said a deal with the E.U. would would be a "win" on both sides of the Atlantic. He said Europe would agree to buy more soybeans and liquefied natural gas from the U.S.

In a joint statement, Trump and Juncker agreed to "work together towards zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers, and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods," but offered few specifics beyond the vague promises to increase soybean and natural gas trade. The two leaders also promised "to launch a close dialogue on standards in order to ease trade, reduce bureaucratic obstacles, and slash costs." Again, that all sounds great but it leaves out the important details about how those things will be accomplished.

In the end, what Trump and Juncker outlined Wednesday sounds more like a handshake deal that could lead to a formal deal—but also might not.

"It's just a big nothingburger," Dan Ikenson, director of the Cato Institute's Center for Trade Policy Studies, told Reason. "As expected, there were no agreements reached."

Though, he added, "at least Juncker and Trump got some face time."

That the two sides are talking and at least trying to give the impression of working towards a deal is important, but it's probably right to remain skeptical of Wednesday's supposed deal.

After all, we've seen this page from the Trump playbook before. In April, shortly after slapping tariffs on steel and aluminum imports and targeting $34 billion worth of Chinese goods with additional tariffs, Trump met with Chinese officials in Washington. What at first seemed to be a productive meeting that reportedly included concessions from China ended up being little more than a brief respite before further escalations ensued. The two sides now seem to be much farther apart, with Trump threatening last week to place tariffs on literally all goods imported from China and Chinese officials recently telling Politico that they don't even know what Trump's goals are—something that makes it decidedly more difficult to engage in serious negotiations.

Hopefully, Wednesday's agreement between Trump and Juncker is a more significant deal—or at least the pathway to a more significant deal. Only time will tell.

NEXT: Clemency Recipient Alice Johnson: 'I Don't Feel I Was Denied or Delayed. I Was Destined For This.'

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  1. I guess we have historical precedent that pressuring trading partners to move toward free trade can work. It can work within 5 weeks, as a matter of fact.

    I hope these talks leads to free trade between the USA and the EU which will the two regions richer.


    1. Sure, and the nuclear threat from North Korea is over.

      World leaders are learning how to play Trump, giving him the photo op, and not giving anything to the country.

      1. It is just a matter of time before Trump starts sending a billion dollars in untracable cash to the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. Maybe Trump will set a red line in Syria and then watch Assad gas half the country. Or maybe he will let China take over the South China sea. And I bet he is going to let Putin invade Ukraine and annex the Crimea. Trump is an agent of Putin, so that is something an agent of Putin would do, right?

        1. At least Obama let the Pentagon know before his red line.

          1. Whataboutism!

            1. Isn’t that also true of John’s original comment?

              1. That itself is whataboutism! So you’re one to talk! Oh God we’re all trapped!

                1. It’s a Trap!

                  -Admiral Akbar

            2. Whataboutism used by Republicans is valid for at least as long as “But, Bush…” was used by Democrats

        2. You know, John, Obama isn’t our shitty President any more. Trump is currently our shitty President. The fact that Obama fucked stuff up doesn’t in any way mitigate Trumps current fucking up of stuff.

          So I’m not sure how “Obama sucked!!!” in any way defends Trump.

          1. Iran’s payoff still impacts the ME. I am sure that ISIS members have been found with that cash.

            If it was all marked cash.

            1. You’re kidding, right?
              Iran and ISIS are enemies.

              1. ISIS can get the cash by killing Iranians fighting ISIS who have that cash on them.


                1. Is this a serious comment?

                  1. How can you possibly not take Iran seriously?

                    Is managed trade from wagon #4 causing you to question Obama’s decision to send Iran pallets of cash?

                    1. I’m asking if you seriously think Iran handed that cash out to their soldiers who had it on them while fighting ISIS.

            2. Yeah, I’m sure that’s how they did it. I saw on the news that they loaded a C-130 with $4 billion in fives and tens and just flew over Iran shoving the money out the back.

              Happy Chandler, no he’s not kidding. He’s an idiot.

              1. That’s how I like to picture it as well, but I’m a guy who likes to have fun.

                1. Have I got a love connection for you! Invite me to the wedding please.

                  1. If it ain’t JuggleLove GTFO!

          2. Trump got a commitment from the EU to eliminate monetary (and non-monetary) barriers to free trade.

            And yet Reason, a “libertarian” publication continues to bash him.

            You guys are a f*cking joke, you know that right?

            1. No, he got a commitment to start an executive working group.

              I’m getting the warm fuzzies just thinking about it!

            2. It’s not a commitment at this point. It’s a statement.

              It’s a good sign, yes, but Reason is right to point out that nothing solid is in place.

            3. Impossible for them to climb down from their OMG Using Tariffs to Bargain Free Trade fail now. Their whole brand is TDS driven. Can’t admit that they were totally wrong, and Trump, totally right.

              Trump delivers free trade, not cucks unwilling to demand reciprocity in trade.

              Trump will reduce tariffs, as he said all along was the goal, and they’ll move on to bitching about something else, blanking out the fact that they were *totally wrong*, yet again.

              1. It’s funny how Trump defenders always insist on paying attention to actions instead of words, and then jump on mere words like here whenever it makes Trump look good.

                And even if the end result of this is lower tariffs than the prior status quo, you also have to evaluate a) the benefit gained compared to the cost of the trade war and b) opportunity cost compared to alternative strategies. Lowering tariffs and barriers without a trade war in the middle is far preferable to having a trade war in the middle.

                1. We are making fun of how shitty Reason is and all the Lefty trolls on here.

                  Of course its only a statement of intent to discuss lowering a few trade restrictions.

                  For any president that the media liked, this would be yuge!

                  Give Trump credit for trying a new strategy of getting our trade partners to move toward free trade and others will start to take you seriously.

                  1. Do you know what the TTIP is? Trump is far from the first president to ever discuss lowering trade barriers with the EU, and the notion that we should applaud Trump’s strategy and his unique genius just for having some discussions about lowering barriers after needlessly hiking tariffs is nonsense.

                    1. What is TTIP? The managed trade agreement that went nowhere?

                      Wagon #4 it is.

                    2. Trump’s negotiations are, from what we know, basically built around the framework of the TTIP negotiations.

                    3. Remember when Trump offered free trade to trading partners during the G7, if they ended trade restrictions and they refused?

      2. NK still has nukes and less-than-effective ICBMs.

        They are still a threat. In fact, the longer delay we give them to work out peace, the longer NK has to develop satisfactory guidance systems to hit the USA accurately.

        I just want you to say how Trump is great and putting pressure on trading partners to relax trade restrictions can work. Apologize (Jesse Jackson style)

        1. I wouldn’t count your chickens. Trump has been sold short again. Without details, there’s nothing.

          1. But Trump was never supposed to get the EU to crack. At all.

            Trump’s plan would fail 100%, said the Lefties.

            Looks like we got a 1% discussion about lowering some trade restrictions.

            1. That and a dollar will buy you a cup of coffee.

              In the meantime, companies are laying off folks, products are more expensive, and wages are down from last year.

              And, we won, let me check, oh yeah, an executive working group.

              1. Chanandler, you must be wagon #2?

                1. That’s Mr. Commish to you!

                  1. You want that dont you, comrade?

            2. Just keep eating shit, then.

              It’s like with North Korea. Sitting down with Kim Jong-un wasn’t any big coup, exactly. It was, in fact, a major concession, offered up for nothing concrete in return, but Trump spun it as a major diplomatic step – talks! And then he comes back with some warmed-over promises about “denuclearization” and “peace treaties” and still the best he can show for it is that maybe they’re partially dismantling a rocket test station that they claim not to even need any more. Progress! But none of these are major gets. Any administration willing to treat Kim Jong-un like on of the big boys could have – and in fact, did – come away with comparable wins.

              The same goes here. Nothing was stopping Trump from trying to negotiate lower trade barriers with the EU, just by agreeing to deal. Instead he wants us to think all of this heat and light, via extortionate tariffs, means he’s bargaining for position. But in fact it’s just a lot of effort to end up right exactly where we were, albeit with lost credibility and political capital. We have no trade deal. We have no reason to believe that the EU is prepared to lower trade barriers in order to avoid tariffs. We just have talks, with some vague promises to close the trade gap.

              But you’ll eat it right up.

              1. Sure we could have just sat down and went through all of the boring technical negotiations but where is the fun in that?

                Trump is an entertainer and his supporters want something they can be entertained with.

                War is fun.

                Remember with Trump it is all about the ratings.

              2. Look at Lefties try and bad mouth Trump talking with NK and talking with EU leaders.

                Lefties hate hate hate that Trump might get peace in Korea and get American trade restrictions lower than pre-Trump levels.

        2. Wow lol you are a first rate knob polisher! Keep polishing Trumps knob old dude, that’s what you’re good at!

          1. Holy shit, a genuine DU trollfecta?..

            1. Oh yeah, the Lefty trolls (Buttplugger, SQSRL, JSJ, Calidissident, Chanandler, Shirley Knott) swarmed this thread quickly. Moo Cow was slow to the mission.

              At this stage Moo Cow didnt even bother to add TDS material but went straight for the homophobia.

      3. World leaders are learning how to play Trump, giving him the photo op, and not giving anything to the country.

        except for that president of Montenegro that Trump pushed out of the way so he could be in the photo

        1. Well played.

      4. It was never all that hard to figure out. I was assuring all the garment-rending Democrats I encountered in late November 2016 who were convinced he was bent on starting a nuclear war that things would pan out like this. If they’d been cagey and played to his ego, and hadn’t quibbled about giving him credit for everything, they could probably have made some effective deals with him by now. If they’d let him build his stupid wall, he’d have easily conceded a lot more substantive immigration issues.

        Of course, they’ve convinced themselves that rallying their base with “Teh Resistence!” is the key to regaining power. We’ll see how that works out.

      5. Happy Chandler|7.25.18 @ 5:36PM|#
        ‘Sure, and the nuclear threat from North Korea is over.’
        He’s gotten a whole hell of a lot closer than anyone else:
        “North Korea begins dismantling rocket launch site facilities, satellite images show”

        “World leaders are learning how to play Trump, giving him the photo op, and not giving anything to the country.”
        You shouldn’t listen to those voices in your head; they’re even more stupid than you are.

      6. This is, unfortunately, exactly right. It’s embarrassing as hell to have this guy declaring a major win after the Europeans convince him to walk back his tariff rhetoric just by offering to close the trade deficit slightly (by the way, how is the EU going to buy more soybeans or LNG?). It’s amateur hour in the White House, and the whole world knows it. Except for the Trumpeteers.

        1. Its a major victory because American haters like yourself were proven wrong…again.

          Its only an acknowledgement of talks but that means that Trump’s plan did not 100% fail, like Lefties said it would.

    2. There’s plenty of historical precedent for what happened today. Two sides say they reached an agreement without any details worked out, and there’s no agreement. Let’s hold off on our MAGAs until there’s actually an agreement to celebrate.

      1. No no no. You Lefties insisted that there is no precedent to “trade wars” working to reduce trade restrictions.

        I cant wait for you Lefties to circle the wagons on this one.

        It is epic!

        1. Are you doing okay LC1789?

          1. I am having trouble collecting all my tear barrels from my garage and posting away.

            I will need help on this one. The Lefties flocked to Reason once their bots got the signal to attack.

            1. No, I meant are you okay. You seem manic lately in your posting. Like you’re just posting the same thing over and over, even in places it doesn’t entirely make sense.

              1. MAGA?

              2. Are you okay BUCS?

                1. Me? I’m very stressed right now, as I just quit my job and am moving to start a new job in Colorado.

                  We can talk about me as well, but I still wonder how you’re doing.

                  1. Good luck at yer new job in Colorado!!!

                    “Rocky Mountain High” to ya Dude, Colorado can be paradise!!!

        2. Even if this meeting actually results in substantive negotiations or changes, it’s at best basically a resumption of TTIP talks. No reason we couldn’t have skipped the tariffs.

          1. But it didnt happen.

            Give Trump the credit due.

            1. What didn’t happen? Negotiations happened, and at this point a promise of negotiations is all Trump has accomplished.

              1. But they werent going to happen and have not since….when?

                Obama didnt get a good deal with the EU.

                I will put you down as a “NO” for ever giving Trump credit.

                Should I put you down as wagon #3?

                1. Or wagon #4?

                2. My point is that Trump hasn’t gotten any deal made. If I wouldn’t give Obama credit just for getting negotiations, why would I give Trump credit for that?

                  1. You people swore up and down that it would never work at all.

                    It worked a little bit.

                    1. That’s like being a little bit pregnant. Either it works or it doesn’t work. Right now there have been no changes implemented or promised. Let’s have this discussion when something actually happens.

                    2. But you Lefties said Trump pressure tactics would NEVER work.

        3. That will be cool if it happens! I’ll be the first on here to congratulate trump if it does. Well, second. You’ll be blowing him before the article is even posted.

          1. JSJ must be wagon #3 and he will need to get Hillary’s dick out of his mouth to drive those yaks ruthlessly to circle those wagons.

            Faster boys! Faster!

            1. Master of the false dichotomy. “If you ain’t with Trump you must be with Hillary!” Your black and white world must be so boring.

              1. YOU are with Hillary and YOU are against Trump and YOU have TDS.

    3. No, we don’t.
      We have hand-wavey vague suggestions of a possible future agreement.
      Talk to me when you’ve got historical evidence.

      1. Should I collect your tears now or in 2020 when Trump win reelection?

      2. But there’s an executive working group! I bet that will help pay your mortgage.

        1. YOU wont pay bets.

    4. And when Trump kissied up to North Korea and utin, who did you say blinked first?


      I can’t hear you!

      1. Fat Boy-Un hasnt threatened to nuke the USA since the June meeting.

        Putin has not invaded another nation since Obama let him invade The Crimea and Eastern Ukraine.

        This about Trump getting the EU to crack first and then discuss lowering trade restrictions.

        Are you an American or American’t?

        I can’t hear you Scarecrow!

      2. Scarecrow Repair & Chippering|7.25.18 @ 6:48PM|#
        “And when Trump kissied up to North Korea and utin, who did you say blinked first?

        “kissied up”?
        Did you take your meds?

    5. “I guess we have historical precedent that pressuring trading partners to move toward free trade can work. It can work within 5 weeks, as a matter of fact.”

      We need to be careful we’re not begging the question here.

      Even if Trump wins at this game, it was never clear that he would–certainly not when he initiated these tariffs.

      Because you won a hand of black jack after betting the farm on it, that doesn’t mean it was smart to bet the farm on a hand of black jack. What you did was actually stupid–at the time you did it–even if you later won. There was no guarantee that we would win. (There still isn’t). There was a real risk of starting a larger trade war spiraling out of control. There was a real cost to consumers and companies paying more for aluminum and steel.

      All that being said, I was always and remain hopeful that Trump’s foolish bet will prove to be a winner–because I’m a loyal American. But I’ll never pretend that inflicting trade barriers is a smart or capitalist thing to do–not even IF IF IF it turns out to be a winner in this case.

      Broken clocks, twice a day.

      1. Amen Ken Shultz Dude-Sir!!!

        Amen ALL THE WAY, Baby!!!!!

      2. Godamnit Ken!
        I like you and your commentary, but not all fn gambling is created equal!
        A better metaphor would be betting half your stack on a straight draw when your opponent clearly has a strong hand. Good results when you hit your draw on the river, but 7/8 times you’ll miss.
        Blackjack is a silly game, akin to flipping a coin.
        International diplomacy is complex, like poker.
        Blackjack isn’t a good metaphor, while poker is. You can play poker well, you can play poker poorly – but you’re doing something – not just waiting for fairly random outcomes.
        If you want to continue to characterize Trumps trade approach as gambling, that’s fine – but use an appropriate analogy instead of a misplaced one.

        1. The point is that making a foolish bet doesn’t become ingenious after the fact if you win.

          Don’t miss the forest for the trees.

          1. Ken, it was a good bet. Trump knew that.

            America is worth the risk.

            I hope it leads to some great trade between the EU and the USA. Good progress with this could pressure China more to move toward more free trade.

            1. If Trump works out a trade deal with China that’s better than what we had before he launched his tariffs on them, I may start to believe that Trump was actually playing the long game on free trade the whole time.

              I think it unlikely that Trump wants a free trade deal with China.

              Even if he wants one, he’s unlikely to pursue anything before November 2020, right?

              Everything he’s done to China on trade has improved his chances of carrying Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania come 2020. Regardless of whether a trade war with China is good for those people, they wanted a president who would stand up to China for the rust belt, and he isn’t about to throw that away ahead of 2020. That’s his advantage over any Democrat they throw up against him. He’s actually done what the Democrats have been promising to do since Bill Clinton was president.

              1. Aside from the political angle, there is also another potential reason Trump is sticking it to China: to weaken a potential enemy.

                Over the past decade, China has emerged as the #1 long-term threat to stability in East Asia. North Korea may get the most attention for it’s outrageous sabre-rattling, but behind the scenes China has become more and more aggressive militarily. Which in turn has caused Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and even Viet Nam to look to the US for protection.

                China is big and powerful, but Trump has correctly observed that they are economically vulnerable. They rely on favorable access to US markets to keep their economy humming; take that access away and they lose money to spend on new weapons and ships and troops.

                Sure, the US will probably suffer a bit. But our trade with China is worth less than 1% of the US GDP, while their trade with us is worth more than 4% of the Chinese GDP. China has far more to lose in a trade war than we do.

                And sure enough, the Chinese stock markets have tanked — down 12% since the start of the year — while the US stock markets are up about 2% this year.

                Reagan used low oil prices in the 1980s to help bring about the demise of the Soviet Union. Trump may be using high tariffs to bring about the demise of the ChiComs.

          2. Trump IS playing poker, but you choose an inapplicable card game instead. That is the point.
            Now, whether or not Trump is a good poker player won’t be decided for awhile.
            But playing poker is bad because dogma. Got it

    6. The US trade negotiators have been outwitted by European negotiators ever since the end of WW2. In the beginning the US used trade to help rebuild Europe’s economy and got used to having advantage over the US in trade. Every president since then have caved to Europe until now. President Trump having business experience in EU/Europe and the US realizes this and is standing up to EU/Europe. At this time UK is a toss up but very well may be signing a trade deal with the US also. Also Mexico and Trump is getting along very good now and there is a good chance for a trade deal there also. Now Canada is a little slow so we will have to wait and see there.

  2. Would you like some nothing-fries with your nothing-burger?

    1. Funny that SQRLSY, Buttplugger, Tony, JSJ, Shirley Knott, and Chanandler Bong all show up circling their wagons.

      1. The Trump fan club is over at Bratfart, you moron.

        Here –

        You’re obviously lost.

        1. Are you going to be the lead wagon Buttplugger?

        2. What’s breibart?

          1. I do notice he’s the only one here is ever cites it.

            1. He’s a classical liberal. That’s why he hangs out at Breitbart so much.

              1. Buttplugger, a Classical liberal or classical retard?

                1. Can’t he be both at the same time?

                  1. He’s not Libertarian nor Classical Liberal, so not both.

    2. “Would you like some nothing-fries with your nothing-burger?”

      If they’d announced that they weren’t willing to discuss lower trade barriers, would that have been a nothing burger, too?

      If refusing to discuss lowering trade barriers wouldn’t have been a nothing-burger, then announcing that they were working on an agreement to lower trade barriers isn’t a nothing-burger either.

      It doesn’t rise to the level of an actual agreement, but it isn’t a nothing-burger.

      1. OK man I hear ya, and I am hoping to eat my hat on many negative expectations, actually…

        1. Sure you are.

          How in the fuck are you going to eat an entire 10 gallon hat?

      2. I think you meant it wouldn’t not be a nothing-burger. Double negatives are hard, right?

        1. I am HOPING that it won’t be a nothing-burger, so that I can eat my hat, for the good of all…

          But I am not holding my breath!!!!

          1. How are you going to eat a coonskin hat?

  3. Soybeans and natural gas? BFD.

    Two things the EU has to buy outside Europe anyway.

    The “Great Negotiator” has shit his pants again.

    1. Butthole is now brushing off the Soybean crops that were supposed to lead to Hillary winning in Iowa in 2020.

      Circle your wagons, loser.

      1. Soybean futures still bouncing around the recent lows. Lets see where they are tomorrow. Before the crap started, they were over $1,000. Currrently $862.

        1. OMG, the soybean market didnt immediately respond positively!?!

          1. The executive working committee was announced after the CBE closed.

            1. Aftermarket trading retard.

    2. It’s funny how the same people screaming Russia Russia Russia see no significance in the EU purchasing natural gas from the US instead.


      1. That’s because the idea that Europe could possibly replace its Russian source of natural gas with LNG shipped from the United States is farcical. They don’t even have the ports yet. Much less the ships or the appetite for the expense.

    3. They have to buy both somewhere so better here than some other country like Russia for natural gas and maybe some place like Brazil for soybeans. Right now Brazil supplies most of China’s soybeans imports. Also be it known that before China announced the tariffs on soybeans they overbought to have a stash to try to out last the US. Note also China target the flyover country where much of Trumps support comes because they know that the farmers cannot hold out as long as other can. If the farmers dumped Trump then China would win and the US would (and the free world) would lose. How much better it would if the politicians would have stood united behind Trump. We would have had an agreement a lot sooner and there would not have been so much worries. I hope you noticed that the stock market has not been much worried. The up and down in the market was manipulation to make money selling then buying, holding the selling etc.

  4. ‘ “tit for tat” “game theory” forgiveness ‘? makes a good Google search string; results include this:… … It turns out that Jesus H. Christ was correct, and modern science now validates it, that “forgiveness” is a way-vitally important element of good strategy and good results! So I do not give one flying hoot about who started the trade war; it needs to STOP!!! At the VERY least, we need to stop trying to put the fire out with gasoline!
    Politicians aren’t usually known to have much decency, common sense, morality, or ethics. So now that the trade wars have started, NONE of them (here or abroad) are very likely to say “let’s forgive”, or, “we’ll take down our trade barriers first, and trust you to do the same, later”. They are almost all evil bastards, who cannot or will not recognize the wisdom of Jesus H. Christ, as has now been validated by science. They are more into pride, boasting, “winning”, and posturing, than they are about looking out for the common good.

    Is Der DumpfenFuhrer going to listen to the wisdom of Jesus? There’s always hope!!!

    1. DumpfenFuhrer and trade-warrior logic so far: “We must TAX (tariff) the American consumers MORE than other nations tax (tariff) THEIR consumers, or we are LOSING the trade war!!!”

      With Donald’s ego being as ginormous as it is, common sense may continue to look like “unilateral surrender” in the trade wars, and He wants to be a WINNER!!!

      Let’s hope things actually change for the better…

    2. China started the trade war over 10 years ago, we just didn’t respond. Also, if you’re going to cite game theory you supercilious twit you would know that the proper move is not to forgive until the other party backs down.

      1. “…the proper move is not to forgive until the other party backs down.”

        Oh, absolute horse shit! The provided link (or the Google search in general) shows that the game-theory computer runs SHOW that the common sense (and Jesus) are validated! Forgiveness is needed! Else the negative tit-for-tat goes on FOREVER!!!! SOMEBODY SOMEWHERE HAS TO FORGIVE, in order to break out of never-ending negative tit for tat!!

        What is your flavor of ideological idiocy, that you can NOT see this obvious truth? A Trumpian or GOPian ideological idiot, or just a trade warrior in general?

  5. Why are autos singled out among industrial goods for subsidies?

    1. My guess is that carmakers on both sides of the Atlantic are heavily unionized and no politician wants to risk tying off that teat.

    2. Because the auto industry employs a lot of people and thus holds a lot of political clout.

    3. Euros don’t want cheap ass US cars competing with their Renaults.

    4. Because those who want their Benzes and Beemers also want their subsidies

    5. Chicken tax?

    6. The UAW, Steel Workers, and other are influential–especially in rust belt swing states. It’s the same in other countries, too. There’s no good economic reason for it. It’s political.

      One of the “problems” American companies have competing with German countries, in particular, is that Germany has a number of artificial advantages.

      One of them involves the upside of the Euro for Germany from an exports perspective. To put it simply, Germany’s monetary policy is such that the German Mark would be a whole lot more valuable if it weren’t for the Euro, and that gives them a tremendous advantage when it comes to exports.

      Sure, there are downsides to Germany being used as a backstop by the other countries in the Euro, who (like Spain, Italy, and France) can finance more spending than they could otherwise because of the strength of Germany’s economy and the anti-inflationary bias of their central bank. On the other hand, if Germany’s currency reflected only the strength of their own economy, their own fiscal policies, their own monetary policy, etc., the German Mark would price Germany’s exporters out of a lot of the world market.

      This is one of the main reasons why Merkel was so hot to save the Euro.

      Here’s a statistic to impress our stupid friends:…..e-of-trade

      Hit the button that says “Max” and look at what happens to Germany’s exports after the Euro is launched on January 1, 1999.

      1. I set a window from 1997-2003. At 1999, the trend was perfectly flat. It went up modestly in 2001.

        What was I supposed to see?

        1. Look at Max and see where Germany’s trade surplus was historically before the Euro and what’s happened to Germany’s trade surplus since the Euro.

          It’s really not that complicated.

          1. Correlation implies causation? Especially poorly timed correlation?

            It seems more likely that the value returned to the previous trend pre-’89 which was interrupted by reunification.

            1. Are you suggesting that artificially keeping the value of your currency down doesn’t encourage exports?

              Are you suggesting that keeping prices lower than they would be otherwise doesn’t encourage consumption?

              This is pretty basic stuff.

              And you would need to deny some really basic stuff to think that the Euro didn’t make things cheaper than they would have been when priced in German Marks, and that making exports cheaper that way didn’t dramatically contribute to Germany’s rising trade surpluses after the introduction of the Euro.

              The cause and effect relationship is clear here.

              Correlation may not necessarily equal causation, but if I’m trying to figure out why I’m in pain, having shot myself in the foot a moment ago is more than just a likely candidate.

              P.S. Willfully obtuse is no way to go through life.

            2. Are you suggesting that artificially keeping the value of your currency down doesn’t encourage exports?

              Are you suggesting that keeping prices lower than they would be otherwise doesn’t encourage consumption?

              This is pretty basic stuff.

              And you would need to deny some really basic stuff to think that the Euro didn’t make things cheaper than they would have been when priced in German Marks, and that making exports cheaper that way didn’t dramatically contribute to Germany’s rising trade surpluses after the introduction of the Euro.

              The cause and effect relationship is clear here.

              Correlation may not necessarily equal causation, but if I’m trying to figure out why I’m in pain, having shot myself in the foot a moment ago is more than just a likely candidate.

              P.S. Willfully obtuse is no way to go through life.

            3. Maybe you’re suggesting that the rest of the Euro zone’s government overspending doesn’t actually weigh the value of the Euro down relative to other currencies?

              Yeah, Germany’s exports benefit from that.

              Again, this is all really basic stuff.

              1. For years, the funds were flowing into southern Europe. German banks lent to Greeks and Italians and Spaniards. Then the Piigs dried up and the fled reversed. It goes both ways

                1. Dead thread-fucking is so tacky after you’ve been pwned in real time, dipshit.

  6. He said Europe would agree to buy more soybeans and liquefied natural gas from the U.S.

    Trump is #winning the trade wars while simultaneously creating more soyboy cucks to make Europe even more vulnerable to American demands. These poor fools are in 11-dimensional check and they don’t even know it.

    1. Europeans eating Sushi daily in their nice heated homes from LNG.

      1. I think you mean “tofu”.

        1. You dip sushi in SOY sauce.

          But tofu too.

    2. Soy Wars!

      US Soy infiltration will sap and impurify all of their precious bodily fluids!

      Victory is ours!


  7. I’m a bit tired of the shart-of-the-deal broken record. “I’m gonna do something crazy! Do I look sane? Watch me! Okay, token gesture, success!” Would be nice if the rest of the planet could just ignore him like the troll he is.

    1. You mean Buttplugger, right?

      His breath does smell like 10 week old bridge butter.

    2. Tony|7.25.18 @ 5:45PM|#
      “I’m a bit tired of the shart-of-the-deal broken record”

      Me, too, Tony. Please STFU about how the hag ‘should have won’ if you made up the rules.
      About how they’re going to release evidence of Russki canoodling any day now.
      Preferably, just STFU.

    3. It’s worse than that. They’re figuring out how to play him. Trump comes home with his participation certificate for the American refrigerator, while other foreign leaders work amongst themselves to their own mutual benefit.

      I wish they would just make him look like the idiot that he is, so that he would start to face consequences here. But no, he’s too easy to manipulate. This guy got him to stop threatening catastrophic tariffs hinged on an extralegal rationale by softly promising to buy soybeans. The more Trump trusts his instincts, the worse off we are as a country.

      1. I know its scary SimonP that Trump is unstoppable at manipulating the Socialist turds around the World.

        America first!

  8. I will miss my Greek and Irish imports, but I’m willing to go the distance.

  9. The Chinese find Trump inscrutable? That is a twist.

  10. As long as the price of 12 year old Dalmore comes down….

    1. Free trade is not real free trade until we can get that Sardinian cheese infested with maggots and maggot poop.

      1. I want anyone who wants that sort of thing to have it.

        And I want to know who they are so I can avoid them. *gag*

        1. Apparently it has a very harsh ammonia flavor and aftertaste, and you have to cover the cheese with your hand while eating it to keep the maggots from jumping up into your eye balls.

          1. Well, now I’m sold on it. *gag*

  11. This seems like great news. I hope it works, and I’ll give credit where credit is due when we have something binding. Now let’s hope China comes to the same conclusion as the EU.

    As much as I like the ends (potentially), the means are still important. One need look no further than the stock market over the last few weeks to see how much uncertainty is in the market because of this brinksmanship game.

    1. To improve relationships, you have to be willing to risk some conflict.

      Letting yourself be walked over has its own risks.

      1. It’s easy for Trump to risk something that won’t affect him directly. Tell the workers impacted by this silly game that they have to sacrifice for the greater good. I’m pretty sure that tired thinking has been used before.

        1. Trump is a billionaire.

          Yet he acts like he wants America to do well.

          Politicians who try and fulfill their campaign promises threatens politicians like Warren, Hillary, Schumer….

  12. “I don’t understand how negotiations work”

  13. “For the love of God, take the same deal you idiot! Any deal. Just take it!” John Kelley was heard screaming at the president before the news conference

  14. Anybody interested in what the market is saying?

    We’re libertarians. We believe in markets, right?

    “U.S. Stocks Soar on Trade Concessions”
    Shares of industrial firms in the S&P 500 rally 1.2% following news of an agreement involving tariffs


    1. Thanks Ken.

    2. Yes. Markets are pricing in lower future Trump mistakes.

      Can we talk about 0% y/y wage gains now?

      1. Wagon #2 is talking.

      2. Happy Chandler|7.25.18 @ 7:40PM|#
        “Can we talk about 0% y/y wage gains now?”

        Is cherry-picking paying enough to live on now? Just asking, since it seems it’s your only occupation. Other than posting stupid, that is.

      3. “Can we talk about 0% y/y wage gains now?”

        Find a link or someone might accuse you of making shit up.

        “Average hourly earnings increased 2.7% in June from a year earlier, according to the Labor Department’s monthly jobs data released Friday. Although that is below the 2.8% economists expected, wages have risen at least 2.5% for 16 of the past 17 months, a faster pace than recorded earlier in the economic expansion.”

        —-WSJ, July 9, 2018…..1531134000

        1. Here’s a hint: what was inflation over the past year?
          Nominal wage gains are meaningless.

      4. German market is up 1.3% fuck nuts. You should probably STFU while you’re behind.

    3. Yes, markets rally after Trump walks back on his own market-killing tariff threats. Who could have guessed that might happen?

      1. SimonP|7.25.18 @ 10:21PM|#
        “Yes, markets rally after Trump walks back on his own market-killing tariff threats. Who could have guessed that might happen?”

        Fucking lefty ignoramus is surprised that opening offer in negotiation is not final!
        ‘Cause fucking lefty ignoramus!

  15. All relationships are give and take. We didn’t dodge a trade war. We started fighting back and winning. The negotiation didn’t start with Trump, and doesn’t end today.

    1. +1

  16. Need to repeal some tariffs rather than leaving exemptions to them to the discretion of the executive all this time.

  17. It’s almost like Trump understands this game of negotiating.

    I am sure Pelosi and Sanders will be along shortly to talk of crumbs and vampire capitalism.

  18. Funny (not really) how Trump’s defenders are using this event to say “look look, pressure to create free trade can work!” when the result wasn’t more free trade, it was a demand to buy more of our stuff. So the whole episode looks a lot more like mercantilism rather than free trade.

    1. I think mercantilism was the first lecture in economics 101 at the Wharton school. Trump heard that one, decided that sounded good enough and skipped the rest of the class.

    2. Did you not read the bit where they mentioned the goals were tariff free trade across ALL goods??????? Idiot.

    3. I know its scary Chemjeff, that Trump’s plan to get trading partners to the table worked in less than 5 weeks.

  19. You have to love this.

    EU says they will buy more US soybeans which are cheaper now. We cannot sell our soybeans to our regular customer China which has tarrifs on US soybeans. They did this because Trump hit them with a bunch of tarrifs to start all this.

    Trump also hit Mexico with tarrifs. Mexicans like pork but they hit the US with tarrifs on pork. Now they want to buy pork from the EU. The EU needs soybeans to feed its pigs so they can fatten them up and sell them to Mexico.

    Instead of selling soybeans to China we sell them to the EU, hard to see the net gain there. The EU now has a new market to sell pork. Mexico loses nothing. China buys more soybeans from South America so they can feed their own pigs.

    The only ones happy here are the pigs.

    1. Unless and until all of them crack and we get reduced trading barriers with ALL OF THEM. Which has been the entire point the whole time.

      Then the result will be reduced tariffs across the board on all sides, and people trading with whoever provides the goods/services the best… Which is almost kinda like free trade.

  20. I just heard the quote from Trump. It was to eliminate tariffs on non auto industrial products. That excludes agriculture and autos. The trade barriers on those before Trunk was basically nil. So the accomplishment is an agreement to work towards getting back to where we started, and ignore the two industries with the most barriers. Winning!

    1. Trump offered to end trade restrictions if our trading partners ended their trade restrictions. They refused.

      1. He can’t follow through on the promise. He was ignored because it was stupid. Unlike Trump, other leaders understand Congress.

        1. Yeah, free trade is stupid to lefties like you.

          Circle that Wagon #2, shit bird.

  21. Happy Hihnfection!!!! Lock the fucking thread before it spreads!!!!

  22. Nothing is signed and sealed yet, and we will have to see where it all goes… But it’s kinda funny how the side that has MORE TO LOSE is willing to come to the table when you threaten to cut them off. Apparently some people don’t understand one party having the upper hand in a situation?

    The truth is we could get EVERYBODY to break and drop trade barriers if we were willing to go hardcore enough. Europe could survive high tariffs because they sell a lot to other parts of Europe (they’re consumers as well as producers) and the rest of the world, but China is so dependent on us that we could literally send them into an instant depression if we slapper 50% tariffs or whatever on them. In other words they would HAVE TO bow to our demands, because they couldn’t survive the fallout.

    I don’t understand how this is so hard for people to understand. We have the power and influence to force real free trade on the world, why shouldn’t we use it? It’s not like we’re threatening to nuke them if they don’t do it, just level the playing field. We happen to have the upper hand, and this would be an unambiguously positive end result… Why shouldn’t we do it???

    1. The Lefties understand but it scares them that trump is unstoppable.

      They want America to fail but their Socialists buddies in the EU cracked in less than 5 weeks.

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