Free Trade

The Trade Deficit Keeps Growing. And Here's 3 More Data Points Showing Trump Is Losing His Trade War

Investment in American businesses has fallen sharply since the start of the trade war, and American exports are way down too.

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Less than 24 hours after President Donald Trump announced an escalation of the trade war with China, he got some predictable news: America's trade deficit has hit a new high.

The gap between how much America exports to China and how much it imports from the Asian nation grew to $30.2 billion in July, up from $30.1 billion the previous month, according to Commerce Department figures. The widening gap was due to a decrease in the value of American exports, Bloomberg notes.

In normal circumstances, this wouldn't be a big deal. Economists generally agree that trade deficits don't matter, for the same reason that you wouldn't worry about running a "deficit" with a grocery store. But Trump has used America's trade deficit as a key justification for his trade policies, and he has repeatedly promised that tariffs on China would reduce that deficit.

Instead, the opposite has happened.

Trump's tariffs are having an impact. During the first six months of 2018, U.S. exports to China fell by 18 percent relative to the same period last year. Imports from China slipped by 12 percent. Both sides are doing less trading, but the trade deficit persists.

Here are three more recent data points that show problems with Trump's trade war:

  1. BUSINESS INVESTMENTS

According to the Commerce Department, investment in American businesses has fallen off sharply since the start of Trump's trade war in mid-2018. Nonresidential domestic investment was buoyed by the tax cuts Trump signed in December 2017, but during the second quarter of 2019 investment dipped into negative territory. That's a sign that businesses are holding back on hiring or expanding in the face of the uncertainty created by the president's trade policies.

Equally significant is the recent sharp drop in American exports. This is an expected but perhaps underappreciated consequence of Trump's policies. "Exporters can be successful only if they are viewed as reliable suppliers," writes C. Fred Bergsten, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. "But Trump's trade policies have rendered US firms among the most unreliable in the world."

  1. GOODS-PRODUCING JOBS DECLINING

Trump has also tried to justify his bellicose trade policies by citing the importance of American manufacturing jobs . Trump talked about "an extraordinary resurgence of American manufacturing" during a photo op at the White House last month.

But as the chart above indicates, goods-producing jobs have been declining steadily since last summer. The drop-off begins almost exactly when the trade war began.

The latest jobs report continues this trend.

  1. THE TRADE WAR HAS BEEN A NET LOSER FOR THE TREASURY

Another of Trump's favorite defenses for the trade war is the claim that tariffs are generating billions of dollars for the U.S. Treasury. He's right about that much—though it's Americans who are paying, not China.

But the tariffs have also failed as a revenue-generating strategy. As of May, they were on pace to generate about $20 billion in revenue by the end of 2019. By comparison, Trump's bailouts to farmers hurt by China's retaliatory tariffs totaled over $25 billion.

Those bailouts, meanwhile, have been a complete mess. A report released this week by the Environmental Working Group, a agricultural policy watchdog, found that 54 percent of those payments went to just 10 percent of all farmers.

With more Chinese tariffs set to take effect in September, it's possible that Trump's tariffs and bailouts might balance each other out by the end of the year. If so, an 18-month experiment in economic nationalism will have been, at best, a wash for the Treasury while serving as a massive transfer in wealth from America's manufacturing and agricultural sectors to a small sliver of farmers. Great success!

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  1. Orange man bad.

    1. MARKET IMPLODING!!!!

      1. QUICK ELECT A SOCIALIST! IT’S THE ONLY WAY!

        1. Funny thing there about, maybe a bit dated (I don’t know if Obama’s numbers are included in all of the first five examples. The S&P numbers don’t include Obama’s S&P returns):

          • $10,000 invested in the S&P Index would have returned a measly $300,671 under Democratic presidents while that same $10,000 invested in the S&P Index would have returned a staggering $11,733 under Republican presidents.

          • 3 out of 4 Democratic administrations left office with unemployment at 4% or lower.
          • No Republican administration ever left office with unemployment under 5%.
          • Of 9 administrations since the end of WWII, 4 of the best 5 in terms of GDP growth were Democrats.
          • The four worst administrations in terms of GDP growth were all Republican.

          • Socialist Truman left 2.5 percent unemployment to Republican Patriot Eisenhower.
          • Republican Patriot Eisenhower left recession and 6.5 percent unemployment to Socialist Kennedy.
          • Socialist Johnson left 3.5 percent unemployment to Republican Patriot Nixon.
          • Republican Patriot Ford left recession and 7.5 percent unemployment to Socialist Jimmy Carter.
          • Socialist Carter wasn’t able to improve much on the recession he inherited . . .
          •. . and neither were Republican Patriots Reagan and Bush, who left recession and 7.2 percent unemployment to Socialist Bill Clinton.
          • Socialist Bill Clinton left 4.2 percent unemployment to Republican Patriot Dumbya . . .
          • Republican Patriot Dumbya left recession and 7.6 percent unemployment to Far Left Radical Extremist Socialist Barack Obama

          • Boom Quarters in the 28 years before Reagan’s inauguration: 34
          • Boom Quarters in the 28 years after Reagan’s inauguration. 14

    2. The closer we get to president trumps re-election the more the left will panic and attempt to tank the economy via bad press.

      “To save us all we must all die”

      1. Jonestown! This time attempted on a much larger scale! The People’s Temple of Wokeness and The Green New Deal will save us all!

      2. “You hear that guys? We’re finally gonna die!”

      3. Ya, umm, I guess you missed the message that The Market sent a couple of months ago when the yield curve inverted.

        But hey, why let reality get in the way of blaming Democrats.

    3. Criticize him for one thing.

      Not “he tweets a little too much.”

  2. President Trump said trade wars were easy to win. Guess he is wrong again. He could point out that like healthcare, trade policy is really complicated. Just a little above his level of attention.

    1. 500,000 new manufacturing jobs in two and half years. To put that into prospective, manufacturing jobs declined by 200,000 under Obama.

      This stuff appears too complicated for you. Maybe you should sit this one out.

      1. But as the chart above indicates, goods-producing jobs have been declining steadily since last summer. The drop-off begins almost exactly when the trade war began.

        This stuff appears too complicated for you. Maybe you should sit this one out.

        It’s like rain on your wedding day.

        1. But as the chart above indicates, goods-producing jobs have been declining steadily since last summer. The drop-off begins almost exactly when the trade war began.

          And that is just a straight up lie. Go to the US bureau of Labor statistics Link I give below. It show manufacturing jobs rising. I don’t think they are lying.

          What about the numbers below is too complicated for you? Do you just know how to count?

        2. http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES3000000001

          Do you not understand that 12,836,000 is larger than 12,826,000? Do you not know how to count?

        3. Come on Jerry, is the bureau of labor statistics lying? That “chart” says growth is going down. After the large amount of growth last year, that is not surprising. Moreover, it is projected to increase this summer.

          Again, who is lying here, Eric or the Bureau of Labor Statistics?

          1. Boehm seems confused at the difference between “rate of growth” and “number of jobs”

            1. Boehm seems confused based on any economic metric.

            2. You had it nailed at ‘Boehm seems confused’.

        4. free ride when you’ve already paid

    2. Do you also call baseball games over after the first inning?

      1. If it rains, yes.

        Since China controls the weather, were f’d.

        1. China doesn’t control shit.

      2. I’ve taken to calling Rangers games after the first inning because if they don’t score in the first they will probably lose. If they do score in the first they will also probably lose. How many years of “rebuilding” will it take to not slump hard in the second half of the season?

  3. http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES3000000001

    Manufacturing jobs were 12,836,000 in May. They are projected to rise to 12,864,000 by August. They were at 12,809,000 in December. That means they are up by 55,000 jobs for the first 8 months of the year if the projection is correct, which since job numbers have been higher than expected it likely will be. Overall manufacturing employment is up from 12,368,000 in January 2017 when Trump came into office. That is an increase of 500,000 jobs in two and a half years.

    But manufacturing jobs are stagnant. No they are not.

    1. The chart says that the rate of growth of manufacturing jobs is declining, but it is still positive. Maybe this is a result of tariffs, maybe normal cycles. It’s hard to tell, and Boehm is misrepresenting the data.

      You haven’t addressed his other points though. either
      1. Exports and investments are down. That’s not a good sign for continued expansion in manufacturing.

      3. The tariffs on net are costing the treasury because of his vote buying bailout to farmers.

      Not to mention the broader point. We have diddly squat in terms of actual freer trade to show for all this mess. The USMCA seems to be worse than NAFTA for anyone that’s not an American autoworker. China seems to be digging in for the long haul.

      1. Trying to isolate cause and effect in a short time period in economics is more idiotic than forecasting predictions.

      2. Exports are down, but so are Chinese imports. Considering how much greater number of Chinese imports there were before, compared to our exports, an 18% drop in US exports is probably still less in gross product then a 12% loss in Chinese imports. So it could be that the loss of Chinese imports is being somewhat being offset by domestic production? Boehm doesn’t address the impact on GDP and he makes the mistake of misleadingly stating 18% is greater than 12%. This isn’t necessarily true unless the two sets of data are equal. Is Boehm maintaining US exports to China were equaled by Chinese imports to the US? Considering there is a trade deficit this is obviously not correct.

  4. Trump is losing nothing. You and I are losing.

    “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters,”

    Donald Trump 1/2016

    1. Are the 500,000 people who have jobs today in the manufacturing sector who didn’t losing too?

      1. Donald Trump did not do that.

        1. Really? If they had declined you sure as hell would be blaming him. Moreover, I was dutifully informed by reason that it was impossible to bring those jobs back and that Trump was going to destroy the economy via a TRADE WAR!!

          How is that going?

          1. How sure as hell are you?

            1. http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/CES3000000001

              Which part of the information on manufacturing jobs do you dumb fucks not understand?

              1. No president creates any job.

                How do you dumb fucks not understand that?

                I am a libertarian. Small government free market capitalist radical.

                1. If no president creates jobs then no President destroys them either I guess. The point is you morons have been claiming gloom and doom over the evil trade war for two years not and not a single one of your predictions have come true. Why don’t you stop treating economics as a half assed religion and start paying some attention to reality and adjust your views accordingly?

                  1. Oh government can destroy economic opportunity. It does so every day. That is the point where where we disagree.

                    1. You didn’t build that… Donald Trump did.

                    2. Ah, the old have your cake and eat it too gambit.

                    3. So it can destroy economic opportunity but it can’t open that opportunity back up?

                2. You’re a free market capitalist that doesnt understand regulatory reduction as a stimulus to investment?

                  1. Stimulus is not the same as creating jobs. But you know that.

                    1. Increased economic activity doesnt increase jobs? Okay, you go with that.

                      Reduced regulation decreases start up costs and reduces barriers to entry. This in turn creates new startups which lead to jobs.

                    2. Correct. You still haven’t explained how the government creates jobs in the private sector.

                    3. Yes he did.

                    4. You didn’t build that, Tulpa.

                    5. Shorter Leo: ‘I’ve been called out for being incredibly wrong, so as I have no real argument, I will play a sophist semantical word game. Just like Chemjeff.’

                    6. It takes a real statist to think that government creates jobs.

                  2. You are a free market capitalist in favor of trade tariffs?

                    Sure I am all for reductions in corporate taxes and limited regulations. I have seen little of the latter in the past few years. In fact trade with Mexico and Canada are more restricted in the current so called deal. China I won’t even go there.

                    Drop all trade restrictions and tariffs tomorrow. Watch what happens.

                    1. Trade tariffs in what manner? Is thos where we pretend that there was absolute free trade with china before trump? How fun.

                    2. Before Trump?

                      So history is now divided into BT or AT.

                    3. Cmon Jesse

                      I am accused of a half assed religion. Free market capitalism.

                    4. So trade with Mexico and Canada is now only a little bit less than trade within the US is restricted?

                3. “No president creates any job”

                  What about all those staff jobs for the 24 Dem candidates?

        2. It’s not the tariffs that increased the job count. It’s the tax cuts.

          1. The President didn’t do that I’m told.

    2. someone should have asked him what if the guy he shot was a voter

    3. ‘Can’t give it away on 7th Ave.

    4. Certainly isn’t losing a moron like John, that’s for sure.

      1. Fuck off Kiddie Raper.

  5. Oh ye of little faith. Let not your heart be troubled but trust in the Lord thy God, for the peace of the Very Stable Genius surpasses all understanding. With the possible exception of Kanye West.

  6. As Trump rolls out these things that the Democrats have been calling for for decades— if they fail, will the Democrats shut up about them?

    1. Those bailouts, meanwhile, have been a complete mess. A report released this week by the Environmental Working Group, a agricultural policy watchdog, found that 54 percent of those payments went to just 10 percent of all farmers.

      For instance…

    2. No. Tariffs seem to be the one thing that the Democrats can agree on with Trump. Both are embracing central planning of trade because those blue collar votes won’t buy themselves.

      1. If China actually does free up trade, how will it be central planning?

      2. Trade with Slaver Xi is *not* free because the slaves producing His products are not free.

  7. anyone seen OBL and Eric in same room?

    1. Weren’t they both toed up to the fruit sushi bar?

      1. That’s a different moron.

  8. At least boehm gave up his argument on taxing the consumers since inflation has been flat.

  9. “Here’s 3 More Data Points Showing Trump Is Losing His Trade War

    1) BUSINESS INVESTMENTS

    2) GOODS-PRODUCING JOBS DECLINING

    3) A NET LOSER FOR THE TREASURY”

    There are two main purposes to Trump’s trade war with China

    1) Get a deal on forced technology transfers with an enforcement mechanism

    2) Get Trump reelected.

    Boehm’s analysis doesn’t answer either one of these directly.

    In regards to China signing onto a new deal, over the last week, China’s actions have suggested that China is in a holding pattern hoping that Trump loses his reelection campaign and that they’ll be able to negotiate an end to tariffs with a different president–without giving in on forced technology transfers–if and when Trump loses. To the extent that Trump’s trade war has failed to make China capitulate to his demands, it has been a failure, Boehm’s criteria notwithstanding. Honestly, this is a bit like the media pretending that Trump’s threats against Guatemala and Mexico were about whatever they wanted to pretend it was–despite Trump having made demands and achieved them. If and when China capitulated to Trump’s demands on forced technology transfers, watch to seem Boehm and company pretend like that just fell out of the sky.

    In regards to whether the trade war is likely to get Trump reelected, I don’t see much of an indication that the trade war with China has made Trump unpopular in swing states that have been hardest hit by the trade war. Especially in rust belt states that have been hardest hit by tariffs on aluminum and steel, to whatever extent Trump is unpopular, it doesn’t seem to be because of the trade war against China. Those states have wanted a trade war with China for some time, and if you think average Americans are likely to give up on something they want because it involves some sacrifice, then you must not know much about how the American psyche works. If anything, they’re more prone to sunk cost fallacies rather than the idea that they’ll give up something because it has some costs.

    Meanwhile, the economy hasn’t been better for unskilled workers since at least the 1960s. That situation may deteriorate between now and November of 2020, but whoever thinks that average unskilled Americans are suffering because of the trade war at this point, they’re delusional. I appreciate that they could be doing even better if it weren’t for the trade war, but you’re not about to convince unskilled Americans, who are doing better than any of them can remember, to ignore their own lying eyes and believe that they’re suffering because of the trade war–not right now. Can’t help but wonder if some people are hoping that the American people start suffering soon just so it will hurt Trump’s chances at reelection. If that’s what’s happening, they should all be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Listen to Saun Hannity much?

  10. We knew it was going to hurt the US economy. That’s not the issue. What has it done to China’s economy and who will hold out longer?

    1. Where has it hurt the economy?

      1. Did you read the above information, like at all?

    2. Who has more to lose?

      1. Fuck off Tony.

      2. Tony, go drink your Drano. No reason to wait. You know your life has no value.

  11. the trade deficit, unlike the budget deficit, really doesn’t matter. so we buy more stuff than we sell, so what? we’re the rich guys.

    1. Just out of curiosity, how long will we remain rich if we don’t sell more then we buy? That seems rather backwards to me.
      I am not trying to be a collectivist here, but won’t our wealth generally decline if we are to become only an extractavisit country? Where we produce nothing but raw goods and import manufactured goods?
      I hear it said trade deficits have no real meaning, but isn’t there some point where it does begin to matter?

      1. I suppose it depends on demand for the raw goods. China and India have to get materials from somewhere. I don’t know how dependent they are on US exports, so that would be interesting to see the data on.

      2. Soldiermedic

        It is not about that. As has been pointed out I have a trade deficit with my barber.

        In the macro sense if the shirt maker in China wishes to trade shirts I can wear for green pieces of paper there is no loss. The fallacy happens when we equate wealth with money, dollars, seashells, any medium of trade. The other mistake is that it is a zero sum game.

        I produce in my services or goods. I consume and generate wealth to others at near the same rate. It matters not to me if you are in China or anywhere. So long as we are free to trade it is a benefit to everyone.

        The distortion is when the government collects from the steel maker and hands it to the soybean farmer. Then the market cannot respond as it should.

        1. You have a trade deficit with your barber because you make money somewhere else. Eventually, if you had a trade deficit with everyone, you’d go broke right?

          1. Last check is to the undertaker and it should bounce.

          2. The barber and I both do something people will trade for. Thus we create wealth and value that did not exist before.

            I can purchase wood and make a boat. You can take that boat and catch fish. You sell those fish and give me enough seashells to trade for…

            I am not in favor of deficit spending because government can just grow itself by printing more seashells.

            I know sounds simple and ridiculous.

            Medic, air goes in and out, blood goes round and round. Everything depends on basic things.

            1. Air must go in in adequate amounts to support metabolism. Yes you can buy wood and go fishing and sell the fish. But if the price of fish is below the price of nets, then you won’t be able to afford nets. Or weights or whatever. Eventually a country that imports more then it exports will go broke. Especially as fiat money is nominally tied to GDP. If we have negative GDP, our dollar devalues, raising the price of import goods. We can print more money, but eventually this leads to inflation, which also lowers the value of the dollar. Pretty soon people are eating zoo animals and pets. Trade deficits with a single country may not be bad, if we have in turn enough trade surplus with other countries to offset the deficit. But if we run overall trade deficits it does begin to adversely impact the countries overall GDP. It is unsustainable.

              1. It seems intuitive if you see it as a checking account.

                Truth is unlike O2 saturation which we both get because it is direct and measurable, nobody really understands what causes inflation or recession in economic cycles.

                There are theories Keynesian, Austrian, Hayek, Friedman, the one thing that I get is that when the fisherman needs to pay more for nets because the chieftain demands a tariff it cannot be a good thing.

                1. It may not be a good thing. Did I ever say tariffs were a good thing? I am arguing with the idea that trade deficits really don’t matter. And we have fairly good ideas that decreases GDP and overprinting unbacked currency both lead to inflation. Few people argue with those underlying assumptions (well possibly Krugman, depending on what party is in control of the WH at the time).

  12. So it could be that the loss of Chinese imports is being somewhat being offset by domestic production?

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  13. I have to confess, I am reading these comments from ideological purists, and shaking my head. There is no, I repeat no interest in practicality, or context. Let me illustrate with a quote from Yair Lapid, who stated, “We don’t measure our decisions by which ideology they express, but by how they impact reality.” And this is where Reason (and ideological purists) just fall apart.

    For decades, we Americans have put up with a serially lying, serially cheating China who serially steals our technology. And in return, the Red Chinese flood our country with Fentanyl, responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans. But to reason and ideological purists, this is OK, since the idea of completely uninhibited free trade is the more ideologically pure way to go. Well boys and girls, what has that gotten America? Nothing. Zip. Nada. The Big Donut. A bagel. In fact, it is even worse: we have lost American treasure and lives to this idiotic ‘pure’ approach of the last couple of decades. Reality has a way of kicking you in the Nads…and guess what: You guys were wrong about this.

    We now have a POTUS that is injecting some much needed pragmatism and common sense into this issue. The temporary (emphasis on temporary) use of Tariffs to achieve a leveling of the free trade playing field is to me, a legitimate use of tariffs. What alternative to tariffs does reason and these ideological purists offer to achieve the same goals? Answer: Not much. And besides, you guys totally blew it.

    There are times where ideology has to adapt to reality. And I think that is the essence of Yair Lapid’s quote above. As a pragmatic Libertarian, I am less than thrilled that we have to use tariffs to force a leveling of the playing field. The Libertarian in me really doesn’t like it all that much. I want to have trade partners who exchange value for value in a voluntary and transparent transaction, with no lying, cheating or outright theft. But pragmatically, tariffs are the only tool we have right now that is useable to achieve that result.

    I challenge the ideological purists: Name your superior alternative to tariffs that has been shown to work in reality.

    1. My issue with Yeish Atid is that it seeks to define itself purely by predicted outcome. That devolves into populism.

      The party can promise anything it wants because nobody can predict the future. Without an ideology or some set of principles one has no lighthouse in the fog.

      1. Echo….I think blind adherence to ideology is a problem, and a problem I accurately pointed out. If you are up to it, take the challenge: Name a superior alternative to tariffs that has been shown to work in reality (to level the trade playing field).

        1. “No tariffs, no barriers, that’s the way it should be, And no subsides, I even said not tariffs.”

          Donald Trump G7 conference 6/2018

          So is it a negotiating tactic? 25% plus tariffs on steel is so out of control when average import tariffs , Israel for example, is in the 2% range.

          Yet at the same time I hear the argument that they level the playing field. Really and when China stops buying US agricultural products, devaluing the money, that is leveling something? When Trump threatens Mexico with tariffs over immigration how is that leveling the economic playing field?

          One tax for washing machines, another for aluminum, another for toys, and you can get exceptions.

          Cmon that is not fooling anyone. He is using this tax which we are paying as a political weapon.

          Tariffs are not an issue for that Israeli political party anyway.

    2. “Necessity is the plea for every infringement on human freedom. It is argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.”

      – William Pit

  14. First of all, that 54% of the payouts go to 10% of farmers should not be considered so harshly. It is is an expected outcome of a distribution being converted into a cumulative event.

    Second, those 10% of farmers are all wearing MAGA hats and so this is their payoff for 2020 vote. Slightly more problematic but still , this a a proud American tradition.

    Third, the folks here at Reason argue that payments by a government to a business to relocate or expand a facility in the expectation of reaping some economic benefits are a bad deal. And particularly in the manufacturing business companies chase those breaks and are completely ruthless about moving across national borders to lower costs. (a really good book to read: Behemoth, by Joshua Freeman, which is an excellent historical look at the development of the factory as a physical space and economic entity). Ultimately, tariffs are nothing other than a form of internal taxation to influence companies that chase tax breaks to staying put. Whether or not one can consider the use of tariffs creating 500,000 additional manufacturing jobs a good deal is problematic at best. And the additional compensatory payments of $25Billion to some fraction of farmers is equally problematic. You cannot use tariff money for two purposes. By that count, the US consumer has provided $100,000 for each and every manufacturing job created. How is that a good deal for anyone?

    At this point, the ridiculous deficit creating tax cuts of 2017 come back to roost as well. Those corporate tax savings were supposed to enable companies to expand, employ more people etc. Instead the great bulk of that money has gone for precisely what every CEO said it would go to: stock buybacks. And this is MAGA??? No, this is bullshit.

    1. Tax cuts don’t cause deficits. Spending does.

    2. Dude, way more than 10% of farmers are wearing MAGA hats. Practically ALL of them do.

    3. The payouts are on specific commodities. Like most agricultural goods, these commodities are more likely to be raised in one area as opposed to another. This would mean that a smaller percentage of overall farmers will be receiving the pay outs. Not many dairy Farmer in Idaho will be receiving payments. Nor sugar beet farmers in Montana or vegetable farmers in Arizona and California, or Citrus farmers in California and Florida. Agriculture really isn’t a single industry but multiple related but seperate industries.

    4. Stock buy backs boosts the economy and the economic health of the company. The company can resell those stocks later if they need cash. It is an investment back into the company. And considering the economy, employment and manufacturing all continue to increase, I would argue expansion is happening.

      1. Stocks are also capital that can be used as collateral when applying for loans.

  15. Another rousing meeting of Libertarians for Tariffs.

    Next . . . Libertarians For Authoritarian, Bigoted Immigration Practices.

    Then . . . Libertarians For Statist Womb Management.

    Carry on, clingers.

    1. I hate how you put everything you disagree with in one category and fallaciously assume that an argument against one is an argument against all.

  16. I see the morons got here already ready to defend Trump against anything, facts be damned. Gotta hand it to them- they’re at least persistent idiots.

    1. So, did you bring some facts to counter all those silly Trump supporters you hate so much, or are you just projecting your stupid partisan absolutism on anyone who dares acknowledge some positives that may have arisen via policy of the Trump administration?

      1. Simce this is a Buttplug sock, he has spent too much time jacking it to child rape videos to get around to gathering evidence of anything other than the fact he watches child rape videos.

      2. I’d like to hear any positives that have come out of the tariff mess. Are there any?

      3. The article you’re commenting on did.

        1. Actually it didn’t. It misinterpreted a variety of data points and drew a poor conclusion based upon this misinformation. First was his misrepresenting the manufactured growth slowdown. Manufacturing continues to grow, but at a slower rate according to the graph. This could be because of the tariffs or because we had sharp increases in manufacturing and now it is naturally slowing down, however, it does continue to grow. The next was his comparing 18% to 12% decrease in imports and exports for the US and China. It seems natural that 18% is larger but this is only true if the US exported the same amount as it imported to and from China. Since there was always a large trade deficit this is obviously not true. For example let’s say the US exports 100 units to China but China exports 1000 units to the US (just examples). An 18% drop for the US would be 18 units, whereas a 12% decrease for China would be 120 units. China’s decrease is larger. You could argue that China is better able to weather this drop because of its larger starting point. But that isn’t what he argued. The only data point that may indicate anything is the comparison of the trade deficit, however, since the difference is 100,000,000 in a 3 billion plus trade deficit, we would have to analyze prior trade fluctuation to see if this is really significant or not. The best this argument can be is that the trade war has not diminished the trade deficit, but that isn’t a logical argument. Of course it wouldn’t lower the trade deficit as the goal is to open up China to more US exports, therefore, without a trade agreement the status quo (except tariffs) remains in place).

  17. The graphic made me think of Rocky IV, but if the opposition was China instead of the USSR. The commie fighter would be played by Yao Ming.

    1. The commie fighter would be played by Yao Ming. Naoko Fujioka.

      This isn’t 1985 and in Hollywood, Russia =/= China. Michelle Yeoh will be her trainer and she’ll fight one of the faces on Mount Chrismore and win.

  18. Economists generally agree that trade deficits don’t matter, for the same reason that you wouldn’t worry about running a “deficit” with a grocery store.
    .
    .
    If you are going to quote what “Economists generally agree” about – I look forward to you documenting how the Fringe Economists peddle the lie that “armaments production” in 1939 and not FDR returning to the New Deal policies in 1939 he foolishly suspended in late 1937 were responsible for reversing the loss of 2,000,000 jobs in 1938. (It’s not like the sane and honest can’t easily find those miniscule 1939 armaments production numbers, putting the Fringe Economists lies & BS to bed.)

    If you are going to quote what “Economists generally agree” about – I look forward to you documenting how Conservatives, to quote Paul Krugman, “almost universally advocate low taxes on the wealthy, based on the claim that tax cuts at the top will have huge beneficial effects on the economy. This claim rests on research by … well, nobody. There isn’t any body of serious work supporting G.O.P. tax ideas, because the evidence is overwhelmingly against those ideas.”

  19. If the entire effort was focused on IP theft and ending forced partnerships to do business in China there would be some good sense to it all. But the issue keeps moving from those to agriculture to opioids, national security or the revenues from tariffs. Can’t ever get deal if the goals aren’t well defined.

  20. for the same reason that you wouldn’t worry about running a “deficit” with a grocery store

    For reference or as a control, how many of these economists give an unreserved “Okay!” to running a ‘deficit’ with Wal-mart, Target, Google, Facebook, Experian, or Equifax?

    What if we hypothesized a grocery story run by a dictator who also owns the local banks, currency exchanges, commodity markets, has his hands in several other major markets how many economists, and is an aggressive expansionist in the region, how many economists would be exceedingly liberal in their ‘deficits’ to such a person?

    My guess is a fair number of these economists consider Wal-Mart and Target to be too

  21. Someone needs to tell Eric the trade war has been ongoing for the past 30 years.

    Nothing new other than we now have a POTUS calling out the ChiComs on it.

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