Free Trade

Trump Says He Has a Trade Deal With China. His Trade War Still Looks Like a Failure.

The deal appears to have accomplished none of the Trump administration's goals, from boosting domestic steel production to getting China to abide by international rules regarding intellectual property.

|

The Trump administration has reportedly reached an agreement in principle on a trade deal with China. That's good news, if only because it signals a cessation in hostilities between the world's two biggest economies.

The White House says it will not go ahead with a tariff increase scheduled for next week while the two sides draft the specifics of the deal. Other trade barriers scheduled to take effect in mid-December have not yet been canceled, and existing tariffs on about $360 billion of Chinese imports remain in place. China has agreed to increase the amount of agricultural goods purchased from the U.S. by about $50 billion.

Speaking from the Oval Office on Friday, Trump described the deal as a "substantial phase one" agreement.

What exactly that means remains to be seen. The deal itself will not be public for at least a few weeks as Washington and Beijing hammer out the details. And keep in mind that the White House trumpeted a similar breakthrough in May only to have the promised bargain collapse before it made it into writing. Already, Chinese media outlets are reporting that the "deal" struck last week might be less solid than Trump made it sound.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the agreement does not include any specific concessions from China on the matter of intellectual property theft or the forced transfer of technology from American firms doing business in China. That's something that will be dealt with in a later "phase" of negotiations, Trump told reporters on Friday.

If that's true, then the face-off failed to accomplish any of the major goals outlined by the president and his top trade advisors during the past 18 months.

There were, in broad strokes, three such goals. First, the tariffs were meant to boost American manufacturing (steelmaking, specifically) and encourage companies to make more things in America. Second, they were supposed to reduce America's trade deficit—the difference between the value of goods a country imports from another country and the value of goods it exports to that same country—with China. Finally, they were supposed to force China to abide by international norms when it comes to respecting private companies' intellectual property, a rationale for the trade war that had support from some business lobbyists and members of Congress who were otherwise skeptical of the tariffs.

It's already abundantly clear that the first two rationales have failed. The trade war has been a spectacular failure for American steelmakers. Higher prices created by tariffs have slackened demand for steel, and declining sales have forced some layoffs while wrecking major steelmakers' stock prices. Since the steel tariffs took effect in March 2018, U.S. Steel's stock has fallen by a whopping 75 percent—from a high of $45 in the days after the tariffs were announced to a value of just $11 per share this morning.

Manufacturing as a whole has struggled too. The trade war has caused a drop in exports and domestic business investment. There is almost no evidence of businesses relocating from China to America (though some are leaving China for places like Vietnam). And while manufacturing job growth has continued throughout 2019, the rate of jobs being added is about 5,000 per month this year, well below the rate of 22,000 per month added in 2018.

The promise that tariffs would reduce America's trade deficit has been an even bigger flop. American exports to China have decreased during the trade war, while imports from China have remained relatively flat. The result: The trade deficit widened by 12 percent during 2018, and it has grown by another 8 percent so far this year.

The third argument was the actual legal basis for the tariffs. Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 gives the president the unilateral power to impose tariffs if another nation is engaged in behavior that actively harms U.S. economic interests. The Section 301 report drawn up by the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative centers on China's technology policies, covering everything from cyberattacks to the various means used to obtain U.S. companies' intellectual property.

Even as trade war's negative consequences piled up, the Trump administration could argue that losing those battles was necessary to win the war. And getting China to change its behavior around intellectual property would indeed be a major win for many American companies. But that doesn't seem to be happening.

"A final deal must address the full scope of structural issues identified in" the U.S. Trade Representative's analysis of China's intellectual property theft, said Sen. Chuck Grassley (R–Iowa) in a statement responding to the news of a handshake deal between Trump and Chinese trade officials. "After so much has been sacrificed, Americans will settle for nothing less than a full, enforceable and fair deal with China." Grassley is chairman of the Senate Finance Committee and a key Republican voice on trade issues.

Other reactions were similarly unenthusiastic.

"While we are pleased that tariffs aren't going up, this agreement seemingly does nothing to address the crippling tariffs farmers currently face," said Brian Kuehl, co-executive director of Farmers for Free Trade, a coalition of agriculture special interests, in a statement. "Long-term, sustainable markets are what farmers actually need. From the very beginning of the trade war, farmers have been promised that their patience would be rewarded. To date, the deal they've promised has not come."

A de-escalation of the trade war would be welcome news. And if this signals that Trump is shifting his strategy away from a one-on-one clash and will try to use other means to pressure China to change its behavior, that should be applauded.

But that doesn't mean the president gets to ignore the damage he's done. The trade war has cost Americans more than $35 billion, may have permanently reduced American farmers' export markets in China, and has helped shift American politics away from the post–World War II consensus about the benefits of trade. And for all that, what has it accomplished? China might again buy some of the farm goods that they were already buying before the trade war started?

Without any agreement on intellectual property, the White House isn't just moving the goalposts for the trade war. It's pretending they never existed in the first place.

NEXT: A 12-Year-Old Girl Pointed Finger Guns at Other Kids. Cops Handcuffed and Arrested Her.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

Please to post comments

112 responses to “Trump Says He Has a Trade Deal With China. His Trade War Still Looks Like a Failure.

  1. If that’s true, then the face-off failed to accomplish any of the major goals outlined by the president and his top trade advisors during the past 18 months.

    As if achieving stated goals is a big deal to this Administration, or more specifically, to the supporters of this situation. This will be a textbook example of a politician leveraging voter ignorance. The message will be simple. Trump stood up to the Chinese. Trump won. And that’s true…at least in some shape. Nobody but policy wonks cares about the details.

    1. Goes well with “Trump pulls troops out of Syria” while adding more troops elsewhere, for a net gain.

      1. Ahahahahah you thought I was talking about that post Ahahahahah OMFG you’re so stupid ahahaahahahhh

    2. It is also true that this beginning to a trade deal is NOT the trade deal itself as Reason claims

    3. Trump could negotiate the worst deal ever with the Chinese – while fucking a dead goat in the middle of Park Avenue – and he won’t lose a single supporter.

  2. Only a politician could think we can negotiate a communist into giving up communism.
    The true issues of intellectual property and technology confiscation will never be addressed by China.

  3. MARKETS IMPLODING!!!!

    If only we had the TPP! How can there be any trade without an unelected supranational global government to oversee it??!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

    1. It wasn’t quite all that, but I don’t think it was a good idea in libertarian terms. I understand what they were going for: build a trade coalition of all of China’s neighbors so that we can actually apply economic pressure on China to change it behavior with a credible threat to move our purchases and outsourced manufacturing to her nearby rivals. It has the secondary effect of helping to strengthen the asian countries attempting to resist China’s South Sea aggression. But there were some very problematic clauses in the agreement, particularly the way it handled copyright.

      To be clear, I think that reaching a trade agreement that’s along those general lines could accomplish pretty much exactly its geopolitical aim, without having to cede any of our sovereignty over copyright issues to a foreign body (or in practice, to our own large corporations). I even think it’s mostly a good idea, provided it’s premised entirely on the notion of a mutual removal of trade barriers (emphasis on mutual) and some provision for predictability in regulation, and not on anything like an EU-style trade compact that abrogates the ability on individual actors to pass the measures they see fit.

      However, I doubt it’ll happen with Trump in charge. Which is a shame, I think: I don’t think he’s smart enough to understand what it is and how it would work, but I do think he’s got that sort of cunning when it comes to people, powerful or otherwise, that he probably could’ve succeeded where Obama failed in getting it passed. Given how likely his second term looks at the moment (and the strongest blue team challengers are even more protectionist than he is) I imagine we’ll have to basically let China run roughshod over east asia for a while longer yet. There seem to be signs that the Chinese bubble might be about to burst, but I’m not sure if that ends well either.

  4. “But that doesn’t mean the president gets to ignore the damage he’s done. The trade war has cost Americans more than $35 billion, may have permanently reduced American farmers’ export markets in China, and has helped shift American politics away from the post–World War II consensus about the benefits of trade.”

    And of particular interest to us Koch / Reason libertarians, Drumpf’s disastrous economic policies have caused Charles Koch’s net worth to stagnate around $58,000,000,000 to $60,000,000,000. Our philosophy will accept nothing less than a steady increase in the wealth of the richest people on the planet. The observation that this is not happening is proof we’re in a #DrumpfRecession.

    #HowLongMustCharlesKochSuffer?

  5. “If anyone who was criticizing Trump for the trade war before now turns around and criticizes him for ending it, it’ll be a lot like people who criticize our foreign adventure in Syria finding some way to criticize Trump for pulling our troops out the way of the civil war. When you’re an anti-Trump hammer, every issue looks like an anti-Trump nail.”

    —-Ken Shultz

    October 14, 2019 11:09 am

    https://reason.com/2019/10/14/would-you-trust-the-trump-administration-to-teach-digital-literacy/#comment-7970662

    Again, going after Trump for trying to end the trade war is counterproductive–if you want an end to the trade war. Plenty of people who said they were against the trade war are full of shit–if they now oppose Donald Trump for ending the trade war.

    They aren’t really pro-trade. They’re just anti-Trump. If you opposed the trade war when Trump supported it and are now using his ending it to drive opposition to Trump, then your support for international trade is at best secondary to your hatred of Donald Trump. At worst, you’re just another TDS victim. And, meanwhile, it’s unreasonable to expect other people to see the difference between you and a TDS victim.

    I opposed the trade war when Trump was waging it because I’m a free market capitalist. I’m more supportive of Trump now for ending the trade war because I’m a free market capitalist. My support for free market capitalism is independent of Trump. See how that works?

    1. October 14, 2019 11:09 am

      Not to dispute facts Ken, but this puts you at like #68 on the “Reason is full of shit… called it!” board, in the Chinese Trade War category by about 6 mos.

    2. So, you read this article as advocacy for continuing the trade war?

      1. Do you see it at criticizing Trump for ending it?

        1. No. I see it as criticizing Trump for having started it, and pointing out that it didn’t achieve much of anything that he promised it would. I see nothing expressing any desire to continue it or anything suggesting that ending it is a bad move.

          1. Well, I hope he follows through with ending it–even if it didn’t achieve anything. In fact, starting an argument over whether it achieved anything should be the last thing we want to do if we want it to end. If you don’t want the trade war to end, we should keep criticizing Trump for not getting anything for it.

            Waiting for the trade war to bring China to its knees may be like waiting for American style democracy and tolerance to flower in the Iraqi desert. If we wait for that to happen, we might never leave–which is why the people who never want us to leave make arguments criticizing the idea that we should leave well enough alone and come home.

            Isn’t this how we ended up stuck in Vietnam?

            If it’s in our best interests to leave, we should do so–and arguing that we should leave Vietnam by pointing out all the things we failed to accomplish is an incoherent argument at best. The people listing all the things we failed to accomplish are the people who want to stay.

            The trade war is the same. Mission accomplished. Good job ending it. Heroic effort ending your own trade war! Can’t remember when a president did an about face like that. Glad he did it. Thank goodness.

            The last thing an anti-trade war person should want to do at this point is highlight all the things that the trade war failed to accomplish to voters. Convince the voters that this was for nothing, and Trump won’t end the trade war under the theory that the war isn’t lost until we decide to quit.

            1. The people listing all the things we failed to accomplish are the people who want to stay.

              So saying “good thing we’re leaving Vietnam, because as we’ve all been saying all along, we can’t achieve the stated goals, and haven’t despite all the effort” is the same as saying “we need to stay until we win?”

              We all have to sing “Praise Trump” as he ends the trade war or else we’re all in favor of trade war?

              It’s a fair strategic criticism to say that pointing out what a failure the trade war is may well goad Trump into starting it back up again. But claiming that that’s the same thing as advocating trade war makes no sense.

              By the same token saying “pulling troops out of a combat zone is not the same thing as demobilizing from Syria” is not the same thing as saying “we should stay in Syria forever.”

          2. If you think trump started the war you’ve ignored decades of trade w china.

            1. I know it drives you to distraction if it seems that anyone has criticized Trump, but try to stay on point.

        2. I certainly read it as a criticism of the endeavor in the first place; particularly its point seems to be to put paid to all the folks claiming he’s a 5D chessmaster who was going to wring amazing concessions from the Chinese. “Look,” it says, “here we are at the end of the trade war, and it did nothing that it was claimed it would do, except impoverish us, as predicted by literally all economists.”

          Now, I will allow that there are sometimes non-economic goals that are served by trade barriers – sanctions, basically – but if there’s anything we’ve gotten from China here, I don’t see it. As far as I can tell, China got a promise from Trump to keep quiet about Hong Kong out of it, which was probably rather valuable honestly. Can you imagine how wild the Trumpistas would’ve gone about it if he’d mentioned it negatively? I think he honestly missed his chance to put the screws to them, there, but who knows.

      2. Incidentally, I also think this article is effectively criticizing Trump for pulling our troops out of the fighting in Syria.

        https://reason.com/2019/10/11/bringing-them-home-trump-commits-1800-more-troops-to-the-middle-east/#comments

        You don’t have to stare at this stuff too long before a pattern starts to emerge.

        1. Yeah – I didn’t get your logic there, either. Saying he’s not going far enough in bringing the troops home is the same as criticizing him for pulling them out?

          So, the only principled stance is to approve only of the exact amount of a thing that Trump does? If you don’t approve of the exact amount then you’re 100% against what he’s claiming to do (but not actually doing)? To suggest he should pull all of the troops all the way out of Syria and even out of the ME generally is the same as advocating Eternal Quagmire because you can’t point out the seemingly haphazard way Trump has been going about things without secretly being Pro-War?

          Are all positions not taken by Trump equivalent now?

          1. But he is criticizing Trump–despite the fact that Trump is pulling American troops out of the fighting.

            Trump pulling American troops out of the fighting is a necessary step in pulling them out of Syria entirely, and we should congratulate Trump for taking that step–not criticizing him regardless of what he does.

            My objective is to end the trade war.

            My objective is to get U.S. troops out of Syria.

            Those would be my objectives if Hillary Clinton or Liz Warren were president.

            Looking at his arguments, Boehm’s objective is getting Trump out of the White House. I want an end to the trade war and our troops out of the fighting in Syria regardless of whether Trump remains in the White House.

            Not being able to see one’s objectives or the issues clearly is what TDS is all about. If your primary objective on the U.S. troops in Syria issue is getting Trump out of the White House, then you may have TDS. If your primary objective on the trade war with China is getting Trump out of the White House, then you may have TDS. If your primary objective on every issue is getting Trump out of the White House, you definitely have TDS.

            1. Trump pulling American troops out of the fighting is a necessary step in pulling them out of Syria entirely

              You know what else is a necessary step? Pulling them out of Syria entirely.

              We were in Syria supposedly to fight ISIS. Trump has now ceded that fight to Turkey.

              Is it against the rules to ask why he is leaving troops in Syria when his stated reason for having them there no longer applies?

              Is it against the rules to wonder whether this is yet another empty promise he’s never going to follow through on?

              Obama pulled the troops out of combat operations in Iraq in 2011 – were people just as wrong to criticize Obama?

              1. Yes, yes they were.

    3. The article is in no way criticizing Trump for ending the trade war. The second sentence says that a deal with China would be good news. It’s pretty obvious that it’s criticizing Trump for starting the war.

      1. “The article is in no way criticizing Trump for ending the trade war.”

        In no way?!

        1. A de-escalation of the trade war would be welcome news. And if this signals that Trump is shifting his strategy away from a one-on-one clash and will try to use other means to pressure China to change its behavior, that should be applauded.

          But that doesn’t mean the president gets to ignore the damage he’s done.

          Yes. In no way.

          1. If he’s criticizing Trump for the trade war while Trump is taking the necessary steps to end it, then the difference between that and criticizing Trump for ending the trade war is hard to measure objectively.

            1. If he’s criticizing Trump for the trade war while Trump is taking the necessary steps to end it, then the difference between that and criticizing Trump for ending the trade war is hard to measure objectively.

              No it isn’t. He’s been criticizing the trade war from Day One. Why should he suddenly start pretending he thought it was a good idea?

              Do you really not see the difference between saying “good thing you’re ending the stupid, destructive trade war you started” and saying “too bad you’re ending the wise and effective trade war you started?”

            2. You seem to be unable to differentiate between criticizing Trump for starting the trade war and criticizing him for ending it. But those are two very different positions, and it would frustrate the relatively few non-trolls who frequent this benighted comments section much less if you’d make the effort to try.

            3. Ken, most of the time you make sense. When you don’t you should just admit it. BTW, repeating what someone says and putting a question mark and exclamation point after it isn’t a very good counter argument.

    4. What is wrong with people here & the writer of this article????… This is NOT the end of the Trade War as they are still negotiating!!!!…When the thing is a DONE DEAL it can be analyzed!!

      Did the whole friggin’ world fail reading comprehenxion!!!

    5. I’m not afflicted with TDS, but I can see a good reason for both opposing the war and criticizing its end. That is, one might have said, “I think a trade war is a bad idea, but maybe I’m wrong, so let’s see what benefit flows from it.” Then at the end, “I was right the first time, no net benefit flowed from it.”

      1. That’s more or less where I was.

        I opposed the Iran War–and hoped I was wrong.

        I opposed Trump’s trade war and hoped I was wrong.

        Unfortunately, I was right in both cases.

        Regardless, I opposed the occupation of Iraq regardless of who was president, and I oppose the trade war–even if Trump remains president. The primary objective isn’t to change presidents. It’s to keep us out of invading Syria and to end the trade war–regardless of who’s president.

        I see no good reason to criticize Trump for starting a trade war when he’s trying to end it. In fact, criticizing Trump for not winning anything in the trade war is indistinguishable from the arguments his supporters are making for not ending the trade war.

        I remember when people were criticizing Obama for trying to sell the GM stock he acquired with TARP money at a loss. If nationalized industries always had to wait until the taxpayers could sell the companies they nationalized at a gain, we might never privatize nationalized assets. Why would a libertarian capitalist criticize Obama for selling GM at a loss under those circumstances? Refusing to privatize a nationalized industrial asset until the stock can be sold at a profit is absurd from a libertarian capitalist perspective–and the only people who should have been bringing that up as an objection to privatization were communists and socialists.

        It’s the same thing here.

        Criticizing the president for deploying troops while he’s pulling them out of a conflict–over the objections of neocons, the military brass, and other Republicans–is pro-neocon. The only people who should be making that argument are neocons.

        Meanwhile, criticizing the president for starting a trade war while he’s trying to end it is objectively pro-trade war. The only people who should be emphasizing how little we’re getting from the trade war are the people who want the trade war to continue. The best argument for ending the trade war isn’t that we haven’t achieved Trump’s stated objectives (not the Boehm has been one to bring them up either). The best argument for ending the trade war is that we may start getting cheaper imports from China again–once this trade war is settled.

        To see that, you may have to care about trade more than who’s in the White House. Boehm also, far as I can tell, has never mentioned the best reason not to deploy troops to Saudi Arabia either, which begins with the Khobar Towers and ends with 9/11. He doesn’t mention that because he doesn’t care about the downsides of stationing American troops in the Muslim holy land anywhere near as much as he cares about condemning Trump amid Trump’s clearly anti-neocon decision on Syria.

        None of this stuff even crosses Boehm’s mind. His criticism of Trump is on autopilot. It’s been the same thing for months. If Trump threatens tariffs for Guatemala or Mexico, you won’t hear any mention of the demands Trump is making regarding troop deployments or Safe Third Country agreements. Boehm won’t even mention that stuff–because it’s irrelevant to his hatred of Trump, which is the only thing he really cares about.

        If the biggest story next week is Trump demanding deep cuts to federal spending or Trump demanding an audit of the Federal Reserve, Boehm will use it as an opportunity to criticize Trump. That’s what he does. That’s who he is. He cares more about criticizing Trump than any issue. The issues don’t matter. The TDS is the only thing that’s consistent. If that’s what’s driving the bus, why pretend otherwise?

    6. If you opposed the trade war when Trump supported it and are now using his ending it to drive opposition to Trump, then you’re Eric Boehm-movement.
      There, FIFY.

  6. “His Trade War Still Looks Like a Failure.”

    To you a 2% in the DJIA is the market crashing though, so what you think something looks like is pretty worthless.

    1. Better to focus on this messenger than the reality of “Trump trade war narrative imploding”.

      1. Ahahah cry more idiot who thought I was talking about a post in this thread and looks like a moron because of it lolololo

  7. “His Trade War Still Looks Like a Failure.”

    And, all this standing up to China that Hong Kong is doing takes no cues whatsoever from Trump, despite them openly courting him to enter the process.

    Seriously Boehm, are you really this stupid?

    1. China went to far when they interfered with American sports, plan and simple. Only we can dictate what our athletes have to say about any political issue.

      1. You posted that in the wrong place.

        1. Maybe after re-reading your post. I thought you were talking about Americans standing with Hong Kong not the Hong Kongians(?) standing up to China. Still how you give credit to Trump is beyond me when the Hong Kongians(?) were protesting China say in 2014 long before Trump. I don’t think Trump did anything one way or another for Hong Kongians to stand up to China; completely internal events sparked this.

          1. “Still how you give credit to Trump is beyond me when the Hong Kongians(?) were protesting China say in 2014”

            They were protesting before that actually.

            And it’s interesting that you say “give credit” when I said “takes cues.”. If your position is that Trump couldn’t possibly by any action embolden the Hong Kong protesters by showing a willingness to stand up to China, then say so.

            But mischaracterizing what I said is a Jeff move. Don’t be a Jeff.

            1. Fine cues, no problem with that. Yes I know Hong Kong has been protesting China for a lot longer then 2014, it was the most recent example I could think of outside of the Trump admin. And nothing I wrote stated that was the earliest date. Don’t Jeff me, bro.

              Still I don’t believe the citizens took cues from either Trump or Obama when they decided to protest. Totally internal.

              1. Frankly, I don’t care what you believe.

                  1. His premise doesn’t make any sense, and I had to explain something to him that was clear and obvious.

                    Why should I care? He doesn’t even present a plausible reason for WHY he thinks what he thinks, he just says “internal” like it’s the porn niche his mom stars in, and moves on.

                    So really, he did it to himself.

              2. “And nothing I wrote stated that was the earliest date.”

                Nothing I wrote said you made that claim. Don’t Jeff yourself.

  8. “Since the steel tariffs took effect in March 2018, U.S. Steel’s stock has fallen by a whopping 75 percent…” And much more of the same, documented right above!

    Mr. POTUS, PLEASE mister, PLEASE don’t play C-17, to try and “protect” us any moah!!!

      1. Your English expertise is as good as your Economics.

        1. Ahahahah you fucking idiot you wrote “and” instead of “an” and now you’re making a fool of yourself pretending you think it is about that post ahahajahahaajaj

          1. Ahahahah I love this you fucked up so much, there only two possibilities,

            1) you are him and you went to pathetic lengths to pretend you didn’t know what I was making fun of you for

            2) you aren’t him, and you’re just incredibly fucking stupid and think I was talking about THAT POST AHAHAHAHA

            EITHER WAY YOU LOOK LIKE AN IMBECILE AHAHAHAHAHAHAAJAJAJAH

            THANK YOU SO MUCH IMBECILE, YOU GAVE ME THIS WONDEFUL GIFT OF YOU FUCKING UP BADLY LIKE AN IMBECILE AHAHAHAHAHHA

            1. “You are just a pathetic sick human being with a persecution complex. Tell us more about your family and why you live alone on disability in Fort Worth.”

              Repeated comment from “John” from https://reason.com/2012/04/03/david-brooks-and-the-liberal-media-lamen/#comments

              “.” is “Mary’s Period” is Mary Stack, whinny bitch living alone on disability in Fort Worth.

              You have been DOXXED, bitch! I can see from what kind of comments that you make, WHY it is that you live all alone! Do your torture your pets?

              1. Ahahahahaha it was AN not AND shit breath ahahaahahahahahahahah God I love how upset you are you even busted out your other sockpuppet ahahahahahahaahahahahaahaha

              2. “whinny”

                AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH HAH LIKE A HORSE YOU MEAN AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAJ WHAT A FUCKING RETARD AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

                1. AHAHAHAHAHAHAH SPELL CHECK FAILED YOU AGAIN WHIHN AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

                  1. Mary Stack, PLEASE try and cover it up MUCH better than THIS, when you are having your period! It’s kinda disgusting, ya know!

                    1. AHAHAHAH YES GO WITH THAT GO WITH TULPA IS MARY AHAHAHAHAHHA THATS SO TOTALLY NOT UNHINGED LOLOLOOL I FUCKING BROKE YOU WHIHN AHAHAHAHAHAHAJAJjJAJAJJ

                    2. Mary posted long stream kof consciousness type rants filed with disjointed language and many quotations.

                      Kind of exactly like you do SQRLSY.

                      I’m sure it’s just a coincidence.

                    3. Careful Dick, he/she might “WHINNY” AT YOU AHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA SPELL CHECK MY BALLS AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                    4. fajjgydf not cajiauidg, ah meeens, fgndsghsg!!!! FHAFAG!!!!

                      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!

                      (I feel myself sinking down to the Mark Stack = Richard Dawson level, I had better quit quickly!!!)

                    5. “Mark”

                      AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAAHAHAHHHAH

                      “Mark Stack = Richard Dawson”

                      Ahahahahahahahahah EVERYONE IS TULPA AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                      IT’S SO OBVIOUS WHEN YOU POST MARY, THE CRAZY IN THEM IS LIKE A BAD ODOR, MUCH LIKE YOUR SHIT BREATH AHAHAHAHjAJA

                      MARK ahahahahahahahahahajahajjja

                    6. Mary Stack, I am SOOO sorry that I called you Mark Stack! But the “whinny” part, in reference to horses, is accurate, because I know that you whinny to the horses, in a desperate attempt to get them to fuck you! ‘Cause no self-respecting man would DREAM of it!

                      Tell you what, Mary, in an attempt to improve your social life… Since neither man nor beast will have sex with you… You might at least attain SOME level of social life, by associating with fellow semi-humans who LOVE to have sex with horses!

                      https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2019/10/11/farmers-kept-refusing-let-him-have-sex-with-their-animals-so-he-sought-revenge-authorities-say/#comments-wrapper

                      Farmers kept refusing to let him have sex with their animals. So he sought revenge, authorities say.

                      “Can I have sex with your horse?”

                      “Lemme go ask the horse.”

                      Pause…

                      “My horse says ‘neigh’!”

                      And THAT was straight from the horse’s mouth! I’m not horsin’ around, here, no mare!

                      Mary, I hope that the horses don’t ALL keep on saying “neigh” to your whinnying sexual advances!

                    7. Hi Marky! Lose your shit harder then eat it!!!

                      Lololololo

                    8. “But the “whinny” part”

                      Ahahahahahahah a look how butthurt you are about fucking that up Marky!

                      Ahahahaha cry more!!!! I can’t believe you’re so “WHINNY” Aahahahahahahahahahahaj

                    9. https://reason.com/2012/03/28/no-knock-raid-on-wrong-house-terrifies-7/#comments Shows “Mary Stack” style comments DO match “Mary’s Period” comments of today! BUSTED, Mary Stack!

                    10. Ahahahahaha keep going Marky it’s totally working ahahahahahahahajajaaj

                      I can’t believe you’re still so “WHINNY” AHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAJA

                    11. AHAHAHAHAH YOU STUPID FUCK MARY STACK NEVER POSTED AS MARY STACK AHHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

                      HOW ARE YOU SO FUCKING STUPID AHAJAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAH

                      I LOVE THAT YOU DIDNT KNOW THAT OMFG I LOVE IT AHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAH

                      HE THOUGHT SOMEONE POSTING AS MARY STACK WAS ACTUALLY MARY STACK OMFG HAHAHAHHAAHHAAHHA SOOO RETARDED AHAHAHAHAHAHAJAJA

                    12. AHAHAHAHAHAHAH I WANT TO HAVE SEX WITH NOW STUPID YOU LOOK RIGHT NOW “WHINNY” AHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

                    13. Looks like Mary Stack is pretty pissed off at having been outed! That, in addition to the fact that she can’t even get horny HORSES to have sex with her!

                    14. Yes, YOU ARE PISSED AT BEING OUTED MARY!!!

                      AHAHAHAHAJ WHAT KIND OF FUCKING IDIOT THINKS MARY POSTED AS MARY STACK AHAHAHAHAHAAJAJAJAHAHAHAAJJ

                      THATS THE ONLY PERSON WHO DEFINITELY WAS NEVER MARY STACK AHAHAHAHAHAH HE’S SO STUPID AHAHAHAHAJ

                      WHINNY HARDER MARY!!! YOU WERE ALWAYS OBVIOUSLY THE ONE RUNNING MIKEY WHIHNO AHAHAHAJAJAJJAAJ

                    15. That’s not Mary Stack. She never posted under the screen name “Mary Stack” it was “rather” or White Indian.

                      Tulpa was a different troll entirely.

                      Mary Stack
                      March.28.2012 at 1:28 pm
                      Thinks the Cherokees live in her attic

                      That doesn’t look anything like what Tulpa does. Look at this thread. Subtle isn’t what Tulpa does at all.

                      And whoever is running that Mary Stack sockpuppet is actually kind of funny.

                      You, on the other hand, remind me very much of Mary. She never was able to fully consolidate her thoughts into fully comprehensible posts. A lot like you SQRLSY.

                    16. Mary Stack, I think that the horses can smell your desperation! If you want to get it on with horses, as you clearly do, then develop some “horse sense”! Don’t be so WHINY when you WHINNY, in order to seem more attractive to them! Desperation is disgusting!!! Try to keep that in mind!

                    17. Hi Marky!

                      How are you still so “WHINNY?”

                      lolololololl

                      I can’t believe you stupidly outed yourself Marky!

                    18. SQRLSY puts himself as Mark y, realizes it, loses mind because his secret is out lolololo

                      https://reason.com/2019/10/14/inside-the-pro-trump-conference-where-a-violent-meme-stole-the-show/#comment-7970897

                      Shorter SQRLSY “NO YOU’RE MARY!!!”

                      LOLOLOLOLO SURE BUD GO WITH THAT AHAHAHAHAAHAUA

  9. Is any libertarian argument served by criticizing Trump for ending a trade war?

    Actually, if Trump ended a trade war in spite of it achieving nothing, then maybe he should get credit for that. Expecting a president to admit he was wrong on camera would be absurd in an election year, but if Trump is the kind of president who can correct his mistakes–either despite or because of the criticism–then he probably deserves credit for that.

    Meanwhile, I sure hope Trump manages to squeeze further concessions out of the Chinese–and that’s for the sake of my fellow Americans. The Wall Street Journal also reported today that China’s exports to the U.S. were down 22% from a year ago–largely due to Trump’s tariffs. That’s leverage.

    The tariffs that are already in place will remain so unless China makes further concessions. So, as the negotiations continue, Trump may yet squeeze more concessions on intellectual property and enforcement out of the Chinese, and if Trump does so, that’ll be great. I’m certainly rooting for him. Anyone who’s rooting for the economy to tank so that Trump won’t be reelected should be ashamed of themselves. Those are your fellow Americans that will suffer in an economic downturn.

    1. Yeah Trump, like all those fat kids in school, deserve a participation trophy. They tried their hardest, right? Yeah I’ll be glad when these unconstitutional tariffs are gone, doesn’t mean I won’t call him out on his bullshit.

      1. “unconstitutional tariffs”

        Elaborate please.

        1. The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

          So until an Amendment passes, saying Congress can authorize the president to lay taxes then they are unconstitutional. Congress can not alter the constitution by simple vote last time I checked so any law Trump is using to justify the tariffs is also unconstitutional ergo unconstitutional tariffs.

          1. I believe this authority was granted to the president by way of a duly ratified treaty.

            Whether the Senate should have ratified such a treaty may be open to debate, but if that’s what they did, then it may be constitutional.

            Of course, just because something is constitutional doesn’t mean we have to like it.

            1. “There is nothing in this language which intimates that treaties and laws enacted pursuant to them do not have to comply with the provisions of the Constitution.”

              Reid v Covert. 1957

              Although I will conceded that I’m sure there are others cases and examples where our government has ruled otherwise. I won’t ever agree with that view. Either our Constitution and it’s limits on authority is the supreme law of the land or it’s just a living constitution.

          2. Ken already said. The power has been delegated, and found Constitutional.

            “So until an Amendment passes, saying Congress can authorize the president to lay taxes then they are unconstitutional”

            Incorrect. Delegation of power to the President is also Constitutional.

            You’re 0 for 2 and these are decided cases.

            1. So you agree every decision is Constitutional? Supreme court always makes the right call? Can’t think of any bad decision?

              All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

              See this little part contradicts all that.

      2. Because he deserves credit for shutting the trade war down doesn’t mean he doesn’t also deserve blame for starting it, but just because he deserves blame for starting it doesn’t mean he doesn’t also deserve credit for shutting it down.

        I wish we could say George W. Bush or Barack Obama deserved credit for shutting down some mistake they made, but they didn’t. No matter how bad the Iraq War went, Dubya wouldn’t shut it down. No matter how bad ObamaCare went, Obama wouldn’t shut it down.

        One of the reasons they were so reluctant to shut those things down was because they feared the criticism of them for doing so. If Trump is willing to shut something down despite that criticism, because shutting it down is good for the country, then, yes, he deserves credit for that.

        How often do presidents shut one of their central planks down? Most would rather let American soldiers in Iraq suffer or let people with health insurance suffer–rather than go back on some great scheme of theirs.

    2. How about that Zodiac guy, he really came through in the end! Way to go, Zodiac!

      Especially when Trump hasn’t ended his trade war.

      Especially when he’s claimed to have ended it previously, and didn’t.

      1. Ahahahahah I love it when you stupid assholes come at me and ass fuck yourselves ahahahahaah

        It’s an not and Ahahahahaha you fucking moron ahahahahajaja

  10. I mean, does anyone actually believe China will keep their word 5 seconds after the Hong Kong shit show calms down? The Chinese have shown time and time again that they will say anything to get along, and then do what they want anyway. They cannot be trusted, and unlike the USA, they don’t have the benefit of changing leadership and ideology every 4-8 years as an excuse. What we should be doing is start moving all our stuff out of China, and either back into the USA or (more realistically) another cheap and less powerful country, like Mexico.

    1. I appreciate the argument that there should be negative consequences for China’s misbehavior in a comprehensive trade agreement. The problem is that tariffs on Chinese exports inflict negative consequences on American consumers–when we haven’t done anything wrong.

      1. You’re right, although I was thinking more in terms of general long-term strategy than in a specific short-term scenario. We need to get out of China, hard stop.

        1. I respect your right to try to persuade your fellow Americans to stop shopping at Walmart, etc. Of course, they should be free to disregard your arguments and not suffer hits to their standard of living courtesy of tariffs.

          1. This is actually the only place that I think the anti-globalists might have a valid critique. What do you do when a relatively hostile foreign power does what it can to absorb all your outsourcing, then uses that economic leverage against your companies and your country?

            I don’t think tariffs are the answer, for the reasons you mentioned. I do think that our government trying to reach agreements with some other countries, particularly something multilateral, to create attractive alternatives to China for our businesses could help (provided they don’t try to give away the farm, like with the TPP).

            I also wonder whether our government refusing to deal with contractors who have business in China would be considered kosher by most libertarians. I’m not 100% sure, but I would expect our enormous federal government probably is a bigger market player than whatever Chinese markets most of these guys are in? So I think it could accomplish a relatively similar effect without tariffs hitting private citizens – the question is whether it’s justified in principle. It seems less transgressive of our rights than most other options, but it’s certainly transgressing a little, so maybe it’s a matter of taste.

    2. flame…I think that Red China will serially lie, cheat and attempt to steal after an agreement is concluded. The difference now is that there will be a cost to China for their malign behavior. The existing tariffs remain, period. From the US perspective, nothing changes.

      What HAS changed is China coming to the table with an offer.

  11. All I know is China has agreed to buy so much agricultural product from the US that there’s a serious concern that American farmers may not even be able to produce that much. We may have to annex a large part of Canada to produce enough corn, wheat, soybeans and cheez to fill the contracts.

    1. I’m in, as long as it makes real maple syrup cheaper. For some reason NAFTA still hasn’t produced that result. From what I have seen, it is more expensive nowadays.

      (About now someone will point out the obscure paragraph in the treaty protecting Vermont maple syrup producers because they produce an essential national commodity).

      Plus grabbing Alberta and Saskatchewan will allow us to get our hands on those sweet oil sands, too.

  12. If you wanted George W. Bush to withdraw from Iraq, would you criticize him for declaring “Mission Accomplished”, when Iraq was still a mess?

    You can want Bush to withdraw and also criticize him for withdrawing, but if you do so, you really shouldn’t expect people to take your word for your opposition to the occupation.

    If you want Trump to end the trade war, it might make sense to congratulate for taking the necessary steps to accomplish that. If you criticize him for trying to end the trade war (and getting nothing), it’s reasonable for people to suspect that your opposition to the trade war is bullshit.

    1. “A de-escalation of the trade war would be welcome news. And if this signals that Trump is shifting his strategy away from a one-on-one clash and will try to use other means to pressure China to change its behavior, that should be applauded.

      But that doesn’t mean the president gets to ignore the damage he’s done.”

    2. If you wanted George W. Bush to withdraw from Iraq, would you criticize him for declaring “Mission Accomplished”, when Iraq was still a mess?

      No, I’d indict him for war crimes at the Hague.

      You can want Bush to withdraw and also criticize him for withdrawing, but if you do so, you really shouldn’t expect people to take your word for your opposition to the occupation.

      Congratulating someone for ceasing to commit an immoral action is BS. It’s like throwing a party for your cousin who finally stopped hitting his wife.

      1. If your desire to condemn Bush is greater than your desire to end the occupation, people might be reasonable to question the legitimacy of your commitment to end the suffering as well as the depth of your alleged compassion.

        My compassion for American soldiers and Iraqi civilians was greater than my desire to see George W. Bush indicted on war crimes, and I accuse everyone of who cared more about condemning Bush than alleviating that needless suffering of perpetuating the Iraq War.

        The occupation could have ended in 2006.

        I hope the trade war with China doesn’t go the same way. If Trump doesn’t end it, it’s not like President Biden, Sanders, or Warren will do so. How ’bout we end the war by being sensible first–and then make our referrals to the Hague?

        1. If your desire to condemn Bush is greater than your desire to end the occupation, people might be reasonable to question the legitimacy of your commitment to end the suffering as well as the depth of your alleged compassion.

          Neither is relevant to the situation at hand. Bush aggressively and unwisely started a war (several wars, technically) on false pretenses, bungled the “reconstruction” period of the Iraqi occupation, and is ultimately responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the post-9/11 erosion of American civil liberties (as well as the development of ISIS). Trump is responsible for continuing said “War on Terror” as well as launching an incompetent (and some could say unconstitutional) trade war against the Chinese and various other nations while alienating allies in Europe and elsewhere (Obama is also responsible for the War on Terror and letting U.S. industry collapse, so don’t play the TDS card on me). Condemning Bush and ending the occupation are not mutually-exclusive goals; just as a common criminal faces legal penalties for their crime, the leader of the U.S. government ought to face legal penalties for their own violations.

          My compassion for American soldiers and Iraqi civilians was greater than my desire to see George W. Bush indicted on war crimes, and I accuse everyone of who cared more about condemning Bush than alleviating that needless suffering of perpetuating the Iraq War.

          The only people responsible for perpetuating the war in Iraq are the neocons who insisted on the war in the first place as well as the gutless officials who were too chicken to leave. The anti-war protesters had no burden of responsibility for their actions or their behavior, given the obvious violations of their government. If anything, taking concrete actions to impede the war effort (either domestically or otherwise) would have been politically and ethically justified (under Obama, Bush, Trump, whoever).

          I hope the trade war with China doesn’t go the same way. If Trump doesn’t end it, it’s not like President Biden, Sanders, or Warren will do so. How ’bout we end the war by being sensible first–and then make our referrals to the Hague?

          Being “sensible” is what got us in this mess in the first place. Bush was being “sensible” when he lowered the burden of proof and responded aggressively to fabricated evidence of Iraqi WMD programs. Obama was “sensible” when he kept troops in Afghanistan and expanded the reach of the security state. Et cetera.

          And for the record I’m not entirely against the trade war, not so much because I hate the Chinese but rather because I find the idea of “free trade” to be politically-quaint and economically-naive.

    3. Yeah Ken.

      Great for kicking us in the balls less. Thanks Trump.

      Trying to end the trade war. Ya think that is what is happening?

      His numbers are slipping. That is what is going on.

  13. I am the ghost of pork belly futures. Damn right Chairman Xi is gonna be dealing with American farmers.

    1. China is over the proverbial barrel when it comes to soybeans, corn, and pork. Thanks to the shortages of pigs and feed created by the trade war and the severe outbreak of porcine influenza in China, pork prices have skyrocketed and Emperor Xi needs to do something to alleviate the problem.

      Apparently the Chinese can tolerate heavy-handed, prying, totalitarian government, but they won’t stand for paying more for Mu-Shu pork.

      1. Mu-Shu pork? I can take it or leave it!

        Now, Moo Goo Gai Pan in a Poo-Poo Pie Pan? THAT is to pork down on!!!

        (Try it, you’ll LIKE it, Mikey! With a goat, on a boat… ANYWHERE!)

    2. Pork bellies.

      You may be right or wrong if you are buying.

      YTD high. 166.7

      Closed today at 97.75

      I don’t have the stomach for commodities futures trade. Pork or otherwise.

      https://www.barchart.com/futures/quotes/PBY00

  14. Boehm is like a little kid: if a policy doesn’t fix every problem within a few weeks, he stomps his feet, shouts “failure” in a shrill voice, and runs out of the room to hide in a corner!

  15. Trump is shifting his strategy away from a one-on-one clash and will try to use other means to pressure China to change its behavior, that should be applauded.

    Like what? Harsh words? Sending Russian hookers to Xi?

    But that doesn’t mean the president gets to ignore the damage he’s done. The trade war has cost Americans more than $35 billion

    No, it hasn’t. The money has gone to the US government, and as a bonus, China paid for some of it.

  16. and has helped shift American politics away from the post–World War II consensus about the benefits of trade

    It’s kind of odd, that all other industrialized nations have strong trade barriers and substantial tariffs.

    It seems like the “consensus on free trade” is indeed like the “consensus on climate change”: the US is supposed to fall in its sword for the benefit of the rest of the world, while countries like China and EU members do sh*t.

  17. If this dog-and-pony show results in a “deal” and the removal of tariffs come summer 2020, leading to Trump’s reelection, then I have to say…

    … I’m glad it happened.

    Because it’s far less harm than would have been done by a Democrat winning in 2020. It’s also more evidence that the supposed idiot is a shrewder politician than he’s getting credit for being.