Free Trade

New Tariffs Scheduled for December 15 Won't Pressure China Into Making a Deal. Trump Should Cancel Them.

The set of tariffs scheduled for December 15 will hit a wide range of consumer goods from children's toys to laptops, gaming consoles, and other home electronics. They will be costly and ineffective..

|

Darryl Meattey says he voted for President Donald Trump in 2016 because he believed Trump would stick up for "the little man"—including small businesses like the one Meatty runs in Troy, New Hampshire.

Now, Trump's trade war might be driving Meattey out of business.

"I thought he was going to be different, but these tariffs are killing my business," Meattey, the owner of Surell Accessories, a manufacturer of cold weather apparel including gloves, hats, and scarves, wrote this week in an op-ed for the Concord Monitor. Tariffs on imported goods from China have amounted to a $500,000 tax increase on his businesses, Meattey writes, and have caused sales to decline by about 10 percent.

Despite the president's rhetoric, American businesses and consumers are bearing the brunt of the trade war with China—as a variety of studies have shown. For them, the next few weeks could be critical. Trump's promised "phase one" trade deal with China, announced in mid-October, has yet to materialize in any detail. Unless a deal is actually struck, the Trump administration could follow through with the threat to impose another round of new tariffs—covering everything not already subject to other tariffs—on December 15.

China is seeking a commitment from Trump to roll back tariffs as part of the "phase one" deal, and the White House has reportedly been unwilling to make that promise. Raising tariffs yet again would seem to make a deal even less likely in the short term.

"I'm not sure we're going to get a deal done by December 15," Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, told CNBC last week. He said both sides need to be willing to accept compromises: China should not expect the U.S. to suspend all tariffs as part of a "phase one" deal, while the Trump administration should be willing to suspend the planned December tariffs and roll back some others.

If that doesn't happen, it will mean more pain for American retailers. The set of tariffs going into effect on December 15 will hit a wide range of consumer goods—everything from children's toys to laptops, gaming consoles, and other home electronics. The Trump administration originally planned to impose those tariffs in September but postponed their effective date to avoid hitting retailers and consumers during the holiday shopping season. The decision to postpone is an admission that Americans are indeed paying for the tariffs, and an indication of how potentially damaging the so-called "List 4B" tariffs could be to the economy.

The December 15 round of tariffs will be "costly and ineffective," predicts Mary Lovely, a senior researcher at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a trade policy center. They'll be ineffective because most of the electronic products subject to the new tariffs are shipped from Chinese factories owned by multi-national corporations—meaning that any reduction in purchases caused by the tariffs won't do much to pressure China into making concessions.

"Any burden they bear reduces earning for U.S.-based companies or those of our allies and will do little to motivate Chinese reforms," Lovely writes.

Think about iPhones, which are assembled in China and will be subject to the new tariffs: Forcing Americans to pay higher prices for new smartphones might whack Apple's bottom line, but likely won't do much to hurt China. Apple can choose to eat the cost of the tariffs when it retails those iPhones, or it can jack up prices and pass the cost onto consumers—but neither of those outcomes will do much of anything to shift manufacturing jobs out of China. It's financially untenable for Apple to make iPhones in the U.S., so the company will keep importing phones (and other gadgets) from China and the added tariffs costs will simply become part of the price tag.

In short: Trump's tariffs have been pretty ineffective so far, but the next round will be a particularly bad self-inflicted wound.

All the more reason to hope the two sides can reach a deal before the December 15th deadline. But even if a deal isn't reached, Trump should unilaterally withdraw the List 4B tariffs to spare American consumers and businesses.

"We need a final deal that gets rid of all the tariffs," Meattey wrote. "I agree with the president that it's time to make China play by the same rules as everyone else. But these tariffs are not the answer."

NEXT: Trump's Shameful Pardons for War Criminals Undermine America's Moral Authority

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.

  1. At this point it’s clear Drumpf has ruined the US economy on purpose. Probably because Putin told him to. We won’t see any improvement until a Democrat is back in the White House.

    In the meantime? We’ll have to suffer through this #DrumpfRecession in which everyone needs 2 or 3 jobs to survive and Charles Koch’s net worth is stagnating in the $58,000,000,000 to $62,000,000,000 range.

    #VoteDemocratToHelpCharlesKoch

    1. Come up with some new material, OBL.

      1. End your misery, eunuch

    2. Poor boehm.

  2. Boehm imploding!

    1. up to i sAw the pAycheck sAying $7438, i hAve fAith …thAt…my cousin wAs like truley bringing home money pArttime At there lAbtop.. there moms best frend hAd beAn doing this for only About 8 months And A short time Ago cleArd the mortgAge on there mini mAnsion And bourt A brAnd new hondA. this is where i went, go to this site home tAb for more detAil…../morning6.com

  3. “New Tariffs Scheduled for December 15 Won’t Pressure China Into Making a Deal. Trump Should Cancel Them.”

    Most of you already know I’m opposed to the trade war, but I’ll be damned if I’m gonna act like Jane Fonda to oppose them.

    Because you opposed the Vietnam War was not a good reason to pretend that tortured POWs were well treated by their North Vietnamese captors, and because you oppose the trade war with China is not a good to reason to make baseless pronouncements that unsupportable on their face.

    For all you know China will make a deal with Trump to avoid the December 15 tariff hikes. Unless you and Xi are in the same fantasy football league and discuss this stuff frequently, there’s no way you could know what you claim to know.

    Giving you the benefit of the doubt would assume that you’re completely contemptuous of your readers. You think they’re the kinds of people who believe things because you write them. The worst interpretation is that you genuinely believe what you write.

    In the real world, the threat of rising tariffs can make Xi accept a deal–even if we oppose the trade war–just like Jane Fonda could have opposed the Vietnam War, even if the North Vietnamese were torturing American POWs.

    1. OK, Boehm cannot know that threats of new tariffs will be ineffective. But given the lousy record of the trade war so far, it isn’t exactly an unreasonable guess.

      1. Please see my post below.

        China isn’t about to make concessions because they’re nice, and Trump isn’t about to make concessions that will cost him the election.

        Putting leverage on China to agree to terms before December 15th makes it more likely that China will agree to come to terms, and that fact remains true regardless of whether it’s been enough to make China come to terms in the past or whether the likelihood is of them coming to terms increases to 100% because of the consequences of not coming to terms before December 15th.

        It is also true that actually implementing these tariffs makes the situation worse, and that’s an excellent reason to oppose getting into trade wars.

        One the Spartans decided to enslave the Helots, many of their other decisions were already made for them. The reason they could only spare 500 to face the Persians at the Battle of Thermopylae or were reluctant to keep enough Spartan troops in Athens so as to keep their boots firmly on the Athenian neck was because they were always afraid of what the Helots would do if Sparta troops left Spartan territory for too long.

        The solution to that problem of never being able to project your power too far outside your own territory–not even to defend yourself from a foreign invasion–was to never have enslaved the Helots in the first place. The solution was not to subject the Spartan population to Helot insurrection by having the army abandon Sparta. Maybe I should have written what I wrote earlier differently–once Sparta decided to enslave the Helots, all their good decisions were already made for them.

        It’s the same thing with occupying a foreign country or initiating a trade war. Once you decide to do that, all your best decisions are already made for you, whether you realize it or not, and the solution isn’t to start making bad decisions–like taking the pressure off of China to come to terms. The ultimate solution is to do whatever it takes to bring the trade war to an end. Sometimes, that looks like bugging out of Saigon in 1975. I doubt Trump will be willing to subject himself to the equivalent of that for the trade war–certainly not in an election year. That would cost him the presidency.

        1. Putting leverage on China to agree to terms before December 15th makes it more likely that China will agree to come to terms, and that fact remains true regardless of whether it’s been enough to make China come to terms in the past

          I suppose it depends on your view of probability, but this isn’t necessarily true to me at all. From the public’s standpoint, we have seen what these threats and follow-throughs have resulted in. Given that the result has not been a deal, I don’t see a strong reason to expect another round to produce a different result. That doesn’t mean it can’t or that this isn’t the tipping point. Maybe it is; for the sake of the world economy I certainly hope so. My only argument is that it’s not unreasonable to assume that it won’t be effective, based on past evidence.

          It’s the same thing with occupying a foreign country or initiating a trade war. Once you decide to do that, all your best decisions are already made for you, whether you realize it or not, and the solution isn’t to start making bad decisions–like taking the pressure off of China to come to terms. The ultimate solution is to do whatever it takes to bring the trade war to an end. Sometimes, that looks like bugging out of Saigon in 1975. I doubt Trump will be willing to subject himself to the equivalent of that for the trade war–certainly not in an election year. That would cost him the presidency.

          I was about to disagree with you and mention Saigon, but then you went ahead and did it yourself, so I more or less agree with your statement–our best decision are already made for us. I agree that Trump will not engage in such a capitulation before the election; however, that doesn’t make it the best option for the US. It’s the best option for Trump (and from a public choice theory standpoint it makes complete sense that a politician will follow through with the best choice for himself).

          1. Boehm and Lovely’s opinion that the tariffs won’t work is debatable. And I fully understand the benefits of eliminating tariffs in the US, and want free trade. But should libertarians ignore countries like China that use tariffs against their population for the benefit of their politicians, and also steal our intellectual property and trade secrets with impunity? It results in Americans not prospering via selling their products/services to Chinese (admittedly not a direct harm).

            Hasn’t Trump said he wants ALL TARIFFS eliminated world wide, and isn’t that something libertarians should support? Boehm fails to acknowledge a major libertarian position Trump supports. I can understand debate questioning whether implementing tariffs can result in getting agreement to reduce tariffs.

            But consider the “Ultimatum Game”: two participants get to share in a pot of money, with participant A deciding how much of the pot he gets, and if B disagrees both get no money. This is similar to trade with tariffs, where party A (the importing country government)
            decides how much tariffs to add to allow it to be sold, and party B the exporter who gets no choice in the matter. Now imagine country A just makes the tariffs high enough so the firms the politicians in their country have a cost advantage (after the shipping costs). Party B is now Trump, who’s essentially telling China they get nothing.

            The way I see this, is Trump knows China is overextended financially and can’t make their debt payments. They are highly leveraged, and running out of money. Their banking sector has almost 2X more “assets” and liabilities than US banks do (while their economy is only 60% as bit), but a lot of those assets are ghost cities. It shows how leveraged they are.

            IMHO (at least I claim it’s an opinion, unlike Boehm) China will seek a deal to get tariffs lowered, after the 2020 election because they’re hoping Trump isn’t re-elected. Their politicians can’t afford bank runs and further decline in their economy before they know they’ll be voted out (at the local level – higher ups are elected by the lower levels).

            And Reason should be supporting Trump’s desire for free trade, and getting other countries to become civilized and eliminate tariffs and IP theft.

            1. “Should libertarians ignore countries like China that use tariffs against their population for the benefit of their politicians, and also steal our intellectual property and trade secrets with impunity?

              The benefit of trade with cheap manufacturers like China is to the standard of living of American consumers.

              To what extent American consumers wish to avoid Chinese products because of the way the Chinese government treats its own people or because of the way the Chinese government treats intellectual property, they should be free to do so. They should also be free to pursue their own interests as consumers without nanny stater cry babies inflicting their own morality on American consumers. It’s basically the same thing as climate change.

              The climate change socialists say it’s insufficient if American consumers care about their own standard of living more than they care about the environment. The anti-traders say that the Muslim provinces of China and the intellectual property of American manufacturers is more important than the standard of living of American consumers. In a free society, American consumers should be free to make these choices for themselves without someone else imposing their own qualitative preferences on the rest of us.

              If you don’t want American consumers to buy products manufactured in China, I suggest you leave trade policy alone and try persuasion.

              1. Ken is correct. Unfortunately, many at Reason, and the commentariat, hate Trumo more than they love America.

            2. Bohemia’s will not support Trump under any circumstance. (T)reason would replace him if he did so. As official editorial policy is ‘Orange Man Bad!’

          2. “I don’t see a strong reason to expect another round to produce a different result.”

            More negative consequences if they don’t agree to a deal makes a deal more likely.

            Positive consequences if they do agree to a deal also makes a deal more likely.

            Public perception is beside the point in that context.

            If Trump were to drop his demands to make a deal, that would play badly in the upcoming election–and that’s when public perceptions come into play.

            1. “If Trump were to drop his demands to make a deal, that would play badly in the upcoming election–and that’s when public perceptions come into play.“

              Heaven forbid.

              It is all about winning elections isn’t it. It really doesnt matter who gets rolled under the tank in the process. Meatty’s hats and scarves be damned. Buck it up and be a patriot. Stick it to those Red Chinese. This is war.

              Been watching some of those old Disney movies on the new channel. From Lady and the Tramp:

              What a dog
              What a dog
              He’s a tramp, but I love him
              Breaks a new heart every day
              He’s a tramp, they adore him
              And I only hope he’ll stay that way
              He’s a tramp, he’s a scoundrel
              He’s a rounder, he’s a cad
              He’s a tramp, but I love him
              Yes, even I have got it pretty bad

            2. Public perception is beside the point in that context.

              I must disagree. Xi needs to save face, so he can’t be seen to capitulate. Trump must be seen to have won, so he can’t back off either. When a deal that allows both to maintain their respective fictions emerges, the trade war will end.

              They need to get their spin doctors together to develop the appropriate deal and narrative.

              1. China ultimately has to be the Jen that backs down. If not, then America should continue to disentangle itself with China as a trade partner. After all, if they’re this shitty no matter what, then what is the point? Plenty of other countries to fill the void.

                As if we need to be beholden to some assholes that want to steal all our shit on top of having sweetheart one sided deals, then kill us someday in the future.

                Fuck them, they’re substitutable.

              2. More negative consequences if they don’t agree to a deal makes a deal more likely.

                Positive consequences if they do agree to a deal also makes a deal more likely.

                Public perception is beside the point in that context.”

                More costs if they don’t make a deal makes a deal more likely–even if it doesn’t take the likelihood up to 100%.

                That’s the “context” in question.

                More negative consequences if they don’t make a deal makes a deal more likely–both despite and regardless of whether Xi can’t be seen as losing face.

                Yes, the fear of negative consequences influences people’s behavior and more costs from higher tariffs is a negative consequence if you ask Xi. That’s why he wants Trump to get rid of them.

    2. ” The worst interpretation is that you genuinely believe what you write.”

      That is the worst.

      I suspect the truth is that his only genuine concerns are: That the checks clear, and not having to say anything that might jeopardize a step up to a better paying gig.

    3. In the real world, the threat of rising tariffs can make Xi accept a deal

      no – in the real world, there is no credibility that Trump himself brings to the table that he will actually honor any trade deal he does longer than the time between tweets.

      You wanted an impulsive Prez. Well guess what. The downside is that there will no trade deal until AFTER the 2020 election

      1. “no – in the real world, there is no credibility that Trump himself brings to the table that he will actually honor any trade deal he does longer than the time between tweets.”

        This is a childish view of the world. I hope you don’t actually believe this, but if you do, grow the fuck up already and don’t tell your boss about your childish worldview until you do.

        In the real world, people take negative consequences and rewards into consideration–regardless of how you feel about Trump’s tweets. I don’t know what’s dumber. The idea that the Chinese don’t take the costs and benefits of their decisions into consideration or the idea that they don’t take these things into consideration because of Trump’s tweets.

        1. Nevertheless – my projection is what WILL happen. There will be no trade deal until after the 2020 election

          You OTOH will find roughly 100 reasons between now and then to post about the marvels and wonders of observing Trump play his 5000D chess game. And the only ’causes’ of those varying observations will be YOUR obsession about some tweeted fart or some Reason article about ‘today’s news on the trade front’. We have always been in a trade war with EastAsia.

      2. You know how the slope of a demand curve is such that the more things cost the less likely consumers are to by them? That’s about the negative consequences of doing something becoming less likely as the negative consequences increase.

        It’s a fundamental concept.

        Incidentally, the more reward you get for making a decision, the more likely you are to make that decision, too.

        If you can’t comprehend these ideas and picture Trump in your head at the same time, that’s telling. If you’ve never been exposed to these ideas before, you should go pick up an economics textbook sometime. It’s an important thing to know.

  4. There are a number of interesting developments in regards to Trump polices today (and over the last couple of days).

    1) China Trade

    BEIJING—China held off from retaliating against the U.S. after President Trump signed a bill supporting Hong Kong’s anti-Beijing protesters, as both sides remained confident they can sign a partial trade deal in the coming weeks, officials in the U.S. and China said.

    Wednesday’s bill signing by Mr. Trump, which China considers interference in its domestic affairs, came and went without any significant reaction, at least for now, from the country’s leaders.

    Instead, Chinese officials involved in economic policy-making stressed that the trade negotiations are still on track and as long as the U.S. president doesn’t implement any of the law’s measures, Beijing still has strong incentives to move ahead with the trade deal, which could help alleviate pressure on the country’s fast-weakening economy.

    The officials seized on a sentence in Mr. Trump’s signing statement that emphasized his “constitutional authorities with respect to foreign relations.” For Beijing, that is a clear signal the U.S. leader has given himself plenty of wiggle room to back off.

    The developments over the Hong Kong protests came as the two nations cited optimism over a trade deal, and experts said China’s limited response leaves the door open for a deal.

    —-WSJ, November 28, 2019

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-protests-new-u-s-law-supporting-hong-kong-but-signals-hope-for-trade-deal-11574948698

    Trump presumably set the December 15 deadline for the new tariffs as an incentive for China to come to terms on a deal before then. Contentious negotiations are always won by the parties with the most leverage, and whenever you’re negotiating with stubborn mules, you typically need both a carrot and a stick to create leverage.

    Suffice it to say, China is unlikely to make concessions unless it feels compelled to do so, and removing those tariffs at this point may be self-defeating if you want to get rid of the old tariffs completely. If Trump doesn’t negotiate a deal with China to phase out all the tariffs that have been implemented on both Chinese imports and U.S. exports to China, then those tariffs will probably stay on the books for the foreseeable future. There is no reason to think any Democrat likely to win wants to get rid of the tariffs Trump has already implemented. Because we don’t like the fact that getting rid of the trade war probably requires Trump to win concessions from China doesn’t mean it isn’t a fact.

  5. Other developments in the world over the last day or two. . .

    2) Anti-Iranian protests directed at the Iraqi government are forcing the Iraqi prime minister to resign.

    Iran is losing on every front in the region, and that is almost completely attributable to Trump’s leadership and foreign policy in the region–despite a lack of U.S. forces engaging in the region directly.

    3) Trump stated that peace talks with the Taliban are resuming.

    If we don’t want to get sucked back into that quagmire again, coming to terms with the Taliban is an excellent way to get out of Afghanistan. Again, only Trump (with his pragmatism) seems to be capable of negotiating with scumbags in America’s best interests. I doubt any neocons or prudish Democrats would negotiate with the Taliban under any circumstances. Trump, on the other hand, seems to be of the mind that if negotiating with the Taliban is in the best interests of the United States, then that’s exactly what we should do.

    1. This is why I usually go straight to the comments.

      1. Your donations should go to Ken as well.

    2. So the Yemeni humanitarian disaster is worth it? Other than giving Saudi’s bombs to use on civilians, what has Trump done to counter Iran? Almost shoot missiles at them? Back out of a nuclear deal so now they are enriching uranium again?

      Iraqi’s want the foreign influence out, period. (I wish US republicans would feel the same way.) That has nothing to do with Trump.

      1. Just weird that it didn’t happen under Obama after that one brief outburst that Obama ignored.

        And you’re aware that the fears of McCarthyism are the exact thing you advocate now, right?

      2. Maybe I’ve got De Oppresso Liber confused with an obnoxious troll, and excuse me if that’s the case.

      3. Iran is going to get nuclear weapons this time. Both they and N Korea know that agreements with the US are not worth the paper they are written on. Everybody knows that by now.

        1. Right.
          Now.
          Because helping a bunch of fanatic islamists rape Qaddafi to death with a bayonet in 2011, after he’d lived up to his deal with the US for years, didn’t send that message at all.

          1. Never said it didn’t. Starting the Iraq war under false pretenses also sent a message. Trump was far from the first to betray the Kurds which also does. If it were all Trump everyone could just wait it out but this goes back much further.

    3. Progtards are now neocons, due to their reflexive TDS contrarianism.

      1. Yes.

        It was on display when they were criticizing his withdrawal from Syria.

        Can’t leave until Syria is safe for Kurds (aka maybe never).

      2. They always have been neocons. They have also always been economic protectionists and are in line with the president on that.

        The US did not withdraw from Syria. We just moved troops out from the Turkish border to allow Erdogan to do what he wanted and brought in more in another area with a vague mission of “protecting the oil fields”.

    4. Negotiation with the Taliban. An honorable surrender to a lost war we should have never been in. Fine but nothing to crow about. Why even bother. Either way once we are gone things will go right back to what they were and the helicopters will be landing on the embassy roof to evacuate our last personnel.

      1. Leaving is the hardest thing to do, and if Trump actually does it, it will only happen because he insisted–and he’ll deserve credit for getting us out of there.

  6. I would be thankful if for once Eric also discussed the costs to consumers for IP theft and unfair trade practices. Difficulty, more than a single passing sentence.

    You cant discuss trade policy on single isolated factors, it requires a full analysis.

    1. You cant discuss trade policy on single isolated factors, it requires a full analysis.

      A full analysis of trade policy can be discussed in 140 characters.

  7. In short: Trump’s tariffs have been pretty ineffective so far, but the next round will be a particularly bad self-inflicted wound.

    Better check that premise. The goal was to force Red China to stop their serial lying, serial cheating, and serial theft by increasing the pain. Well, China’s economy is hurting badly, and they’re suddenly more willing conciliatory. Our economy, in contrast, is doing quite nicely. I’m willing to wait another few years of our supposedly terrible economy to inflict even more pain on Red China to get better terms. It is no longer just about the money.

    This is foreign policy, not just economic policy. This is where Boehm intellectually just falls apart. Boehm wants to make tariffs an exclusively economic and taxes argument when this is really a foreign policy that POTUS Trump is executing.

    1. “I’m willing to wait another few years of our supposedly terrible economy to inflict even more pain on Red China to get better terms. It is no longer just about the money.“

      Nice to have made that decision for everyone else. This is how tyranny and collectivism works. The guy who loses 10% of his sales, probably his whole profit margin is just not doing his patriotic duty to fight them Red Chinese bastards.

      There are plenty of shithole countries full of human rights abuses, corrupt and tyrannical governments to choose from. Wars, trade or otherwise don’t change that. I think we have learned our lessons over the years.

      Interesting was talking with someone who works for a major retail chain today. They sell a lot of Chinese imports. They are shifting to Vietnam as a source now because of the tariffs. Red Vietnam ! See the irony there. And here we have Ken in his above post using Jane Fonda as an example. Gotta love it.

      1. Vietnam doesn’t present the global threat China does. Get some perspective.

        1. Vietnam doesn’t steal IP.

          1. Reread Shitlords comment. Do it as many times as it takes to comprehend.

            1. Yes, I was supporting L o t S

              1. I apologize. I will work on my reading comprehension, and also reading the preceding post.

                1. To reiterate, China has ambitions of global economic and military domination. Plus the ability to one day carry it out. Vietnam does not.

                  And BigT is right. Vietnam doesn’t steal IP like China does.

          2. Yes they do.

            Trading partners that currently present the most significant concerns regarding IP rights are placed on the Priority Watch List or Watch List. USTR identified 36 countries for these lists in the Special 301 Report:

            Algeria, Argentina, Chile, China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine and Venezuela are on the Priority Watch List.
            Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Guatemala, Jamaica, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Romania, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan and Vietnam are on the Watch List.
            https://ustr.gov/about-us/policy-offices/press-office/press-releases/2019/april/ustr-releases-annual-special-301

            So let us not pretend that China is the only place where we need to be concerned about IP protection. We can also stop talking about communism as a reason for tariffs.

            Also China is quickly emerging as a center of innovation itself rather than just copying from others. So it increasingly has its own tech to protect. The more we engage and trade the more it becomes a mutual interest to protect IP.

            Rather than piling on tariffs a more productive approach would be for the administration to work directly with US business interests and negotiate with Chinese counterparts to secure agreements in a way that does not harm US interests.

            1. Echospinner….you are ignoring very important context. Of all the countries you listed above, none other than Red China can really do any serious damage to the US (or world) economy, save China. When I say it is not just about the money, there is more as well. Red China’s values are not our values, period. They will prevail, or we will.

              I vastly prefer we prevail, Echospinner. The time to act is now, while we still have the capacity to do so, and we can be reasonably assured we’ll prevail. I do not want to live under a technology-enabled totalitarian system, and that is what China is.

              1. Sounds like a neocon approach to economics and trade.

                Yet none of what is going on has anything to do with that. Trump and the admin have stated the goals specifically. The goals are to reduce the deficit and unfair trade practices in order to increase trade with China at a more level playing field. Values are irrelevant. If that is what you want to change going to need a new president.

                Trump has been very consistent in one thing at least. He does not care about regime changes, axis of evil, none of that. He does not talk in those terms. His goals are all pragmatic. Getting a nuke deal with Iran and N Korea. Better trade deals with China and others. Drawing down US military commitments overseas, check out recent developments with S Korea. I agree with those goals actually it is Trump I don’t like, whatever.

                I do not understand what it means to prevail vis China. They are not going back to Maos rice paddy hut and barefoot economy we saw 40 years ago. They are not going to become free and democratic because of tariffs. They could not possibly invade the US and the US could not possibly invade and occupy China.

                And Russia, Saudi Arabia, and India could not damage the world economy. Cmon.

              2. I could imagine many scenarios where any number of those places could cause economic havoc.

                For example Vietnam and China are currently in a dispute over the South China Sea through which passes 1/3 of global shipping. Vietnam does not have nearly the size navy that China does but they do have some lethal stuff including Russian built subs.

                Say China gets bolder and seizes some islands. The Vietnamese sink a couple Chinese navy ships. The result is China goes full in, grabs more territory, claims the whole sea and cuts off shipping. You can imagine the impact and how it could escalate from there with others, perhaps the US getting involved and the economic repercussions.

                The Vietnamese defeated France and the US. Size isn’t everything.

                1. Echospinner…C’mon, you’re an intelligent commenter. You know better, so don’t be obtuse In terms of scale, Red China has no peer, save the US and the combined EU. If you want to choose to live under a technology-enabled totalitarian state, move to Red China. That is what they have implemented, complete with concentration camps for the Uighurs.

                  How can you defend them, Echospinner, knowing what they represent to our values, and the way of life for the world?

                  You need to re-check your premises. They are completely twisted.

  8. Nice article. I like this website. The discussion is fantastic. Thanks for sharing.

  9. “but neither of those outcomes will do much of anything to shift manufacturing jobs out of China.”

    Brilliant false dichotemy! Apple doesn’t have a choice but to eat the losses or raise prices also it won’t affect China.

    In reality, most US companies that have their goods manufactured in China have been investigating alternatives. For example Google has announced its phones will be made in Vietnam. There are dozens of other countries in Asia that will gladly take the business China will lose if they can’t profitably sell phones made there in the US.

    That is the real reason to be against these trade wars. Even if the goal of reducing manufacturing in China is achieved, those jobs will just move to another impoverished country, they aren’t coming back to the US.

    1. What you don’t seem to realize is that foreign manufacturing is more “wasteful” and expensive than US manufacturing due to its very nature of location.

      How many car-shoppers book a flight to China – schedule to shop their and then schedule a way to get the car back into the US????

      When [We] touted “free-trade” scheme’s back in the 90’s it seems most of us didn’t realize what was really going on was subsidizing foreign trade.

      1. “What you don’t seem to realize is that foreign manufacturing is more “wasteful” and expensive than US manufacturing due to its very nature of location.”
        Sarc, I hope.

    2. Ironic that communism’s only lasting effect, other than arms races, has been to move employment opportunities away from the union goons who fell for it in mercantilist countries, and into the sweatshops of brutal “democratic” starvation dictatorships, no?

  10. eric’s legend as an intellectual dilettante grows with each passing article

  11. Trump’s primary “deal-making” consists of threats and bullying.
    Which is why he keeps failing. Over and over.

    1. Well if the USA is “failing” today — I’ll certainly be voting for more “failing”.. I haven’t had things this good in a very long time !!!!!! No more Obamacare trying to FORCE me to pay for monopolized health insurance. No more seeing all my friends sent home will little chance of getting another job. No more homeless communities pitching tents and growing in population in the public park.

      Sure; things could still become a lot better – but everything I consider “better” the left considers “failing”.

      1. I said his deal-making has failed.
        1) Learn how to read.
        2) Give examples

        Deep in your partisan cave of know-nothings, are you aware that
        Economic growth is now in the 2% range, no beyyyer tha

        https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_monthly_gdp

        1. Try again
          I said his deal-making has failed.
          1) Learn how to read.
          2) Then give examples

          Deep in your partisan cave of know-nothings, are you aware that
          Economic growth is now in the 2% range, no better than Obama. as proven at this link.

          https://ycharts.com/indicators/us_monthly_gdp

          Trump ridiculed Obama’s unemployment rates, saying labor force participation was at record lows
          1) There are two ways to reduce the unemployment rate — get a job or give up as a job-seeker (both reduce the number of unemployed, and unemployed means SEEKING A JOB)).
          2) Obama’s was at record lows.. BUT. TRUMP HAS NOT IMPROVED IT.
          3) While YOU judge the economy by your small circle of friends, presumably as uninformed as you, we adults know what are the key data and where to find them.

          IF THE ECONOMY IS SO STRONG, WHY ARE A RECORD NUMBER OF AMERICANS TOO DISCOURAGED TO EVEN SEEK A JOB?

          Again, READ WHAT I SAID, THEN PROVIDE AN ACTUAL ARGUMENT THAT I’M WRONG, AND WHERE I AM.

          Anything else?

          (Memorizing partisan propaganda has never been a way to stay informed, because both sides lie. If you are NOT following both sides, that shows how irresponsible you are as a voter)

          1. Fuck off and die, Hihn. And please get banned again.

            1. When the debate is lost, slander becomes the tool of the losers.
              -Socrates

              Losers = Cowards

          2. “ Try again”

            Lol at Hihn yelling at himself.

            1. Did he forget to change socks again? Senile old fuck.

        2. “Deep in your partisan cave of know-nothings, are you aware that
          Economic growth is now in the 2% range, no beyyyer tha”

          This is a direct copy paste of a Hihnsane comment; anyone care to translate “beyyyer tha” into something other than Hihnsanity?
          Further, the economy is near peak values in all measures; fucking lefty ignoramuses like Hihn hope that a lack of growth above “Oh My God” is evidence of something other than their brain-damaged claims.
          Hihn, fuck off, please get banned again, and die where your stink is visited on your momma.

          1. I provide link to PROOF. Sevo LIES about the proof.
            1) Click my link.
            2) SEE how psycho Sevo is, 20 seconds tops (if anyone NEEDS proof)

            1. Nope. Sevo wins again. Hihn loses, as always.

    2. TheLibertyTruthTeller
      November.29.2019 at 8:23 pm”

      Hihn, whatever you did last time to get banned, please do it again.
      And also, please fuck off and die.

      1. He linked his website with the enemies list. The one where I’m named a bunch of times. Which I consider a badge of honor. It’s still up.

        http://libertyissues.com/reason2.htm

        He’s a fucking nut case and should be involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.

  12. You’re trying to reason with Hihn. It’s a waste of time. He’s a raving communist, and likely senile. With delusions of libertarianism.

  13. #LibertariansForProfitingFromSlaveStates

    “muh free market”

  14. I haven’t had things this good in a very long time !!!!!!
    Jessica!
    https://www.jessicaescortsservices.com/

  15. Google is now paying $17000 to $22000 per month for working online from home. I have joined this job 2 months ago and i have earned $20544 in my first month from this job. I can say my life is changed-completely for the better! Check it out whaat i do…..

    click here =======►►  ……..  Gofast5.com

  16. SO Little Eric stares into his cristal ball and “knows” what the Chinese communist government will and won’t do in the future. Why am I reminded of all the ball-gazers–bookies even–who in 2016 assured me there was no effable way The Don was going to be elected Capo di tutti Capi. Would it be legal for us to make a friendly side bet on this new and prophetic prediction?

    1. HOW brainwashed are Trump’s puppets-on-a-string??

      WE WERE WARNED … Trump is a FRAUD and a MOOCH … BY FOX NEWS! … NOT THE MSM (smirk)

      “I have never gone bankrupt, by the way,” Trump said. “I have never.”Moderator Chris Wallace questioned whether Trump could be trusted to handle the American economy in light of the fact Trump-related businesses have filed for corporate bankruptcy four times since 1991.
      … 

      “In 2011, you told Forbes Magazine this: ‘I’ve used the laws of the country to my advantage.’B ut at the same time, financial experts involved in those bankruptcies say that lenders to your companies lost billions of dollars,”
      Wallace said to Trump.

      “Question sir: With that record, why should we trust you to run the nation’s business?”
      Trump, who stressed that he had never personally gone bankrupt, suggested he merely used legal procedures to his advantage.
      ((EVASION – BULLSHIT))

      “I have used the laws of this country — just like the greatest people that you read about every day in business have used the laws of this country, the chapter laws, to do a great job for my company, for myself, for my employees, for my family, et cetera,” Trump said.


       Wallace dismissed this as Trump’s “line.”
      (((aka CRAZED BULLSHIT!)))

      Wallace, like his father, is a genius at getting people to reveal damaging truths, but NEVER nails the conclusion. Like all great journalists, he extracts truth for your eyes and ears, and YOUR judgment
      (Here’s what Wallace COULD have said: “Anyone can use the law to their advantage … but that can NEVER include screwing the people who trust your most
      your own investors, suppliers and non-family employees.”)
      Trump uses the law to EVADE yes. … but using the law to HIS advantage Trump ESCAPES the damage his failures had inflicted on so many others. That’s called gaming the system.

      He’s never gone bankrupt personally, only the businesses he managed. (LOL)
      FACTS

      1. Trump Organization is an LLC … a massve loophole for a favored few … they enjoy the limited liability of a corporation (not personally responsible for debts and damages),
        but loopholed out of the corporate income tax.
      2. Every penny of Trump Organization’s revenues and profits are reported as personal income on his personal return. AND he campaigned on a 15%
        personal tax rate for himself, on top of his corporate loophole!

      Trump campaigned to be a billionaire paying a marginal (top) income tax rate of 15%.
      What’s your top tax rate, suckers?

      Yes, he’s quite good as using the law to his best advantage. But when he says “all the greatest people do it every day” … But ……
      HE is ALL all the greatest people himself, as he keeps telling us.
      No ACTUAL “great person” SCREWS those who trust them most, REPEATEDLY!

  17. If retailers can no longer buy cheap crap from China to sell to US consumers at a ridiculous mark-up, then they can buy from other countries, like Viet Nam. Many have started doing so.

    Hilariously, “Yankee Candle” products are now made there.

Please to post comments