Free Trade

South America Won the U.S.-China Trade War

Two economists calculate that U.S. farms lost $14 billion because of retaliatory tariffs, while South American countries boosted their exports by $13 billion to fill the gap.


The easiest way to win a trade war? Don't be one of the countries involved.

When the United States slapped tariffs on steel, aluminum, and billions of dollars of Chinese imports in the summer of 2018, China and other U.S. trading partners retaliated by targeting American agricultural exports. By the time a series of tit for tat increases in tariffs by the U.S. and China came to a halt with a December 2019 partial trade agreement—one that left most of the higher tariffs in place on both sides—the average foreign tariff for American farm goods had jumped from 8.3 to 26.8 percent, according to a new paper from Colin A. Carter and Sandro Steinbach, economists at the University of California and the University of Connecticut, respectively.

As a result, U.S. farm exports suffered. Carter and Steinbach calculate that U.S. farmers lost more than $15.6 billion in trade with countries that hiked tariffs in response to the Trump administration's trade war. Soybeans, pork products, and grains were the products most affected.

Some of those losses were offset by trade with other nations—for example, when China stopped purchasing U.S.-grown soybeans, growers had to find other buyers for their products. That was the goal of a July 2018 deal struck by President Donald Trump and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker that the White House touted as a vehicle for sending more American soybeans to Europe.

As Reason noted at the time, Europe's annual consumption of soybeans was less than 25 percent of China's (and it already had access to tariff-free imports of U.S. soybeans), so "unless Juncker and Trump plan to start jamming soybeans down European throats, foie gras-style, there's simply no way that Europe can consume enough soybeans to make up for the loss of China as an American export market."

In short: deflected trade to other countries could make up for only some of the losses caused by the trade war.

Nearly two years later, Carter and Steinbach calculate that so-called "deflected trade" in agricultural goods boosted U.S. exports by about $1.2 billion during the trade war—leaving American farms only $14 billion in the red.

The trade war may not have turned out to be "good and easy to win" for the United States, but some other countries have benefited from how higher tariffs have warped the global flow of agricultural goods. Argentina, Brazil, and Chile were the "primary beneficiaries of the retaliatory tariff increases," Carter and Steinbach write, because they "were able to substantially expand their trade with retaliatory countries at the cost of the United States."

In all, countries that the two researchers identify as "non-retaliatory countries"—that is, places that did not hike tariffs in response to U.S. tariffs on steel, aluminum, and other goods—gained more than $13.5 billion by increasing trade to places, like China, that took steps to reduce imports of U.S. farm goods.

Again, that seems to confirm some anecdotal reporting from the height of the trade war. As Brazilian exporters swooped in to fill China's demand for soybeans in the second half of 2018, for example, Brazil actually exported so many soybeans that it had to import some from America to meet domestic demand. Beyond the initial losses, soybean farmers are worried about how the trade war might permanently reshape the global soybean trade, to the detriment of American growers.

It should be clear by now that the trade war is an economic disaster for American farmers. But the economic costs associated with retaliatory tariffs should also be a reminder that the people who launched the trade war had no idea what they were doing.

In March 2018, after Trump announced his intention to hike tariffs on steel and aluminum, Peter Navarro, the director of the White House's National Trade Council, was asked about the potential consequences of retaliation aimed at American farm exports.

"I don't believe any country in the world is going to retaliate," he said. "They know they're cheating us, and we're just trying to stand up for ourselves."

Navarro and Trump were wrong. American farmers have lost $14 billion because of their mistake.

NEXT: Washington, D.C., May Permanently Legalize To-Go Cocktails

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  1. South America isn’t trying for global hegemony, so good for their win.

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  2. Hopefully the courts strike down these unconstitutional executive order tariffs someday.

  3. They did well out of the second world war as well.

  4. Bullshit. Trumps trade war makes China suffer while American companies thrive. He’s a genius, playing a game of five-dimensional chess that mere mortals cannot comprehend. Trade wars are healthy for the economy. Adam Smith said so on one page of a large book dedicated to free trade, which negated all of the rest of his work. Only that page matters. So stick it, libertarians! Trump is awesome! Trade wars are awesome! Tariffs are awesome! Free trade is for pussies! MAGA 2020!

    1. Another one of those brilliant “remotely” libertarian things you always say.

      1. Gasbag Blowhard,
        Please listen!
        You don’t know,
        What you’re missing!
        Donald’s ass, don’t be kissin’!
        Trump won’t love you,
        He’ll push and shove you!
        He’ll take your vote,
        Then call you a goat!
        He’ll tax your money,
        Then steal your Honey!
        Your pussy, He will grab,
        Your back, He will stab!
        His-victims-routines, He’s iterating,
        Shit about YOU, He’ll be Twitterating!

        1. Ah, the resident dementia patient.

          1. ABC is drunk early it seems.

    2. Is this an attempt at your sarcasm or just a standard strawman? Are we still blatantly ignoring trade externalities like theft? Chinas actions with PPE just this year, etc?

      1. I’m used to leftists using “externalities” and “market failures” as an excuse for government intervention in the economy. Hearing it from a right-winger is relatively new. Shows how deep Trump’s populism runs.

        1. Externalities are a form of fraud. Libertarians agree that government can justifiably function to prevent fraud. Therefore, government can and should intervene to prevent externalities from being imposed upon others.

          We do live in a Coasian world, whether you like it or not.

          1. You’ve got to elaborate on this one. I hear stories about Chinese actors playing it fast and loose, but my understanding is that those are the exceptions, not the rule. Maybe I’m wrong and everyone in China is engaging in fraud.

            1. //Maybe I’m wrong and everyone in China is engaging in fraud.//


              1. Yeah.

        2. Needs moar Trump cock!

  5. So we can blame Orange Man Bad for the Amazon being converted into soybean, pork, and grain production. GTK

    1. And for dumping all that sand in the Mojave Desert.

      1. Just wait for the solar minimum.
        Trump’s a real dick for doing that

        1. I heard about that the other day. If its true, watching the global warming cultists mental gymnastics over the next few years is going to be glorious.

        2. This is the solar minimum.

  6. Does this mean the U.S. taxpayer is off the hook for at least $13 billion in aid to South America?

    1. Do we even give that much to them? Though I guess it depends on the definition of ‘aid’. Do we subsidize their purchases of various bits of American products, from airliners (though Embraer certainly sells enough here) to battle tanks or agricultural products?

      I had thought the traditional big winners in US Foreign Aid were Israel/Egypt (bribes to keep them from killing each other, and subsidized sales for LockMart et al), and Iraq/Afghanistan because we were warring within them?

  7. OK, so the above is TL;FR for many readers, lemme summarize:

    China is run by slave labor! All Chinese people (besides Emperor Pooh Bear and his to 12 to 67 or so top-most flunkies) are all SLAVE LABOR!!! So Collective USA All-is-for-the-Hive Government Almighty (as duly elected by The People, in the form of PGIC, Pussy Grabber In Chief) has duly decided for all of us, it is IMMORAL to buy from these slavers!!!

    Chinese slavers are now buying from South America… The ONLY solution will be to declare South Americans to be slavers as well, for trading with SLAVERS, those traitors!!! Ban trade with them as well!!! Double down on the pussy-grabbing, by elected Pussy Grabber In Chief!!!

    ‘Cause we all know, thanks to Dear Leader, we CAN INDEED grab all the pussy, all the time, and NONE will be smart enough to EVER grab our pussies right back!

    1. Smell my finger.

      1. I’m OK with smelling your finger, so long as it goes NOWHERE NEAR Tulpa! Well, add Trump to that list as well…

      2. Pedophiles and shit eaters. That is who you side with now wrapped in TDS. Fucking hilarious.

        1. Maybe sarcasmic had a stroke and they’re the only ones he can really communicate effectively with?

        2. Your what hurts?

  8. By the way, the US has repeatedly lost in the WTO courts because we subsidize our farmers. South American farmers have sued because those subsidies represent an unfair trade practice. Because the US refuses to remove the subsidies (as it’s kind of a domestic political policy, largely built around the relationship between a particular member of congress and his or her constituents) the US makes direct payments to the countries affected.

    This whole tariff tit-for-tat is WAY more complicated than you can ever imagine.

    1. Can’t we all just agree that starving China out is in everybody’s best interest?

      1. “Can’t we all just agree that starving China out is in everybody’s best interest?”

        The author of this article wants to know why you are so obtuse.

        1. Isn’t today one of the days that your bitter and abused ex-wife reluctantly drops off your daughter at your place while she fucks your best friend?

          1. Is that a reply to me or Jury Nullification?

            1. Jury.

              1. Isn’t this the day you pull out your gun and end your miserable life because you are too stupid to identify sarcasm. Figured I’d beat you to the punch and use your standard gun fantasy retort before you did.

                Nice to see your limited intellect was able to produce an alternate. Don’t attempt a 3rd with your limitations.

                1. I’m flattered, sarc. I really am.

                  1. Sarc?! No. I said, “…you are too stupid to identify sarcasm…” and not, sarcasmic. But now I have to add that one to your permanent record as well. Never thought I would be accused of being a sarc puppet.

                    1. You keep a permanent record for anonymous shit posters online? How badly did we break you? Be honest.

          2. How do you know so much about Boehm?

            1. Busted!

            2. “How do you know so much about Boehm?”

              Your mother.

              1. Oh, it really is sarcasmic.

                1. Indeed.

      2. Nope. Trade is in everybody’s best interest. The more the better.

        1. And how one obtains the goods to be traded is completely irrelevant. For the record, the organ market in China is thriving.

          1. “…the organ market in China is thriving.”

            Just ask the Uighur minority. You’ll need a Ouija board though.

          2. “And how one obtains the goods to be traded is completely irrelevant to an immoral POS unconcerned with NAP.” FTFY cucksucker

            1. Keep on sockin, faggot.

              1. You got some real sockin’ paranoia. Don’t over estimate your fan club.

                1. Keep on sockin’, faggot.

                  1. Keep on faggin, sock.

                    1. Fuck off, Jury.

        2. And we continue to ignore more theft and other actions. Blind ignorance must be so great.

          I assume you support black markets from stolen goods as well right?

          1. So you’ll are back to supporting unconstitutional executive orders? Cause from the recent posts over the last 2 months here I figured you all might have had a change of heart.

            1. What’s the constitutional argument here?

              1. Power to lay taxes rest in Congress per the Constitution. No Constitutional amendment has changed that the People vested that power into the hands of Congress not the executive. The president and congress have no authority to alter the constitution without passing an amendment ergo its unconstitutional.

                  1. Reminds me of a saying my old boss used to say: No one can’t go through the day without one juicy rationalization. The whole article is just an attempt to justify an illegal action. The history lesson wasn’t bad, though.

                    1. Well, your argument would get tossed on its ass in any court. The problem is that dogmatism doesn’t win you any fights. Believing hard enough doesn’t quite cut it. You need an argument. And “BECAUSE I FUCKING SAID SO” is not an argument.

                1. I agree with your stance, by the way. The non-delegation doctrine should be the solution here.

                  1. Who gives a fuck that you agree with him. Stop trying to undermine his credibility with your agreement.

                    1. //Stop trying to undermine his credibility with your agreement.//

                      That’s a whole new level of retarded, sarc.

          2. “I assume you support black markets from stolen goods as well right?”

            Oh, yeah. garrote guzba has his slave do most of his shopping in black markets.

            1. Fuck off, sarc.

      3. “I completely agree!”

        Signed, FDR. Shortly after his executive order barring oil sales to the Empire of Japan in 1941.

        Not that China doesn’t richly deserve payback for their bad behavior when it comes to trade, respecting contracts and intellectual property, or damned near everything else…just be cognizant of the possible consequences.

      4. That is socialism. Using govt policy to “bring back” manufacturing, to restrict the movement of labor across borders, or to alter trade for political reasons are all forms of socialism. None of those policies benefit me as an American, they only benefit the small group of people who voted the alt-right into power. Its not the progressive variety of socialism, its the nationalistic type.

        This is the difference between Republicans and Libertarians in 1970 vs 2020. Today they have nothing in common.

        1. //None of those policies benefit me as an American//

          Right. Because things that don’t benefit you directly are, ipso facto, wrong.

          1. When they are instituted for political reasons to satisfy a radical minority, yes. The free movement of capital, services, good and labor is beneficial to everyone, and if our enemies restrict any of those, we should make them even freer in response. Let China ruin their economy with socialist central control, we will respond with liberty because when the two are in conflict, liberty prevails. That is what us libertarians believe. Republicans are socialists who deny those things in order to placate their radical base.

            1. //The free movement of capital, services, good and labor is beneficial to everyone, and if our enemies restrict any of those, we should make them even freer in response.//

              Delusional, but ok.

              1. And thats why Libertarians and Conservatives have nothing in common in 2020.

                1. Correct.

                  Most libertarians are deluded as fuck and nobody wants anything to do with them or their absurd “principles.”

                  1. Now you sound like a democrat. Thats basically a John Oliver joke.

                    Just remember, conservative, you are the authoritarian one in this country.

                    1. //Just remember, conservative, you are the authoritarian one in this country.//

                      Like I said, delusional.

  9. Good for them, seems like they could use all the help they can get down there.

  10. FFS Trade wars are the wars of pussies. Everyone knows that real leaders start real wars. Nothing stimulates an economy like a real war, amirite? Just ask any country or member of the MIC that has been engaged by Americuh in a military action. So much gubmint largess to go around that billions of US dollars will flow into the country at the receiving end of hostilities. Economic magic.

    1. S.

      1. So Boehm is sarcasmic? Checks out.

        1. At least Bailey has the balls to use his real name.

          1. Sarcasmic’s been posting here since Boehm was in high school.

            1. Has he been able to tell when someone was making a joke during most of that time?

              1. No. And he hasn’t been here that long.

                1. Interesting! What say you Gray Jay?

                  1. I remember him from the time of W. Different cast here then.

                    The board’s gone through what, two or three different changes in software since then?

                    1. No idea. I’ve only been here a year or two.

                    2. Maybe I’m wrong then. I was laughing at the articles during W but didn’t venture in the comments much.

                      I remember when I saw him, I thought it was Sarcastro (longtime liberal Volokh commenter who does the sarcarm thing decently), but quickly realized his entire shtick is just knocking down strawmen. I’ve been PgDn ing ever since.

                    3. Different dude, I think. Did he go by ‘The Great Sarcasmo’ at some point? Hell, to borrow someone else’s expression, ‘I don’t know what these people look like, other than they’re 12 point Gothic.’ (Who uses Gothic as a font, anyway? Probably a part of the joke I’m not getting, which is hardly unusual.) I’m surprised I remember this much.

                      All I really remember from Volokh is that the columnists would frequently wade into the comments, Orin Kerr never found a state exercise of police power he couldn’t excuse, and the commentariat there was frequently well written. It was too much like work to put together a post there that I’d feel comfortable with. I see that’s changed.

                      I know that feel about the PgDn button. I miss my ‘Ignore’ button. Though not enough to learn enough coding to come up with a new one.

                    4. Here’s all the commenters I associate with the W days.

              2. You’ve got me, R Mac. I remember things being different, less strident here, but I also was much more aligned in thinking with the writers of this magazine back then. And the thinking of most of the self-identified Libertarians in the comments section. The politics of the Obama and Trump years have gotten everyone so damned angry about everything. Not that they’re wrong.

                Still, I learn a lot here, and so keep coming back.

                1. Your mistake is forgiven.

      2. Yeah. I never eat or shit. I just post all day and night with different names just to annoy you. You are that important. All hail GG!

        1. Go feed your daughter. She’s starving in the attic and she’ll chew through the ropes any minute now.

        2. I first read that as “I never eat shit”. Lol.

  11. This is a strange argument to make. On the one hand you want the US to beat out SA in a trade war. On the other hand you want the US to lose to China in a trade war.

    Make up your mind.

    1. Learn some subtlety. Words may be black and white, but meanings have shades of gray.

      1. //Words may be black and white, but meanings have shades of gray.//

        That makes no sense at all, unless you assume meanings are unconnected to the words.

        1. There are no shades of gray, according to Trumpistas. Trump fellatio is pure good, and all else, is purest EVIL!!!!

          1. Day after day SQRLSY speaks in riddles and quips,
            while licking the crusted corners of his lips;
            from writing each day about sucking a dick
            to real balls in his mouth, with his tongue he will flick;
            and the drool will fall from his lips to his chin,
            while he gargles left, the right, and the skin
            of the ball bag that dips high and low as he grins,
            and proving he’s got what it takes to win.

            1. Trumpty Dumpty, He’s quite off-the-wall,
              Trumpty Dumpty won’t stay in His toilet stall
              He just goes ahead and takes His shits,
              Totally regardless of whereever He sits
              Whenever He simply, no way, can sleep,
              He Twits us His thoughts, they’re all SOOO deep!
              He simply must, He MUST, Twit us His bird,
              No matter the words, however absurd!
              He sits and snorts His coke with a spoon,
              Then He brazenly shoots us His moon!
              They say He’ll be impeached by June,
              Man, oh man, June cannot come too soon!
              So He sits and jiggles His balls,
              Then He Twitters upon the walls
              “Some come here to sit and think,
              Some come here to shit and stink
              But I come here to scratch my balls,
              And read the writings on the walls
              Here I sit, My cheeks a-flexin’
              Giving birth to another Texan!
              Here I sit, on the pooper,
              Giving birth to another state trooper!
              He who writes these lines of wit,
              Wraps His Trump in little balls,
              He who reads these lines of wit,
              Eats those loser’s balls of shit!”

              1. SQRSLY fucks his sister with glee,
                but his children are scared in the bathroom to pee
                because daddy always peaks through the door,
                while calling their mother-aunt his little whore;
                but all is not lost in the darkened house,
                for SQRSLY ordered a tube with a mouse
                that will find its way like a maze in his ass,
                while he cuts his wrists in the dark with some glass.

                1. FINISH HIM!

                  1. TOASTY!!!

                2. Armageddon!

      2. You’ve never used a grey argument in economics. Yous tick to sophistry and idealized simple ideas. You dont even understand supply shifts and such.

        1. A good joke is a shift of wit.
          JesseSPAZ is a wift of shit!

          1. You’ve yet to tell a good joke here.

            1. Got a good one for ya:

              R Mac has a brain that’s working properly!!!

              AHAHAHAH-HAHAH!!! As your clone Tulpa would say!

  12. 2 economists equals consensus and definitely not evidence of confirmation bias.

    Guess we should bow down to our south american economic powerhouses now.

    1. Give them a year or two. They’ll find some way to piss it all away.

      IIRC, at the turn of the 20th century, Argentina had something like the world’s highest GDP per capita. Blessed with fertile land, mineral resources, a well educated populace, European social structures that were at least aped, they stayed out of both World Wars: there is no reason why Argentina, and probably Brazil too, shouldn’t be superpowers today. Except both countries are saddled with cultures, no matter how European Buenos Aires desperately perceives itself as, that wouldn’t permit that kind of business achievement. At least Brazil sounds like it’s trying to get its shit together.

      1. there is no reason why … probably Brazil too .. shouldn’t be superpowers today.

        The ~85 IQ is a pretty good reason.

        1. For both countries? Or just Brazil?

          Moreover, is there a chance of an Ireland-type effect working within Brazil as their prosperity increases? A full SD is an awful lot of ground to make up though.

          1. 85 is a generous estimate for Brazil. Argentina is similar to southern European countries (not surprising).

            I just searched for this Ireland effect and saw a paper from Lynn 1970 had IQ at 96.

            1. Wasn’t Ireland a case where widespread IQ testing awhile ago, like the 20s and 30s, had the median IQ for the population at something like 90 or so? Then the country goes through a bout of economic achievement, a generation passes, and median IQ jumps to 101 or whatever it is now? I.e., are we sure scientists are measuring something that’s inherent within genetic characteristics when they do national-scale IQ testing, or does economic achievement—which could lead to better nutrition and childhood development—also play a role?

              I vaguely remember some back and forth about this at Unz awhile back.

              I do like Jordan Peterson’s short talk on the US Army at the start of WW2, IQ testing, and the lack of meaningful work in the Army for people with an IQ of, IIRC, 86 or so. Put a few things into perspective for me on why subgroups within a population with low IQs find it so difficult to find beneficial employment and contribution within modern society. Though I don’t think Peterson out and out said it in his talk, the proportion of African-Americans with an IQ below the number the Army deemed unable to contribute, mirrored the current proportion of African-Americans incarcerated.

              1. or does economic achievement—which could lead to better nutrition and childhood development—also play a role?

                On one hand, it must to some extent. OTOH Dubai.

                IQ below the number the Army deemed unable to contribute, mirrored the current proportion of African-Americans incarcerated.

                I saw a comments section once where someone was asking why the IQ in Hawaii was so low and somebody responded with the demographics breakdown from Wikipedia and multiplied by each countries IQ, using Portugal for whites and it was the same. Partly luck, but it’s true that this stuff is extremely durable.

                1. “On one hand, it must to some extent. OTOH Dubai.”

                  My grandfather rode camels, then he found oil. Now I ride in a Range Rover. My son will too, while the oil is here, and his grandson will then ride camels.” Or something like that.

                  Marrying first cousins, or other close marriages, is a first guess at a significant difference between Dubai/the wealthy Gulf states, and Ireland. Catholicism having a more tolerant attitude than Wahabbi Sunnism to intellectual inquiry might be another significant difference in why greater economic wealth isn’t translating to a smarter population.

                  I can just imagine how that conversation about Hawaii went after those truth bombs got dropped. About as well probably as my response to someone bitching about violent death rates in the US and trying to correlate it with gun control jurisdictions. They weren’t happy when I pointed out that a African-American distribution map mirrored those high violent crime rates damned near perfectly.

                  “That’s Racist!”
                  Maybe, to you. But is it wrong?

                  They’re concerned though, and that’s what really matters.

                  1. Consanguinity costs at least 5 IQ points along with lots of other problems. It’s probably the only low hanging fruit left outside the third world.

                    I can just imagine how that conversation about Hawaii went after those truth bombs got dropped.

                    It wasn’t that kind of group. The original questioner was wondering why a state with many whites and Asians and few blacks would have bad test scores. The answer: the whites are largely Portuguese, who are surprisingly dumb. There’s somewhere with lots of Portuguese descendants …

                    1. I had no idea about the Portuguese. And when I first read your last sentence, I thought, “Oh, so that’s why Rhode Island’s such a…” and then it hit me. Yeah, I’m slow.

                      O.k., so that takes care of Brazil. Argentina still doesn’t have an excuse.

                      Re Hawaii, I would’ve guessed the Polynesians would have closely related enough to Melanesians that they’d be bringing the average down. Clearly there’s a lot more for me to read on the subject.

                    2. I don’t think schooling, environment, etc. in general matters all that much. BUT, if I’m not mistaken, most melanesians by population are in the highlands of New Guinea and they met the outside world so recently it was filmed.

    2. “Guess we should bow down to our south american economic powerhouses now.”

      Time to re-negotiate SAFTA.

  13. The first mistake is to see trade as a war to begin with.

    All wars are a lose-lose proposition. There is no winning only degrees of losing.

    Trade does not need to be like that at all.

    The fallacy is thinking that politicians, mandarins, rulers, can institute rules and direct markets such that one nation wins and the other loses. Nobody can do that.

    There are so many holes in that way of thinking. The lobsterman from Maine, is not a “nation” he is a guy trying to make a living shipping his delicious lobsters to a customer in China. If he loses that business to others in Chile or Canada it is not team USA losing or winning.

    The famous pencil analogy, let alone this amazing thingy I am typing on and communicating with which I could not have imagined growing up. No single person created this. No government or agency did that.

    1. So long as the structure of the modern state continues to exist (i.e. government, armies, borders, regulatory agencies, state bureaucracies, etc.) trade will always be a war, or at least a competition. So long as people see themselves as “a people,” trade will be a war. So long as the concept of a national culture persists, trade will be a war.

      If you want free trade – real free trade, uninhibited and unencumbered – then you have to abolish the concept of the modern state and nearly every single one of its attendant institutions.

      Until then, forget it.

      1. Trade is an exchange of goods. War is their destruction.

        “If you want free trade – real free trade, uninhibited and unencumbered – then you have to abolish the concept of the modern state and nearly every single one of its attendant institutions.”

        I think you mean free markets instead of free trade. Trade has been around since we dropped out of the trees and started walking upright. Markets have been with us since the establishment of states and their institutions.

        1. Fuck off, Molly.

          1. Feeble equivocation, Geraje Guzba, feeble equivocation.

            1. Fuck off, Molly.

                1. Molly, fuck off.

                  1. You need to work on your internet tough guy shtick if you want anything more than a spam flag from me.

                    1. Off with the fuck, Molly.

    2. “The fallacy is thinking that politicians, mandarins, rulers, can institute rules and direct markets such that one nation wins and the other loses. Nobody can do that.”

      China’s behavior, and Japan’s before them, indicates they don’t believe in your thesis.

      1. The lobsterman from Maine, is not a “nation” he is a guy


        1. wrong place

      2. Think of a highway with thousands of cars, each of them driven with purpose by someone. Each driver has a different goal and reason. The traffic has no reason nor purpose.

        When we think as collectivists the governments control. Imperial Japan in history made blunders resulting in horrible death and destruction. Following which people eventually just went back to work.

        So it is correct that governments and there are many more examples make the horrific mistake of central control.

        It is why those of a libertarian bent propose limited government.

        1. So it is correct that governments and there are many more examples make the horrific mistake of central control.

          It is why those of a libertarian bent propose limited government.

          Is this a bot?

        2. I have no problem with limited government, if everyone else also has limited government. Negotiate an international accord where every other state lays down their arms and agrees to let their people play fair. Until that point, spreading your cheeks in the hope that nobody else fucks you in the ass is naïve, at best.

          1. Your government protects your ass?

            1. Learn to read, Molly, you fucking socialist scum.

              1. You want your government to protect you and your people. It’s quite clear.

                1. God forbid.

                  1. You want a strong government to prevent your getting ass fucked by foreigners. Strip away all the internet tough guy posturing and that’s the message that comes through.

                    1. So, you want to get ass fucked by foreigners? Strip away the internet concern trolling, and you just another fucking faggot without a clue.

                    2. ” So, you want to get ass fucked by foreigners? ”

                      I’m not worried about it. That was you. I’m worried more about interfering governments than ass fucking foreigners. I also understand the impulse to seek protection from powerful and charismatic figures like Trump in times of uncertainty.

        3. So it is correct that governments and there are many more examples make the horrific mistake of central control.

          Yes, and like Japan, China wants to destroy the US and the West. Unlike Japan, they aren’t using guns, but instead political and economic manipulations and interference, and they are willing to suffer massive economic and human losses to win.

    3. The fallacy is thinking that politicians, mandarins, rulers, can institute rules and direct markets such that one nation wins and the other loses. Nobody can do that.

      Your analysis of the situation is wrong. We are not living in a world with a global free market where the US is trying to gain an advantage by interfering.

      We are living in a world in which communist China is manipulating trade for political gain, and they are willing to impose massive economic losses on their citizens to do so. The correct and rational response to that kind of behavior may very well be for our elected government to impose restrictions on economic transactions with China.

      The objective of such restrictions is not necessarily to improve economic outcomes, it is political survival for the US.

  14. American farmers have lost $14 billion because of their mistake.

    Increase farm subsidies by $14 billion, and everyone’s happy.

  15. One of the things not mentioned is that when one sector of agriculture loses another wins. A drought in Texas boosts wheat prices in Montana. Cheap soybeans and corn benefit livestock feeders. Unfortunately, because of market capture, often enhanced by Government regulations, these benefits have been curtailed. As most of America is now seeing, we allowed a few companies (aided in many ways, actually) to capture 80% of our processing of livestock. They have managed to use the tariffs and other disruptions to keep live prices artificially low, while maintaining high prices on processed meat. This despite that we have begun opening far more markets in East Asia for US beef, pork and chicken outside China and the actual dropoff in exports to China were far less than predicted. The pattern of purchasing by China did change (and the same is true in soybeans) in that instead of steady purchases it became extremely variable. Yes, tariffs have hurt American agriculture, but that is only a part of the issue. And not all the tariffs related harm was the result of US-China Trade Wars. India and Pakistan slapped huge tariffs on US and Canadian exports of peas, lentils and chickpeas in 2016 with no warning and no provocation. This was done entirely to protect their own farmers. Increased soybeans production world-wide, increased wheat and corn production in the former Soviet Union countries etc also drove down markets before the trade wars even begun. Basically, it is far more complicated than it is all the trade wars fault. Eastern Europe, Central Asia and South America have rapidly increased production as they adopt more mechanized agriculture (albeit, there is signs of this leveling off).
    Another thing not mentioned often is US agricultural products are often viewed as higher quality (except wool) and more consistent. Many importers will purchase cheaper Eastern European wheat to blend with higher protein American and Canadian wheat. We’ve lost a bit of an edge, as other countries have improved the quality of their products.
    Another issue is EU regulations that inhibit what US products (especially meat) can be exported to Europe. China also plays this regulations game, creating regulations barring US agricultural goods until the price drops and then suddenly suspending the rules until prices increase. Japan and South Korea have played these games as well, but less so now with the new trade agreements. Australia and Brazil export a lot of beef but the quality is not near the US quality. In fact the US imports low quality beef from Brazil and Australia in order to have enough low quality to meet hamburger demand (at least before the Panicdemic)*. It is better to sell even our lowest cuts of meat as whole sections than it is to grind it up because we can sell the lower cuts most the time for more than we can gain grinding.

  16. Can’t we at least agree that finally now the Mexicans in South America can pay for our goddammed wall?

  17. The West and specifically the US are at war with the CCP. We allowed them into our system and they are eating us from the inside out.

    The pandemic has given the US and the world reason to unite against the CCP and it’s plans for global domination.

    China needs to be isolated and it’s foreign assets confiscated. But it needs to be a global response.

  18. You mean a low-wage industry heavily reliant on government subsidies and unskilled illegal migrants has shrunk by $14b? We’re not propping up a communist regime with subsidized food anymore? Sounds like progress for free markets and individual liberties to me.

  19. That should relieve poverty in South America and reduce the number of illegal immigrants to the US.

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