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Is the White House Considering Easing Chinese Tariffs? The Stock Market Hopes So

Dow Jones skyrockets on news that Steve Mnuchin is leading behind-the-scenes effort to reduce tariffs on China.

State Department/Sipa USA/NewscomState Department/Sipa USA/NewscomTreasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is pushing behind-the-scenes for the White House to reduce its tariffs on China, and news of the effort appears to have sent the stock market soaring on Thursday afternoon.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mnuchin has raised "the idea of lifting some or all tariffs" in a series of meetings as senior administration officials chart a course towards a crucial March 1 deadline in the ongoing trade spat between the United States and China. Mnuchin believes that reducing or eliminating some of the tariffs imposed last year may advance trade talks with China and could convince the Chinese government to make concessions—though other top trade officials, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, remain unconvinced and worry that rolling back tariffs could be a sign of weakness, according to the Journal.

Atop a 25 percent tariff on imported steel and 10 percent tariff on imported aluminum, which apply to all nations, the Trump administration has slapped a 10 percent tariff on an estimated $200 billion of goods imported annually from China. Those Chinese tariffs were set to increase to 25 percent on January 1, but Trump decided in November to postpone the hike until March 1 in the hopes of reaching a trade deal with China in the early part of this year.

Those tariffs—which are really just taxes paid by American consumers and businesses—have already had an effect on the American economy. At the end of the third quarter, dozens of major American companies said trade issues and tariffs were red flags for future earnings. Worse may be coming. Over a full year, the tariffs will reduce gross domestic product, a short-hand measure for the overall size of the economy, by about $30 billion, while also depressing wages and costing more than 94,000 jobs, according to an analysis by The Tax Foundation.

If you need more immediate evidence of the impact of Trump's tariffs, just take a look at what happened to the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the two hours since The Wall Street Journal reported the slightest rumblings of tariff skepticism in the White House. The story went live online at 2:40 in the afternoon:

Google FinanceGoogle Finance

Sure, the exuberence didn't last, but that's not an insignificant rally for the Dow Jones—which, at 24,300, is still more than 600 points lower than where it was on March 1, 2018, when Trump launched the first volley of his trade war.

Lowering the tariffs will require convincing the "Tariff Man" himself that they are a bad idea, of course, but if Mnuchin is serious about making that argument, he just got more ammunition.

Photo Credit: State Department/Sipa USA/Newscom

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  • $park¥ the Misanthrope||

    So I'm looking for some help guys. I know I mentioned that I was going to go back to college because I dropped out and I was stuck in a dead end job, but I've had to rethink that because my wife has left me. She has been cheating for a while with my boss, and now my marriage is over and my job probably is too. She says she waited long enough for me to stop messing around and make something of myself. I still want to go back to college, because I need the education and I know it, but I'm thinking I should just let my wife go and try to find a better job before mine implodes. Oh and she's marrying my boss and my daughter already calls him "daddy" after less than a month. My wife says it's because he spoils her with things I won't ever be able to afford.

    I kind of want to kill myself. But I don't think anyone would care or notice.

  • Grakus||

    You're right. Now go the fuck away.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I disagree.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    Choose some other time to be a jerk, why don't you?

  • BYODB||

    We should probably note that Sparky posted this on other articles under other pseudonyms so take this with a massive grain of internet stranger salt.

  • SQRLSY One||

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    Call 1-800-273-8255
    Available 24 hours everyday

    God or Government Almighty or SOMEONE please bless the folks who staff these lines!!!!

    IMHO suicide is the logical extension of self-hatred and make ***NO*** sense of ANY kind, and I for one do NOT even WANT to understand it one tiny bit! Do NOT go there!!!!

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I am very sorry to hear that, Sparky. It must be tough going through that.

    Please don't kill yourself. There is hope for everyone. Yes people would notice, especially your daughter.

    How many college credits do you have? Maybe finishing the degree is easier than you think.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    He should just kill himself tbqh.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    I know you're probably joking, but no he shouldn't.

  • I made a poo||

    I am absolutely certain a woman got prosecuted for doing what you just did Crusty.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    I'm not a woman.

  • BigT||

    Not today, anyway.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    Finally someone familiar with my work.

  • Tul­pa||

    You mean besides the sex offender unit?

  • Echospinner||

    Jeez you are an asshole Crusty.

    No an asshole serves a purpose. You are much worse.

    Fuck off.

  • Crusty Juggler||

    The Sparky I know and never loved is too miserable to kill himself, so relax.

  • Echospinner||

    What do you know about a suicide threat?

    Say you are sorry to Sparky. You mean no harm. Say it.

    Wuss.

  • Nardz||

    How dare you try to bully someone for responding to someone else's suicidal cry for help by telling that other person that they are miserable and should kill themselves!

    Umm.
    Yea. We'll stick with that wording

  • $park¥ the Misanthrope||

    No, it's a no go. I'm pretty lazy and not very bright. It's why she left me and why I dropped out the first time.

  • chemjeff radical individualist||

    What was your major in college?

    Everybody has something that inspires them. What is yours?

  • Juice||

    Fuck college then. It sounds like you hate it and it doesn't suit you. Why not try to get into something like plumbing or electrical work? That shit pays well and is in high demand.

  • Bubba Jones||

    ITT Tech. If you can figure out how to post on Reason, you can be in tech support.

  • Yellow Tony||

    But I don't think anyone would care or notice.
    You shouldn't kill yourself for attention; only do it for your own benefit. If you truly think you can't further yourself in this life, then put your head through the noose.
    And I know this is fucked up to say, but if you do commit suicide, at least you'll know your daughter won't be put on the streets or in the ownership of the state because of your actions.
    Good luck bud.

  • Jerryskids||

    You know, if you killed yourself that would just validate your wife's low opinion of you. Don't give her the satisfaction. Oh, and she's been waiting for you to make something of yourself? Like she did, by cheating on you with your boss, sleeping her way to a better position? Sounds like you had a real classy lady there! Suck it up, realize you got a fresh start and take advantage of the opportunity. Go back to being a college kid and pretend the last few years have all been a bad dream. You got a mulligan in the game of life.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    rethink that because my wife has left me.

    Congratulations.

    She has been cheating for a while with my boss, and now my marriage is over and my job probably is too

    You might have a lawsuit here. Community property state? Hope not.

    I still want to go back to college, because I need the education and I know it, but I'm thinking I should just let my wife go and try to find a better job before mine implodes.

    Excellent plan.

    I kind of want to kill myself. But I don't think anyone would care or notice.

    Don't. Ever. Do this over a spouse or girlfriend. Ride it through and you'll realize that divorce is God's gift to marriage. Seriously.

  • Red Tony||

    No clue whether or not you're fucking with us here, but if you're not: people around here would care and notice due to all the shitposting you do. You should look for a new job, and I'd make that priority number one; wriggling out of this situation as best you can is probably your best option at the moment. Also, don't kill yourself, because it sounds like your wife and boss both suck and you might need to take care of your daughter if things go to shit in that relationship (which they probably will).

  • Nardz||

    Tulpa hardest hit

  • Tul­pa||

    Nah, I don't really give a shit one way or the other.

  • Aloysious||

    This smells like a Tuipa.

  • I made a poo||

    No I, No L, and it's the same screen name Sparky has been using for a long time. It's not a spoof.

  • Sevo||

    "I kind of want to kill myself. But I don't think anyone would care or notice."

    If you are serious, believe me, a lot of people would care and notice.
    Please contact someone other than a random group of misfits on the web; we are not the ones to give you the proper advice.
    SQRLSY One|1.17.19 @ 6:13PM|# is the one of us suggesting the proper direction. Call them and listen.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Didn't the president himself once opine about tariff-free world trade?

  • BYODB||

    Indeed he did, and as I recall no one thought it was a good idea. Who knows if he was at all serious about the suggestion himself, but he did did mention it and was laughed at because of it.

  • BigT||

    He read it in a fortune cookie: " free trade best trade"

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Senator minority leader Chuck Schumer is for tariffs. House Minority leader Nancy Pelosi is on board with Schumer. If the Democrats win the House on Tuesday, she may become the majority leader and will set the tone for the party.

    Here is what Pelosi thinks about China tariffs: "The report of the USTR investigation on China's intellectual property theft is a good first step, but far more is need to confront the full range of China's bad behavior. Beijing's regulatory barriers, localization requirements, labor abuses, anticompetitive 'Made in China 2025' policy and many other unfair trade practices require a full and comprehensive response. The tariffs announced today should be used as a leverage point to negotiate more fair and open trade for U.S. products in China."

    Let's not get ahead of ourselves on tariffs.

  • brec||

    that's not an insignificant rally for the Dow Jones

    Yes, it is.

  • Jerryskids||

    Looking at the chart, it looks like a 400% leap - skyrocketing! Of course, a non-zero baseline is how you exaggerate data - or "highlight" it as the news people say - and if you look at it closer, yeah, it's a blip.

    And who gives a shit what Mnuchin says? Trying to steer Trump in a certain direction is a pretty damn good way to guarantee he'll go the opposite way just to prove he takes advice from nobody and get your ass fired in the process for thinking you're smarter than The Smartest Man In The World.

  • Sevo||

    "that's not an insignificant rally for the Dow Jones
    Yes, it is."

    And the "plunge!!!!!" is, what, an 8% drop?
    Siddown, shaddup and don't sell anything.

  • BYODB||


    Those tariffs—which are really just taxes paid by American consumers and businesses—have already had an effect on the American economy.


    No one seriously thinks that's all they are, but framing it in simpletons terms is pretty easy if you have a particular ax to grind. I'm not in favor of tariffs generally speaking, but if there wasn't such a massive wage bubble in the U.S. does anyone seriously believe China would be as competitive as they are?

  • BigT||

    Dear Nancy:

    "Due to the Shutdown, I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed," Trump wrote. "We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over. In light of the 800,000 great American workers not receiving pay, I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is totally appropriate."

    Haha haha!!!

  • Rockabilly||

    Fuckin' A!!!

    ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhahaa

    Fuck you pelosi you piece of shit !!!

    ahahahaha

  • Nardz||

    You left out the ko punch:

    "Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative."

    That's my MFn president!

  • Sevo||

    "Obviously, if you would like to make your journey by flying commercial, that would certainly be your prerogative."

    And, no, the government will not pay for upgrades; fly BTC, bitch!

  • Cthulunotmyfriend||

    I laughed out loud when I read the snarky comment at then end about flying commercial. It was really funny. And, I do not like Trump. Which proves the point that it was really, really funny.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    This was some funny Trump trolling.

    If Trump does his SOTU speech in the Senate chamber, the media might have to admit that Trump owned Pelosi.

  • Mongo||

    Confucius say: "Man who follow pretty secretary home score big in stalk market."

  • Rockabilly||

    Man, Confucius is a big time perv

  • buybuydandavis||

    "Mnuchin believes that reducing or eliminating some of the tariffs imposed last year may advance trade talks with China and could convince the Chinese government to make concessions"

    The way to get concessions is to give up your leverage for them. Sounds legit.

  • DenverJ||

    That's what I thought. Also, first!

  • Sevo||

    "The way to get concessions is to give up your leverage for them. Sounds legit."

    You're assuming he will yield them absent concessions from the Chi Coms; there is no evidence of that.

  • Patrick14||

    To be honest it's taking too long to resolve these trade disputes. hope this get settle down soon. good trade relations will be great for macro econoics
    Forex Signals

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