Looming China Trade Action Divides Industry and Roils Markets

Apr 02, 2018 · 313 comments
Cindy (San Diego, CA)
What the money don't want, the money don't get. Trump isn't going to get his trade war.
KRH (NYC)
A Wharton degree never seemed so suspect. Perhaps they should ask for it back?
Werephahckt (Elizabeth Nj)
It’s hard for this Eastcoaster to feel a lot of compassion for these farmers affected by Trumps tariffs. They voted for him !Yes, god bless them for feeding the world. But, this is what he campaigned on. What did you think was going to happen? What are you going to do when he deports much of your workforce? What will happen to the huge feedlot/slaughter house/ meat processing operations ? They are nearly completely dependent on cheap, exploitable immigrant labor. You can be sure that management structure at these huge companies leans overwhelmingly Republican. Oh, the irony !
First Last (Las Vegas)
Yepper, ya wanna see reverse trickle down economics with the middle/poor class being nickled and dimes with increased cost of "Made in the good ole US of A". We will wonder why the discretionary income is diminished.
Steve Beck (Middlebury, VT)
I see more cheap-beer swilling and opioid addiction in the heartland. Oh, the tangled web we weave when we pander. I enjoyed yesterday, or maybe it was Sunday, about the man in Virginia, delivering the workers to chicken-slaughter-houses, that Americans reject, especially WHITE AMERICAN MALES reject, as beneath them. And I think of CA's Central Valley, produce market to the world, that is staffed by brown-skinned illegal American's who will now be rounded up and deported. For sure, we grew 40 % of our own produce during WWII, ao Back to the Future it is and NO FUTURE FOR YOU, thank you Thomas Frank. What a sad and pathetic place we are becoming.
Nina RT (Palm Harbor, FL)
This is part of Putin's long con. Trump is instituting the isolationist policies that preceded WWII. He's bringing U.S. money home from overseas via his tax cut. He's instituting tariffs. He's working to make the U.S. more self-reliant and less global. Republicans want to go after the Middle East; they want to wipe out Islam in a Holy War that will then turn to plundering the minerals of Africa. That's how they plan to get rid of the deficit. Last time U.S. steel was big was when we were rebuilding Europe and Japan. We are the Germany of our century. They tried to do it with W. Now they are trying to do it with Russia. Allying with Russia is exactly what Putin wants. He wants to come right in the back door through Alaska. Trump thinks he and Putin share the agenda of eliminating Islamic terrorism, but Putin's goal is world domination.
Howard kaplan (NYC)
A little noticed side effect of Trump’s tariff war will be the yellow , chicken feet backlash . Americans don’t eat yellow chicken feet. They go to China ( they love them). With the tariff and no customers , the legs will now be dumped into the Pacific and swirl around with the tsunami of plastic bags . This is how the world ends .
Nelson (Austin)
Some in Australia and New Zealand saw China as their future as soon as Trump was elected.
Snaggle Paws (Home of the Brave)
Trump starts HIS Trade War without consultations with party members, minority party, or even the American industries, including farmers, taking the hit. What could go wrong? Trump is competent at two things: (1) his Orwellian Opera playing on social media 24/7 and (2) ratcheting up his "body count" of 'valued' administrators à la "You're Tweet-fired!" So besides the believed-to-be-Russian-money launderer and self-dealing steel investor, Wilbur Ross (Secretary of Commerce) – Who’s da' brains of "the outfit"? Apparently, it is heterodox economist, Peter Kent Navarro, who is Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Industrial Policy, AND Director of the White House National Trade Council, a newly created entity in the executive branch of the U.S. federal government. Also according to Wikipedia: Heterodox economics refers to schools of economic thought or methodologies that are OUTSIDE "mainstream economics". On 26 March 2018, Mr Navarro gave his outlook: "We might get a really good deal on NAFTA" and "We're hopeful there that the Chinese will work with us to basically address some of these practices". https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/26/trump-trade-czar-navarro-we-might-get-a-...
Dan (SF)
Trump is a terrible leader and certainly a terrible businessman. People should be calling for his impeachment immediately. Time and again he betrays his oath to protect us!
Angela (Pittsburgh, PA)
This is what happens when Pajama Pant Joe's guy gets elected President. Pajama Pant Joes are all the guys who sit around in their pajama pants all day complaining about immigrants and China, instead of getting up on their feet and making something of themselves.
Promises (Miami)
Trump's campaign promises were nothing more than vapid sound bites without any policy details to rile up his uninformed base. In an effort to maintain his 40% support among them, he is now trying to "go it alone" to mantain their support without the experienced input of his advisors just as he tried to and sometimes succeeded in upending most of Obama's well-founded and expertly advised policies/initiatives like TTP, the Paris Accord, the Iran Nuclear Deal, fuel automobile emmissions, and countless others. It seems that now is the time to distract his base from his untenable big ticket items--"Lock her up!" has obviously fallen by the wayside (unless he manages to merge the DOJ with Executive branch) and trademark"Build the Wall and have Mexico pay for it". (highly). That leaves us with another popular campaign rant--China. On the trail he promised to avenge China’s “rape” of the US economy and “theft” of our manufacturing jobs. He pledged to punish China for devaluing its currency to giving it a special advantage in global trade. And he threatened to impose enormous 45% tariffs on goods from China to protect American industry from competition. Wonder if he had the in-depth details of his proposed policy to discuss with President XI when they shared that wonderful chocolate cake in in Mar-A-Lago. Then again,he will probably tweet them out in the next week--might be challenging with the departure of his chief economic advisor Gary Cohn from the White House.
richard wiesner (oregon)
Dear Ana, Peter Navarro says I should relax because the economy is as strong as an ox. I am quite sure I can't sort out all the nuances of the global economy. Just for the sake of imagery, an ox is a castrated male bovine, I would have gone for a bull. I feel so relaxed knowing Peter and Steven have my back. Clueless in Oregon. RAW
scrumble (Chicago)
It's hard to feel pity for the farmers and the good country folk who failed to understand who it was they were voting for.
Eduardo B (Los Angeles)
Trump is too incompetent to be involved in policy given his missing intellectual abilities, his nano attention span and his revulsion regarding details. The only goal Trump has is to fool his low-information supporters into believing he's getting things done...no matter how dimwitted those things really are. Mindless tariffs and vindictive immigration edicts may fool those who think they're winning with Trump as president, but we know these are diversions from the monumental cluelessness of the guy in the White House, where there's endless chaos because it's also how his mind "works." It will take a blue and purple wave of voters to clean this swamp out. Eclectic Pragmatism — http://eclectic-pragmatist.tumblr.com/ Eclectic Pragmatist — https://medium.com/eclectic-pragmatism
AJD (NYC)
The big question is whether the tariffs on agricultural goods will be enough to make farmers sour in Trump.
Jose (Lopez)
While the vast majority of economists favor free trade, this is not the first time the U.S. government imposed "protectionism". https://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/protectionism-and-the-great... Like other government policies, it imposes negative externalities. However, here some of the losers are higher up the political food chain. They have access to high government officials, have lobbyists working for them, have access to the media to get their concerns addressed -- for example, this article in the NY Times. But, for most at the bottom of the political food chain, these avenues are closed. For example, of all the poor innocent people convicted and sentenced to jail, how many are featured in the NY Times before their incarceration? I took care of a friend's son in such a situation. Despite what some people tell you, democracy isn't political equality. I don't begrudge the wealthy and powerful having their concerns addressed here, but I hope the NY Times and other media would take more affirmative actions to present the concerns of those lower down the political food chain.
Jim (Michigan)
I MUST REITERATE! America will prosper without China's business. They are only doing what they have done for decades. We have lost so much industry and jobs to 'cheap' imports. We NEED to get back to being INDEPENDANT! And America will thrive and prosper on a FAIR playing field if politicians DON'T sell us out.
Larry Rapagnani (Iowa)
Forget tariffs - what if the Chinese stop buying our debt? Then what?
ss (Boston)
I mean, it does not really get any more stupid than this. They are selling the US vastly more goods than they buy and when you mention, just mention, merely hint, anything to the effect of getting this ridicule trade somehow balanced, you hear a cacophony of crying, moaning, pleading 'do not touch China, we all totally depend on them, our economy will collapse without China' etc. Disgusting! And look who comes first to complain? Either monetary mercenaries, or companies more than willing to move all they possibly could to China, dumping without slightest hesitation the US workers in the process. We've been doing this for years, they say ... Our business is sooooo used to that ...
just Robert (North Carolina)
Trump to China, I'll show you. I'll shoot myself in the foot. Take that.
ALB (Maryland)
Trump and his sycophants appear to be too dumb and too lazy to analyze beyond Step One. It doesn't take a lot of deep thinking to realize that the rest of the world isn't going to sit back and allow the U.S. to slap tariffs on whoever it feels like -- and that retaliatory measures would be taken that would be bad for our country. And now the likes of GE and Goldman Sachs are at last protesting these thoughtless, idiotic, and very hurtful moves. Too bad these companies were too busy sucking up/turning a blind eye to Trump -- until now -- to understand the extent of his incompetence/lunacy. These companies, and the rest of us, will be paying a very, very heavy price for Trump to pander to his deplorable base with his wholly counterproductive tariff measures.
Hooj (London)
Xi just got made president for life. Trump has elections coming up. Which one is in a weak position in this trade war?
Karl (Darkest Arkansas)
There is no question China has been pursuing a "Merchantilist" trade policy, aided by the naiveté of our own politicians ("Free Trade Good") and Malefactors of Great Wealth. The Plutocrats are the real perpetrators, they have used the "China Price" and their grip on our politicians to destroy the good union jobs and increase their grip on the economy. The concentration of wealth has destroyed the traditional mittlestand of small manufacturers and merchants. In some sectors, you can't compete with Chinese drop shippers flooding out the Amazon and eBay listings. I sure can't make any money (because of fees and shipping costs), even with "free" product, on $5 sales there. Multiple problems beyond the ability of Republican-Reptilian legislators, forget Trump and his cabinet of plutocrats to deal with. Our real problems are just not part of their world view.
RNS (Piedmont Quebec Canada)
Wonder how the Repubs will react when China drops their major tariffs on the US closer to the midterms?
thetingler5 (Detroit)
Too much winning. No mas.
lindalipscomb (california)
And while you're debating all this, take a look at who invented the "Crooked Hillary" mantra, and engineered the election. It took the British to go undercover and find out what is/was really behind Cambridge Analytica. It is a real eye-opener! https://heisenbergreport.com/2018/03/20/new-cambridge-analytica-video-we...
GBC1 (Canada)
The wisdom/stupidity of Trump's moves can be debated endlessly but the proof will be in the pudding. The mid-term elections are approaching. As the new American and Chinese tariffs take effect and the trade war intensifies the negative consequences to Americans will become clear quickly, in price increases, in reduced exports, in falling stock markets. The benefits to America, if there are any, would take much longer to become evident. Trump is in serious trouble politically with this move, and he is getting in deeper, with no apparent exit. The mid-terms will be brutal.
james (portland)
One word: Gerrymandering Two words: Gerrymandering, voter-suppression
BILL WISNIEWSKI (OCEANSIDE CA)
since the chinese counter-tariffs will decrease their importation of american food and beverages, it is axiomatic that peter navarro's trade war will bring red china to their knees and achieve regime change in peking. millions of hungry and thirsty chinese people will revolt over food and booze deprivation! our national debt to china will be liquidated. mr. trump is doing the right thing to china if they don't nuke us.
Sherry Jones (Washington)
"mr. trump is doing the right thing to china if they don't nuke us." Interesting you should say that Bill. Studies show that when countries are trading partners they have relatively peaceful relationships, while countries that don't trade are more likely to go to war. (Check out The Better Angels of Our Nature, by Stephen Pinker.)
Scrumper (Savannah)
The economy is as strong as an ox that fool Navarro says, well tell that to the farmers who are about to get hammered by China thanks to Trump. Trump started this trade war about a product in serious decline because he wants to be the new Rockefeller. President Chi is smart, it's not money he's after it's Trump's support base in the Midwest. By creating financial hardship and job losses with the farmers he's trying to turn the Midwest against Trump. But then again Trump's Fox News advisors and now bizarrely Don King wouldn't have a clue about that. The Russians helped Trump get elected and the Chinese are helping him out of the door.
Lee (California)
Right, Navarro's "strong as an ox" sounds like 'the unsinkable Titanic' mantra. Now being thrown into deep, dark troubled economic waters, nary a life boat in sight . . . how did this happen to us????
NorthernVirginia (Falls Church, VA)
Perhaps we should add a tariff targeting any Chinese company whose leadership uses ivory, shark fin, sea horse, rhino horn, pangolin meat, or tiger parts, to name a few. Make them prove that they don’t use them. That should keep them occupied for a while.
Andrew Macdonald (Alexandria, VA)
Trump's policies are destructive. Just like his behavior.
Ann Is My Middle Name (AZ)
So maybe it's time for American industry to stop supporting the GOP which appear to be hellbent on tanking the American economy by supporting this erratic lunatic in the Executive Branch. Did it ever occur to them that stability and good governance might be good for business? And who knows, maybe off-loading their health insurance liabilities onto Medicare-For-All may be in their best interest as well. Maybe it's time to send a message to the so-called pro-business Republican Party by funding Democratic candidates who actually put a high priority on, you know, actually governing.
RLC (US)
Excuse me if I have to disagree with the 91 percent of these commenters railing against 45's tariff policy targeting China. Yet, count me in as one of his most vocal detractors. But- I have to give 45 credit for doing something to reign in the problem of excessive Chinese state financial interests reaching across the Pacific to buy up any and everything they think they can get their claws on thru clever monetary manuevering of easily bought off Americans. Something HAD to be done. If Tariffs are it, then so be it. The problem is really- corporate greed. American corporate greed. Until we can solidly convince the farmers, the bean counters, and the real estate sellers that it is NOT in theirs or our nation's best interest to be giving away our so many of our goods to a rogue communist nation for cheap, immediate profits, then I guess tariffs will have to do the job. I do not wish to wake up in ten years and realize my country and it's government has been sold off so a bunch of corporate hacks can retire in luxury in Monico.
Wilton Traveler (Florida)
The tariffs clearly respond to Trump's base, which unfortunately will suffer the most from them in the form of inflated prices for goods and jobs lost. They won't attribute the inflation to the tariffs, and employment is a "lagging indicator" of a slowing economy—it will take some time for the higher prices to dampen consumers down. One segment of Trump supporters will see immediate effects: farmers. If Trump goes ahead with further trade sanctions, as promised, the Chinese might well limit soybean imports as they have pork imports. Whether that will change the balance in states like Iowa I have no idea. It should.
CD (Cary NC)
Titans of industry: “Oh no, it might affect quarterly profits and year-end bonuses.” Trump: “It will push next week’s Rasmussen poll numbers higher, and rile up my base for November midterms.” Xi: “This is an unfortunate but unavoidable bit of turbulence in our 25-year plan to regain our 4,000 year-old world leadership.”
Jesse Silver (Los Angeles)
I just don't see the downside in this. China has been sticking it to the US for decades, while the US has done precious little to stop it. Sure I get why Goldman Sachs and others are against interrupting their ability to line their pockets at the expense of everyone else, but they're resourceful. They'll figure out ways to profit regardless. So what if Trump supporters get the shaft? It's what they voted for. It's the job of Conservatives to create economic malaise. They do it so well. They gave us the Great Depression and more recently the Great Recession. They've been behind various and sundry economic panics in the past. So Conservatives have to believe in depression and recession and panic or they wouldn't be voting for people who initiate these conditions. Either that or they're delusional, and I suppose a case can be made for that. So what if you lose your job or your business? You can always get another job or business, right? I've had dozens of jobs in my career and managed to bounce back, raise a family, meet my obligations, and prosper. And let's say that Trump gets the blame. Where's the downside in that? He's a nasty piece of work. If the coins fall from the eyes of his followers, where's the downside in that? If the China doesn't need our agricultural products to keep from starving, good for them. And if they do starve, fine. They've been trying to starve us for years. Their government is about as Communist as J. P. Morgan.
Bob Mulholland (Chico, California)
The farming community has been voting for decades for Republicans. It is Trump that is deporting their best workers and it is Trump's actions that will cut exports to China cutting income to many American farmers but most won't complain because at least Trump is shaking things up.
PeterE (Oakland,Ca)
About "The retail industry, which lobbied the administration and Congress against an early plan to impose tariffs on Chinese-made apparel and footwear, is now cautiously optimistic that its products will be exempt." Rather than "cautiously optimistic" the retail industry should be almost certain that its products will be exempt. The Trump family retail products are made in China.
Tedsams (Fort Lauderdale)
Mr. Trump is making friends richer. As long as they scratch his back first. He always will. He is wired that way. The rest of us are cannon fodder. If you didn't see this coming, then you probably didn't see through the lies leading up to the Iraq war either. That is understandable, but one wishes people were suspicious using their own minds, rather than being told who to be suspicious of by talking heads.
Doug Broome (Vancouver)
The economy is as strong as an ox on a spit.
PaPaT (Troutdale OR)
My ox has been losing value and tires of the bull coming from this treasonous and corrupt administration. Are you Trump supporters enjoying all the winning?
Roger Holmquist (Sweden)
No problem. Dt will soon raise the white flag and simultaneously declare victory beaming like the raising sun over the Bejing smog.
P. Andrew (New York)
The declines in the stock market due to Trump's reckless tweets and foolish policies mean that many Americans will need about 20 years of tax cuts to make up for the loss in the value of their retirement savings.
BD (Sacramento, CA)
"Everybody needs to relax"... This is the Trump administration we're talking about, right? Again, bear in mind that China is a major trade partner with North Korea, and an ally. The geopolitical chess game is a bit more involved than just slapping tariffs.
Jim (Michigan)
Our GDP concerning China is a miniscule...few percent I guess. Fair is fair and Trump is in the right EVEN is alot of stockholders are mislead by the false accusations by the left. The market will bounce back and we will become more independant of what another country buys from us. America does not need China to prosper.
Prometheus (The United States)
The corporate frat party is over. Live by the Trump, die by the Trump.
Bill (Terrace, BC)
Trump's trade war is hard...hard on companies, hard on consumers, hard on the economy.
Francis (Cupertino, CA)
Trump is destroying America’s influence in the world as part of his stupidity and his Russia collusion. The real GOP, if it exists anymore, should stand up to Trump about trade wars that will degrade our economy.
loveman0 (sf)
To begin with, all of this seems like rearranging the deck chairs between the two most polluting countries on the face of the earth. Blocking high consumption from industries that add to air and water pollution, including gigantic militaries, should be the first priority. Given China's reluctance to do this in the past and the fact that our guys are now the dumbest guys around when it comes to climate change, this all seems like a way to avoid taking any action about this increasingly serious problem. Second, China supports N. Korea's nuclear buildup. N. Korea is a client state, and they recently went out of their way to reiterate this point. A way short of war to stop this would be turning all those cargo ships from China around, with agreement from our European allies (with Trump,if we still have any,) to do the same. Non-proliferation of nuclear weapons matters, and here even Russia might be able to make amends with their neighbors, including the U.S., by supporting this. The details of the proposed tariffs are sketchy. If the aim is to stop the stealing of American technology and open markets to foreign firms that China effectively limits with countless barriers--keeping original WTO agreements--this doesn't seem to be the case, but again our guys may be the dumbest guys around. China would do well to stay away from the banks that caused the financial meltdown, while we should encourage the import of cheap solar panels. Both countries need a carbon tax.
Belasco (Reichenbach Falls)
Well this should surprise no one. The whole spiel that the Chinese government or its companie were "stealing" technology on any demonstrably significant level was always just a hot air spin - good for getting the always not too well informed anti-China crew's blood up. The alleged "unfair practices" that actually account for most of the trade troubles arise from perfectly legal contracts requiring transfers of technology to access markets or develop relationships with desirable partners. Most American companies are "big boys". If they do not like the deal on offer they do not sign it. Problem here is American companies are signing the deals and then looking for the US government to improve the terms. But the Trump administration not undertanding the nuances of all this is threatening to go ballistic on China when China least needs the US. The Chinese have an enormous and growing ever wealthier internal market. To make references to a admittedly low per captia GDP misses the point by a mile. When you have 1.4 billion people you can simultaneously have a relatively low per capita GDP and what also has been demonstrably established - a larger middle class population than the US. That's right. Measured by individuals who have between US$50,000 to US$500,000 net assets. The Chinese now have the largest number of middle-class adults in the world by a wide margin – 109 million compared to 92 million in the United States and the Chinese middle class unlike the US version is growing.
GAP (California)
"The economy is as strong as an ox." Mr. Navarro's metaphor, like his views, are so quaintly 17th century... Another misguided trade action that will only hasten China's rise as the world's preeminent power.
Skyluck (OC, California)
Sometime one just has to sit back and let the madness runs its course. All the NYT fancy analysis, accusations and foreboding warnings inevitably fall on deaf ears for a small but significant segment of the populace. The emphasis on economic is misplaced for Trump electorates, whose primary concerns lie with the underlying psychological cultural war, in particular the at large perceived victimization of non-college white males. There's no doubt that when the fever sets in, many people would come to feel the real effects of how integrated and dependent we are as a world, that there's no escape from the effects of globalism regardless of one's ideology or geography. Pity that the disease will harm those innocents who are mindful of and pushing against Trump reckless demagoguery.
s.s.c. (St. Louis)
as a mentor once counseled me: "be careful what you ask for..." business leaders as a species have been conditioned to fixate on short-term earnings impacts (thanks M. Jensen & W. Meckling for invoking the toxic focus on "shareholder value".) they are merely reaping what they have sown. our portfolios will suffer for it, but we're all in the same boat. let's see what the coming months bring.
Zeek (Ct)
A trade war makes sense. Trump is forthright in his approach, whether it is too aggressive or not aggressive enough, and if he tariffed the right items, may not be known for some time. If he succeeds, he is destined for an easy second term election. On the other hand if it backfires, it might take two Asian American presidents in succession to get the country back on track, to trade with a more unified Asia. Three or four Hispanic American presidents after that, could then cultivate better trade policies with South America, Central America, and Mexico, for sustained middle class growth and economic growth. In that case, historians would view Trump as an important catalyst to prime the pump for left wing expansionist policies with lasting effectiveness over his rapid four year setup.
DR (New England)
You have a very strange fantasy life.
Citizen (RI)
Please indicate which trade war, in all of American history, worked out well for us. You just don't get it, so you're (along with those of us who already know) going to learn an easy lesson the hard way. That's the Clown way!
LBW (Washington DC)
Gee, it's almost like presidents should solicit advice from experts before bull-in-a-china-shopping their way through hugely complex and important international arrangements. I'm also wondering whether presidents should perhaps consider possible consequences before taking action..?
JR (CA)
"The economy is as strong as an ox." If that's the case, no reason to tamper with what's working. China isn't going to stop hacking or stealing intellectual property; the Russians aren't going to stop hacking or spying. Heck, we won't stop hacking or spying, so as Mr. Navarro says, "Everybody (including Trump) needs to relax."
Denis (COLORADO)
The expression “pushing back” sounds like a school yard squabble. Do you mean that companies are protesting or objecting to the tariffs? It would be so much easier to understand the issue if it was expressed in English.
Jeff (Sacramento)
It strikes me as odd that while we battle with China about trade we also alienate our other trading partners especially the EU and Japan who are treated by the Chinese no better than we are. One might think that some coordinated policy combining the weight of three huge economies to encourage the Chinese to stop predatory trade policies would be developed but this go it alone administration,full of grievance, doesn’t think that way. While Trump May have the right instincts he is using the wrong end of the stick.
mhuepfel (Wisconsin)
Was anyone concerned over the steelworkers loosing their jobs? This is affecting the 1% and heaven forbid it makes their net worth drop. Do what is best for working pople.
John (NYC)
Steelworkers accounted for 85k jobs in 2017 (and 187k in 1990 at their highest level from the dataset I could find). Amazon employs 542k people as of Oct, 2017.
Jude Parker Smith (Chicago, IL)
The last time steel tarriffs went into place 200,000 jobs went away (this was under George W. Bush). He reversed course. The same is happening today. You're just wrong. Sorry.
Robert (Out West)
The essential problem with Donald Trump is that he represents people who shop at Walmart a lot, scream about the slightest price increase, and never ever look at the bottom of the plastic piece of junk they bought to see where it was made.
Mysticelder (Reality)
Sow the wind Trumpters. Reap the whirlwind.
ed (honolulu)
No one can predict the precise effect of Trump's tariffs. There will be winners and losers. Companies like GE and GS will naturally push their own special interests, but Trump is President, and he has decided to keep his campaign promises. There is also a principle at stake here. China was/is guilty of unfair trade practices which have negatively impacted the American workforce and it, therefore, deserves to be desuaded from their prior course of conduct and punished for it. They will naturally respond with tariffs of their own, but it is not as if they didn't set the stage for this situation. BTW, weren't GE and GS bailed out by US taxpayers as a result of the 2008 financial collapse which they played a part in? They have a lot of nerve trying to second-guess Trump.
Citizen (RI)
... and didn't they pay that money back? And aren't some of the very people who caused or profited from the 2008 recession in the Clown's cabinet RIGHT NOW?
JuQuin (Pennsylvannia )
I wonder if the White House genius realizes that chaos is not a solution to any of the problems we have in the world. Chaos is what you get when the people in charge are wholly ignorant of history and lack the most basic understanding of the principles of trade, many of which were actually invented in the USA, and garnered us Nobel prices in economy. Our race to the bottom continues. 1. First destroy the public education system. 2. Eschew the tax system to the top 1%. 3. Create a giant propaganda machine by the 1% and for the 1% for the disruption and the continued dumbing down of misinformed citizens. 4. Create alliance with despotic Oligarchs in Russia to engage in information cyberwarfare to facilitate the election of a puppet candidate from a single party. 5. Start unnecessary trade wars with the objective of disrupting the international financial order created after WWII. 6. Continue with permanent state of warfare and the destruction of human life for profit motives and power. This is what chaos looks like to me.
Blair (Los Angeles)
It only seems fair that MAGA pig farmers and their communities should reap the fruits of their votes.
K.Peterson (British Columbia)
The economy may be as “strong as an ox” as Mr. Navarro says, but Trump is like a bull in a China shop and there is going to be a lot of damage.
jefflz (San Francisco)
The clueless Trump continues to bumble about in the Oval Office. This trade war with China is the latest episode in a Reality TV Show where Trump is the Apprentice. We the people have watched his pathetic performance and we say: You're Fired!!
VisaVixen (Florida)
Maybe some of his die-hard supporters will finally begin to understand the con. People in New York City, Manhattan particularly, are familiar with 3-card monte and other street con games and as long as you stayed out, could watch the rubes being taken. In that lizard brain of his, Trump must have been fascinated.
Kimbo (NJ)
Is this what Trump means by Fake news?
Tom McLachlin (Waterloo, Ontario)
Free trade was once a foundational principle of the Republican party, and all who favor the prosperity and profit derived from international trade. In simplest terms, international trade is a WIN-WIN proposition. Every economist knows this, and every investment banker know this. There is far far too much money at risk in this trade war to allow a simpleton who is unskilled in economics at the controls of international commerce. Not everything being bought and sold is a national security issue. President Trump is ignoring his expert advisors. In the process he is pointing America's economy toward a crash which could take decades to recover from. It is past time congress showed up and reasserted it's authority over international trade. It is time for those pulling the levers of power to have a lunch with their favorite congressman or senator.
Kalidan (NY)
Does anyone now indignant over Trump's tariffs have a solution to China? Their markets are closed, the stealing of technology is full on, the demand for transferring technology to them is unreasonable, they are trying to dominate and own Asia and Africa (with some success), and encroach on the territories of all neighbors. No? The original thinking, that China - once rich - will play by western rules, has been rubbished. Completely. The government has indeed been enriched, and is engaged in all kinds of criminal, and politically dodgy schemes across the world. If not US, who stops them? Why should Chinese buyers not have access to US goods and services, to US entertainment, US websites? Up to now, cooperation with China has only one meaning: they do what they want, we do what they want. I am a bleeding heart liberal, did not vote for Trump, and think Republicans are bent on taking us to a medieval, Talibanic society. But there is no other way to deal with China than with brinksmanship. It begins with tariffs, then sanctions, then blockade. Trade, international relations, are not for the blinking weak-hearted, knave like supplicants. Everyone country must come to the table with an interest in give and take, and a commitment to openness and freedom. China is in the business of taking only. References to history are nonsensical, unless you also look at the outcomes of the Opium wars. We've got to have equal access to their markets, or else. Kalidan
Sherry Jones (Washington)
TPP
a goldstein (pdx)
“Everybody needs to relax,” Mr. Navarro said. “The economy is as strong as an ox.” Whose "ox" will be gored In this era of the Brexit vote, a failing EU, weakening financial regulations and the possibility of Trump taking the U.S. out of NAFTA? It's hard to relax unless your head is buried in the dirt.
Jenifer (Issaquah)
Why do I not feel comforted when a WH spokesman tells me to relax? Because if their lips are moving they either have no idea what they're talking about or they're lying.
Richard (USA)
Do people really think trump is bright enough to create policies that will help the US move forward? He was born a millionaire and has made a career out of cheating, lying, and unending litigation & bankruptcies. He is not a scholar, politician, statesman, spiritual leader or decent human being. He has no moral authority. When he speaks it is a word salad. His judgment has proven again and again to be very poor. He will only get worse. You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear! Had enough yet of the reality tv game show host?
Joe From Boston (Massachusetts)
“Everybody needs to relax,” Mr. Navarro said. “The economy is as strong as an ox.” Maybe people should read various articles about Peter Navarro, that are far from flattering. Here are a couple from conservative sources: https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/04/peter-navarro-trump-china-adviser... http://www.aei.org/publication/the-economic-consequences-of-mr-navarro/ And here is one from Paul Krugman: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/10/opinion/trumps-negative-protection-ra... When both liberals like Krugman and conservatives like the National Review and the American Enterprise Institute agree that Navarro is off-base, how can anyone argue with that conclusion? And this is the guy who is advising that great economic genius, the one who managed to run his businesses into 6 bankruptcies, four of them running "money machines" (otherwise called casinos). What could POSSIBLY go wrong?
Lester B (Toronto)
China has an advantage in that it is a dictatorship. If someone in China complains, so what?
Kjensen (Burley Idaho)
So Peter Navarro tells everyone to relax because the economy is strong as an ox. This will probably go down in the category of famous last words. I'm reminded of the Union general, during the battle of Shilo, who stepped up on a parapet to exclaim that they couldn't hit a- he didn't finish the sentence. Of course if you're a pig farmer in Iowa, your ox just got gored so your economy is not looking all that great. Of course besides the businesses that lose during a trade war, the biggest losers of all, are consumers.
Art Likely (Out in the Sunset)
Isn't it amazing the lengths people will go to avoid facing the truth? The truth is, the government has steadily passed laws that favor the rich over the rest of the population for decades. The lie is that the pinch the majority of us feel is from foreigners (either immigrants or foreign trade policies), rather than the steady hollowing out of the American middle class and the further impoverishment of the poor for the monetary gain of the filthy rich. While it is true that China engages in unfair trading practices that need to be addressed, it's just as true that the unbridled greed of the top 1% has fueled economic genocide against those who are most vulnerable, and this has been going on for decades. Making things right will probably take decades, too. But it is certain that the economic woes of 90% of Americans will only continue to worsen if steps aren't taken to right the ship of state before it founders on the Scylla and Charybdis of Ignorance and Hatred that Donald Trump invariably steers for. in 2018 we have an unique opportunity and face a terrible danger: our opportunity is to save our country from an insane administration. The danger is that if we fail to act, we will lose our democracy forever. 2018! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
Arethusa13 (st. george, utah)
Trump and his team do not understand the complexities of the global marketplace. It's as if his only ideas from from the early 20th century. He is not an informed negotiator, and the markets are only going to get worse, unless someone can either inform him or he will listen to people who understand trade. He seems to have no grasp of the kinds of materials used in high tech fields. He seems intent on ruining American businesses. I wonder if he even knows what rare earth and metals are.
Warren (Pennsylvania)
“The reason is that it would be a tax on consumers,” Mr. Kallmer said. Actually, 65% of tariff tax incidence will fall on Chinese producers. In other words, a 20% tariff will only increase the price of Chinese goods by about 6%. The resultant "terms of trade" gain functions as a tax cut for US tax payers. Furthermore, any rise in consumer prices will be largely offset by Chinese retaliatory tariffs on soybeans, pork and scrap steel: such tariffs will lower food prices for US consumers, and will lower the price of scrap steel that is the feed-stock for US mini-mill steel furnaces, thus lowering the price of domestically produced steel. Meanwhile, Trump's tariffs will increase demand for American-produced import competing goods, thus spurring investment in new US factories, and create more good paying manufacturing jobs.
Robert (Out West)
Minor technical details include the fact that "lower food prices," a) aren't justifiable, given that food's already cheap, and b) mean that farmers get less, and they're already struggling. The other stuff's just Fun With Fake Math, and wishful thinking.
Richard B (FRANCE)
For the last 20 years China acted as the locomotive of the world economy locking-in foreign companies in joint-ventures; China too big to ignore. Now the US takes umbridge (offence) that Chinese trade practices like dumping at low prices appear to be reckless. Note that Chinese market has been a success story for a host of US corporations. Today USA the super-sized economy although it has some faults (middle-classes struggling) enjoying cheaper products made in China. This crisis seems like replay of Japan crushing Detroit in the 1970's. Chrysler came back from the dead; AMC (PACER) was not so lucky. How did the US recover from the Japanese export steamroller? Currency war: USD went from 300 to 80 YEN. That gave Japan something to think about. ANSWER: Devalue USD; not trade sanctions and tariffs which are highly disruptive to everyone. Is China stealing US computer technology? Possibly; but who isn't? Sorry to say US barking-up the wrong tree thinking China will take US economic sanctions laying-down. China does not share the American sense of humour or bluffing.
Ted Johnson (San Diego)
The origin of our modern day China policy goes back to Richard Nixon, a time when capitalist free enterprise did not exist in China. The US recognized the potential in China, both as a trading and business partner, and as a lever to stem Soviet influence. These policies were created by Republicans, in a day when Republicans stood for free trade and capitalist free enterprise. These policies were wildly successful, in part because a reformer by the name of Deng Xiao-Ping, and China scrapped their hard line communist policies and adopted capitalist free enterprise. It didnt take a war to change China, it took cooperation and diplomacy, soft power. MAny of these policies have been built up over the past 20 years, as collaborations and joint ventures forged agreements that were MUTUALLY beneficial. Just about all tech companies, ie: engineering, pharmaceutical, tool and die, computer hardware, etc,etc have morphed over the past 20 years into a model where China is the number one collaborator, outsourcer, partner. Now Trump steps in with his misguided advisors and want everything to change overnight. This will be very damaging to both countries, but I believe it will be more damaging to the US economy than to China. Economic growth requires many years of planning and a long term perspective. The US is not leading anymore. So SAD!!!
Jonathan (Brookline, MA)
Maybe we need to confront China over trade, maybe we don't, but Trump is the wrong person to do it. Trade disputes are very complex and about as clear as mud. Trump is basically guaranteed to make a mess of it. That's his track record.
ss (los gatos)
There is a system for dealing with these disputes: the WTO. We helped build it in order to prevent the kind of nonsense that is going on. Mr. Big Hands thinks he can do better? We'll all pay the price.
The way it is (NC)
Everything will cost more. And no one will get wage increases. Dig up those old WIN buttons from the Gerald Ford era.
Observor (Backwoods California)
I'm getting a little tired of all the winning. But I guess that's what happens when voters in farm states vote for the trade protectionist. They win all the way to the poorhouse. Does that mean the price of pork chops will be coming down at Walmart? Maybe there will be a silver lining after all for all the Roseannes in Indiana.
Joshua S. (NYC)
I do not understand liberals who obsess over "Hamilton" yet decry the current president. Trump is the embodiment of activity, dispatch, and decision -- i.e., the very ideals that Hamilton extolled in Federalist #70. The US is caught between an economic rock and a hard place, and Trump is attempting to marshal US advantages to improve its global position rather than standing pat amidst further decline. Trump's problem is not that he's a bad president; it's that he's a great one.
me (here)
great satire. send your writings to the onion.
Robert (Out West)
I somehow doubt that Hamilton meant, "flailing, spasm, and changing your mind a lot," when he wrote about activity, dispatch and decision
DR (New England)
Are you trying to be funny?
Rocketscientist (Chicago, IL)
As I've said before, corporations had two choices many years ago. They could renovate American manufacturing or build green sites overseas. They chose the later without thinking it through. Labor savings weren't the 30+% they expected it was only about 16%, based on studies of India call centers in 2005. Shipping costs, though petro-fuels were subsidized, have risen. Unions were destroyed without a thought for the value they serve as safe nest for creating skilled labor. And, critical intellectual property, created by the very middle class the rich seem so dedicated to destroying, was traded away for a few years of marginal profits. In history, the foolishness of American manufacturing management will be the defining aspect of our decline. The rich have given away America's birthright for Chinese bobbles and agreements to play fair.
James Fear (California)
China is an unfair trader, but we should have brought together a coalition of countries to join us in confronting China on this issue. Trump's unilateral approach allows China to divide and conquer on this issue.
Keith (Merced)
It's hard to shed a tear for the corporate elite who championed a charlatan thinking they'd educate him in office. Our national tragedy will continue, especially in agricultural areas not only from China's tariffs but from ICE indiscriminately pulling over farm workers in the early morning and demanding to know if they're citizens or not, a tragedy unfolding California's Central Valley. Every country has the right to impose regulations on foreign investment in the country like developing joint ventures with local firms as done in Thailand, China, Mexico and which used to be required in America. The damage fleecing of our public coffers Trump and his entourage are doing will take years to unwind, and my hope is America will be the wiser, less prone to greed, and American exceptionalism is foolish pride.
Bill Stones (Maryland)
The trade war with China is just starting as long as someone like Navarro is setting the trade policy. If you have ever read a word of him over the last 2 decades, you would have sensed venomousness of his mouth towards about everything related to China. His extreme views will certainly bring chills (if not the cold war) to trade with China if not the world. But in the end it will probably do more damage to the US than to China, as It is the US companies and business who will lose the share or access of the Chinese market.
Bill N. (Cambridge MA)
Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.
susan mccall (old lyme ct.)
What did the lunatic in the WH expect??He doesn't understand cause and effect,doesn't understand a trade war will hurt his base more than anyone else but here is the most pressing problem..does he even care??He is emotionally a child,the most unevolved adult I've ever witnessed..is this dust up because kim is chatting up china?Trump has the worst case of projection disorder I've ever seen,is it that??whatever is going on here,he is clearly unfit for office.Did he start a trade war to benefit the likes of carl icahn?.who knows.
Rob Brown (Keene, NH)
Hey Big Companies how are you liking that President you voted for?
Bill (NY)
On issues I believe that one side or another has to convince me, not only by their words, but also by their actions. I am in the process of being convinced that the current president is doing their best to destroy this country via the economy, environmental policies and the ability of all citizens to have an opportunity to achieve the American Dream. We are being isolated in alarming fashion. We have pulled out of the TPP, thus conceding trade in that area of the world to China. We are about to pull out of NAFTA, leaving us with fewer trade options in our own corner of the globe. Now comes this absurd trade war which threatens industry and agriculture here at home. If I lived in a state like Iowa or Indiana, I would be especially terrified by what is now transpiring. When we are limiting our trade options everywhere else on the planet, engaging in a trade war with a nation like China does not seem like the most prudent move a sound business person would make. Maybe a delusional idiot, but not one with a sound mind, unless they were looking to inflict great damage on their own country.
unclejake (fort lauderdale, fl.)
A trade war is easy. Gary Cohn didn't know that and was fired. We all know what happened to Sonny after Tom Hagen was fired. Perhaps our Dear Leader should get out of his PJ's and stopping watching the GodFather and crack open that text he bought at Penn on Macroeconomics since he only read the Cliff's Notes for the final.
Luke Fisher (Ottawa, Canada)
Go Canada Go!
Elizabeth (Cincinnati)
Chinese Trade Officials are playing multi-dimension GO. Donald Trump is playing Tic-Tac-Toe.
Mclean4 (Washington D.C.)
All Americans must unite together to fight the unfair China's trade practices. We will win the battle eventually. I have trying not to buy things made in China. I don't like Chinese Communists. But I don't hate Chinese people.
Greg (Atlanta)
Xi Jinping doesn’t care a fig about the “global economic order.” He wants supremacy for China, pure and simple. If our policy makers don’t recognize that fact, then they are fools.
Mark (Aspen)
Because of Obama, "The economy is as strong as an ox" says the Peter Navarro, who through his malfeasance will see to it that like everything trump touches, it turns to dreck.
cjajtj (Canada)
Aside form the fact that generally tariffs don't make sense in a global economy, Trump is getting into a fight he cannot possibly win. He may think he can push around countries with smaller economies but it won't work with China - US has way too many big companies relying on Chinese manufacturing. Every single iPhone is manufactured in China, etc. etc. and the US has absolutely NO capacity to start manufacturing tech devices and many other goods at home. In addition, perhaps Trump has forgotten that China is not a democracy and the government has very little concern in the short term that their population will vocally oppose any actions the government takes in this trade war, Trump on the other hand will be shocked by the blowback from Americans that are suddenly paying significantly more for practically everything if he tries to escalate. His tactic of blaming everybody else for America's problems will fall on deaf ears if the pain is at a high enough level.
thisisme (Virginia)
The only people who will suffer in a tariff war between the US and China are the citizens of both countries. The US has been enjoying low-priced goods for decades because of Chinese manufacturing. Conversely, the Chinese economy has been able to grow over the past few decades. I agree that China has unfair economic practices, but let's be real, the US also has unfair economic practices. In the end, both countries have profited handsomely--neither country really cares about the impact on their citizens--higher costs, loss of jobs, etc. The people are going to lose because we essentially have two world leaders acting like kids on a playground who won't share with one another.
Eddie B. (Toronto)
Mr. Trump's sudden resumption of attacks on Amazon cannot be accidental. Based on the past, Mr. Trump must be getting worried about something that is starting to get attention from the media and he wants to change channels for everyone. A quick look at stories covered by the media in the last two weeks show that much attention was given to the British Consulting firm Cambridge Analytica and its links to Mr. Trump and his election campaign. In particular, the growing list of individuals, who were connected to Cambridge Analytica (Steve Bannon, Robert Mercer, Eric Prince, etc.) and concurrently had prominent roles in the campaign, must have made Mr. Trump uncomfortable. There are two potential explanation here. It is possible to think that Mr. Trump concern is largely about the credit for his election victory. It would be out of character for him not see his victory a consequence of his own maneuvering and "genius" manipulation of media. As such, he has undoubtedly no intention of sharing the credit for his victory with anybody or anything else. Or, it could be that there are many more unpleasant secrets buried in Cambridge Analytica and he does not want to see NYT and Guardian reporters going in with shovels.
abigail49 (georgia)
Whatever the effects of these changes in trade policies, politicians and their supportive economists will be able to spin them to their electoral advantage by focusing on narrow segments of the economy, specific industries, businesses and regions, fluctuations in the stock market and shifts in employment. The average worker, small business owner and consumer will have to deal on their own with the consequences without understanding what government actions caused them. It is the same with every complex system, whether global trade, taxation, healthcare, finance, or the natural environment. There are winners and losers under every system, before and after policy changes enacted by governments. What our democratic government should focus on is the welfare of the greatest number of our citizens. Economic change happens with or without government action on trade relationships. Big corporations and capitalists driven by profit goals, more than governments, call the shots. They admit no responsibility to the citizens of their own countries or others. Only democratic governments, established by those citizens, accept the responsibility for the common welfare. What is the Trump administration and GOP Congress doing to ensure that every American citizen has a decent standard of living and can weather the economic winds that buffet us all?
Paul Wortman (East Setauket, NY)
The Trump trade war is reminiscent of the famous Vietnam-era quote, "We had to destroy village in order to save it." The "village" turns out to be the U.S. economy as the stock market drops and major companies fearful of lost sales and jobs complain. Why the overly aggressive actions on steel and aluminum instead of first filing a complaint about China's violation of intellectual property with the World Trade Organization is baffling? But, Trump "tweet first and ask question later" policy is both impulsive as it is now clearly reckless. We are literally watching the Trump bull rage through the China shop with all the chaos and destruction in its wake.
Margo (Atlanta)
Yeah, yeah, "industry giants". The so called globalization of many industries has reduced manufacturing costs, but has not translated to reduced consumer costs. That discrepancy along with increased social services (paid for by taxes) to support displaced workers means that Americans are, by and large, taking it on the chin. If increased US/China tariffs means C-level salaries and bonuses and stock options, and yes, dividends, too, are shaved in order to make consumer prices more attractive and the business can continue to exist that's fine with me.
Debra m Schwartz (Ann Arbor Michael)
Now big corporations are pushing back? The focus is always on Trump’s working class base, but well-heeled corporate execs and financial insiders aligned with the GOP did their part and generally continue to support him. The Kochs, Mercers, and others on the most extreme end of the party are enjoying their moment.
John (Washington)
Of course industry giants are upset. They've laid off millions and shuttered thousands of facilities across the country, and are protective of their profits regardless of the impact on others. Neoliberals not only watched it happening they supported it, as they're making plenty of money too.
JM (San Francisco, CA)
We, who voted in 2016, must each make a commitment to find one person who did not, and physically take them to the polls on election day (or confirm they have mailed their ballot). The only way to stop this fake president from his constant attacks and efforts to destroy the heart of nation is to win back the majority in the House and Senate. Vote in November. Meanwhile, deep breaths!
Greg (Atlanta)
I voted for Trump. Come “take me on.”
ss (los gatos)
And JM's advice is especially important in districts that the Republicans have gerrymandered to disenfranchise as many opponents as possible.
Tansu Otunbayeva (Palo Alto, California)
"Because we’re so blessed to have America feed the world" America doesn't feed the world. We account for less than 1% of global food exports. Because we're rich, we're *importers* from countries whose cost of production is lower, because their workers earn a fraction of what ours do. Which exposes the lie at the heart f Trump's 'policy' - that trade deficits are for losers.
Susanna (South Carolina)
The United States is the largest global exporter of food. By a fairly substantial margin.
Ted Johnson (San Diego)
Remember when Republicans used to be tough on Russia and support free trade?
PLombard (Ferndale, MI)
I eagerly await one of those wonky graphics that illustrates an economic and political analysis of which congressional districts are affected the most by the 128 tariffs.
Happy Selznick (Northampton, Ma)
Trump is not the vehicle I wanted to to do this, but re-importing our manufacturing economy will strengthen our middle class, revive unions and reduce the power of Wall St, which hates labor and has no problem with China's use of what we would call slaves to make Apple computers. It is no wonder Elizabeth Warren is supporting this "trade war".
Lex (DC)
We aren't going to "re-import" our manufacturing economy. That ship sailed decades ago. And even if we were to "re-import" manufacturing, firms would employ automation, not workers.
Susanna (South Carolina)
They're not going to be re-opening the textile mills here. And if they did, the skilled hands aren't available here any more; they are dead, retired, or making cars. There are some textile concerns here, but they are heavy on automation and don't have a huge number of workers.
ACJ (Chicago)
The central pillar of the GOP ideology is its knowledge and skill at managing the economy---after all, most of the leaders of the party have been smart businessmen and women--RIGHT !!! The reality of course, is that, our economic fortunes always seem to tank with these masters of the universe in control. Trump, like Bush, is single handedly transforming a thriving economy into a recession.
Paul Zorsky (Texas)
These companies are finally acknowledging the damage a President with no experience, no intellectual advisers, and mistaken views can do. Where is congress? The companies need to stop supporting the GOP agenda just as rational people need to boycott companies who continue to support the bizarre GOP agenda that has not yet been articulated. "Build the wall' is not a thoughtful examination of the rationale, the consequences, the costs (both the real costs and the opportunity costs). All rational people need to step forward and just say 'NO' because there is no economic law that declares a strong economy must remain strong; deleterious actions can do serious damage
Fla Joe (South Florida)
Trump is a genius. Nobody should forget that. OK, so a genius with a memory and honesty problem. And his cabinet really care about the overall good of the country. Virtually every policy promoted has been good for only one industrial group - Fossil Fuels.
SW (Los Angeles)
The dollar is going to lose its Bretton Woods status and than Americans will really begin to understand what it means to live in a third world country. Trump probably doesn't know why the dollar is unique or he wouldn't be trying so hard to destroy its value....
A. F. G. Maclagan (Melbourne, Australia)
The Big Experiment has begun. We're about to find out which school of economics is right. Although Mr Trump doesn't know it, he's really a scientist. He proposes big theories, turns the knobs and pulls the levers, sits back and watches. If things go wrong, he blames it on something other than his theory. If things go right, he wins. For the rest of us, win or lose, we're about to learn a whole lot more about our world.
Andre Hoogeveen (Burbank, CA)
Brilliantly expressed!
lindalipscomb (california)
2018 People, 2018 - VOTE! You, who sat it out the last time, yes you, the ones in the Bernie snit, or the lazy-I-don't-have-no-reason to vote, yes, 6 MILLION democrats who didn't vote: ELECTIONS HAVE CONSEQUENCES!
Happy Selznick (Northampton, Ma)
Yes, let's vote Bernie 2020!
lindalipscomb (california)
Give it a break - take back the Congress, and you'll have something you can work with to get something, besides corporate welfare, accomplished.
Independent (Louisville, KY)
"You do not know what you have got till it's gone" Judy Collins - "they paved paradise, and put up a parking lot."
Rob D (Oregon)
Point taken. How gone before the realization is a question. The popular culture lens is out of focus... Joni Mitchel
a (chicago)
Actually Joni Mitchell.
AWENSHOK (HOUSTON)
Guess this means that all those new Scion Hotels will not be using Chinese steel...? But deals CAN be made, you know.....
Mike (San Diego)
It's taken a year for the stock market to notice but the American ship of state lost her rudder over a year ago.
Edgar Numrich (Portland, Oregon)
Just another example where ~ courtesy of the elected Republicans in our national government who cannot, or will not, stand up to the bone-spur madman in the White House ~ the United States is destroying itself. In the looming world war, we will all lose.
RichardL (Washington DC)
America has some really fine minds. Unfortunately, none of them are our leaders. There is a dearth of intellect in this administration, and we are at a time when we need thinkers and strategists the most. Put another way, we have to ask the question, "Why is stupid running the show"? China is an old culture with a long history of strategic and diplomatic thinking. If we are to make an even playing field, the US needs to stop treating every conflict the same. Trump did not serve in Vietnam, but he seems to like the losing strategy the US took in that war. Firepower, and blunt force. This did not work then, and it certainly will not work in economic conflict with China.
Jack (Los Angeles)
Glad to see the US stand up. Corporations and trade groups that oppose fighting back against the Chinese are traitors.
Phyllis Melone (St. Helena, CA)
No sir, you have that wrong. Donald Trump is the traitor by his stupidity in not seeking expert advice on any of his hair-brained policies.
DC (Oregon)
I know there are problems with China and trade. Some are happy to see 45 doing something. but as usual 45 is using a baseball bat to swat at a fly. He does not know what he is doing and we and the world will be the ones to suffer from his stupidity. He moves without looking at the big picture and goes to far or jumps in the wrong direction. I want my country back!
James Devlin (Montana)
Trump is like a toddler who has just realized a new toy. His toy, being able to manipulate the stock market via tweet. How many friends are calling him to ask: "What you doing tomorrow Donny?"
JM (San Francisco, CA)
The SEC doesn't have enough man power to go after all of Donny's phone friends. They must be making a killing...especially those Fox and Friends advisors who huddle with him at Mar-a-Lago to set policy!
Dactta (Bangkok)
Don’t expect corporate interests or the Chinese to admit that 30 years of phoney fair trade has resulted in massive transfer of income and prosperity from working Americans to Chinese/Asian/Mexican companies and US corporate shareholders and CEOs at the expense of working Americans. No one denies the Chinese government are rabid protectionists. So Trump finally taking action. Bravo at least for this. Democrats take note....
angel98 (nyc)
Navarro, the subject of a New Yorker article in October 2016: "Navarro argues that the mere threat of this tariff will so terrify China..." https://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/trumps-muse-on-u-s-trade-wit...
Dr B (New Jersey)
"China blocks off valuable markets from American competition...China has imposed regulations that require American companies to share their technology...the Chinese have resorted to stealing vital technologies" If Trump's approach is wrong, can someone explain to this economics simpleton what would be the right one to stop China?
Elin Minkoff (Florida)
Dacatta and Dr B: OK, if this is the right strategy that trump is employing to deal with China, let's see what happens. So far, what is happening is that the stock market is in the toilet...and THAT, if it doesn't reverse, is going to destroy the country. trump and company do not have to worry; they will just steal more and more from us, and get paid off, bribed, and take additional kickbacks to beef up their bank accounts. Plus God knows what these crooks have stashed away in Swiss banks. So, yes, let us wait and see if trump's approach to stopping China from their nefarious trade activities is the right one. If it works, I am willing to give trump a big round of applause. If it doesn't work, China is going to crush the US. Sometimes the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. I am against China's dishonorable, immoral, heavy-handed, foul trade policies, BUT NOT AT THE EXPENSE OF DESTROYING OUR OWN COUNTRY'S ECONOMY.
JVG (San Rafael)
“Everybody needs to relax,” Mr. Navarro said. “The economy is as strong as an ox.” It usually is after a Democratic administration. Then the Republicans get their hands on it...
Dactta (Bangkok)
Chinese government would be gratified by the comments of many NYT readers, “hey we’ve been taking advantage of and feeding off access to US markets for 30 years while closing ours to US companies, and still we have Americans defending us, out of distrust of a Trump.”
Stevem (Boston)
If these corporate giants are truly outraged by Trump's actions, then they need to get those congressmen that they bought and paid for to get the impeachment engines started.
Greg (Atlanta)
Because that’s how democracy works...
Gerry O'Brien (Ottawa, Canada)
The issue is not only what Trump did, it is also how he launched a storm of conflicts both domestically and internationally. But the Bully in Chief accepts counsel from no one and reads nothing. The Reality Show Star in Chief is managing America from his own world of fantasy. Trump could have chosen a rational and legally accepted way of dealing with Chinese violations and theft of intellectual property by presenting complaints to the WTO to resolving trade disputes. The WTO is the internationally tribunal that is accepted by all nations and its decisions are founded in a rules-based system of international law. But the Bully in Chief wants nothing to do with rules-based systems or laws of any kind. Remember that the guy went bankrupt four times trying to play the system of commercial and tax laws to his advantage. Also, he has a long record of stiffing his contractors and was sued many times in the process. The Darth Vader in Chief is a massive Black Hole. His warped and defective view of America and the world has achieved only conflicts and problems … not solutions to America’s economic needs and societal issues. The results of the November elections will roar like thunder all over America.
Rob D (Oregon)
Mr. Navarro said. “The economy is as strong as an ox.” Even Narvarro's characterization of the USA economy fails a common sense test. Why is "The economy strong as an ox"? Might it be the result of American business' success in integrating its supply chain into the world's production? What makes “The economy is as strong as an ox.” Might it be the result of the US dollar being the currency of the world and from that enjoys a unique trade relationship to the entire world economy?
Joe Jones (Ireland)
On a much smaller scale we (Ireland) had a little trade war with U K in the 1930's. It took more than 50 years to repair much of the damage, which was not confined to economic and financial stagnation. My only helpful observer comment is to look to long term productivity/efficiency rather than barriers and introversion.
Jack (Los Angeles)
The agricultural industry receives billions in subsidies and exemptions. Yet they send their products abroad. This is worse than amazon using the post office. We are subsidizing the chinese. Food and oil should be only for Americans and our friends.
Steve (Corvallis)
I'm taking an unhealthy pleasure in thinking about the Trumpers in farm country who could, literally, lose their farms, or at least have a really bad Christmas. Never before have I wished suffering on people -- until now. They deserve it for the horror they've wrought on this once great country.
JM (San Francisco, CA)
They could be redeemed in November.
RodA (Chicago)
When the experts tell us “the economy is strong as an ox” that’s often the best sign that it ain’t. Remember “the fundamentals are strong” back in 2007? And that classic “housing is not a bubble”? Trump et al are overheating the economy on one hand while dampening its capability on the other. It’s baffling to say the least. Trump is opening a powder keg, spreading the gunpowder around, lighting a match and hoping nothing happens. A trade war is essentially saying you’re aiming at the unfair competitor but being surprised when somehow the gun shoots you in your own foot.
Fairplay4all (Bellingham MA 02019)
We now have proof positive that this country is being run by the "gang that couldn't shoot straight".
Mike (Little Falls, NY)
What do any of those successful, profitable industry titans know? They haven't gone bankrupt 4 times like the self-professed King of Debt! #maga
SW (Los Angeles)
Hey, I heard it was seven bankruptcies not just four....and what about all those fraud suits...
josh daniles (mesa az.)
Tech, GE, Goldman and MANY others . . .oppose. The man's a blithering nightmare obviously not listening to anyone w/ sense. His agenda on economic issues is so disjointed & ill-advised it's almost beyond comprehension. Makes for a remarkable study of ego w/o objectivity.
Gary (Seattle)
What was his choice phrase to for this dim-witted, bombastic tariff plan? Oh yes: And it's so easy! Those words could only be true if his intention is to crash the economy, the government, and take control as our emperor.
Common sense (Planet Earth)
Hey, Republicans. Can we impeach him now?
Tom Q (Southwick, MA)
I can't understand why everyone is running for the exits. We must all remember that our president possesses one of the finest minds in the world. He said so himself and then added, with authority, "Believe me." Of course farmers will lose money, stocks will plummet, many items will cost more and many businesses may experience a significant downturn but those are a small price to pay on our way to making America great again. Or, to use his newest phrase, "tippy top!" Take cover everyone! Remember...he's just getting warmed up!!!
Sam (Texas)
It is simply disgusting to see that China has been looting American wealth and American intellectual property for the past 3 decades. Now, China is rich and powerful at America's expense. Our stupid politicians, CIA, NSA, .. all simply allowed this to happen. Our stupid business leaders have near sightedness, they cannot see anything beyond 1 year! China will dethorne America in another 15 years or so. It is time to diversify our imports to other smaller countries! Do not enrich China anymore. Trump is right here. Accept it.
SW (Los Angeles)
Even if I agree with you Trump's "approach" is not viable.
Emily Corwith (East Hampton, NY)
My father would have described Trump as 'a bull in a china shop'.
William Lazarus (Oakland CA)
The MAGA agenda is rapidly working to undermine the United States' economy as well as that of other nations, spurring pollution and rising temperatures, enriching weapon manufacturers, and putting us on a path toward war.
SW (Los Angeles)
Correct. MAGA involves destroying the country to finally justify taking away your social security and medicare and selling federal lands for pennies on the dollar to Trump or his friends.
RJG (Philly)
1. Our president likes total control in his administration from policy to personnel and everywhere in between. 2. Our president is prone to impulsive decisions often in response to whatever is being said to him directly, or is on TV. 3. In his previous occupations he fired people for drama and ran a number of businesses into the ground, barely avoiding utter failure by the sweep of his many lawyers’ pens. Should anyone be surprised when he threatens to ruin our complex but fragile global economy?
John (Pittsburgh/Cologne)
We must understand David Ricardo’s theory of free trade. As Joseph Schumpeter pointed out, the “Ricardian Vice” is to create assumptions under which a desired outcome is true. By his own admission, this is what David Ricardo did. The most critical and flawed assumption is the immobility of capital. Ricardo’s assumed that capital would not easily move between countries because of either inefficiency of capital markets or in the worst case, the willingness of capitalists to accept sub-optimal returns to keep the capital in their own country (aka "patriotism"). The assumption of immobile capital has long been untrue. Capital markets are highly efficient and capitalists clearly put returns over country. Exactly as Ricardo predicted, this has resulted in massive capital outflows to the low-cost manufacturing countries. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Ricardo
Jeff (Ann Arbor, MI)
Why again are people investing heavily in the stock market following Trump's election? Because they believe he will help the economy? Is this country completely mad?
Allison (Austin, TX)
@Jeff: Many of us are prisoners of the stock market. We worked for companies who didn't provide fixed pensions, but instead offered to match 401K contributions for retirement. Or else we are self-employed, and have no other retirement savings options other than some kind of an IRA. As corporations have vanquished one of their biggest boogeymen -- the dreaded pension -- millions of workers have been left holding the bag and are responsible for their own retirement investments. I remember being sold this bill of goods in the early nineties, when my company gathered us all together to listen to a guy tout the fantastic opportunities offered by 401Ks, which were a way for the "little" guy or gal to enjoy the fruits of the stock market. When that company was taken over about a year later and most of us were let go, we all had to roll our newly acquired 401Ks over into IRAs, and then we were really stuck. I kept putting small amounts of money into the IRA, mostly for the tax break, and the stock market kept rollercoasting, as it always does. Most of what I have put in has not yielded much over twenty years, what with the Great Recession wiping out every single cent gained. It took ten years for the recovery to finally restock my IRA, and now, in less than two years, Trump has wiped out those ten years again. He is doing more than reversing every policy Obama ever implemented -- he is also destroying millions of small investors' retirement funds.
Rebecca (Seattle)
One is struck by the responses which invoke a very binary or 'zero-sum,' view of financial relationships. It is not clear based upon historical precedent that trade wars are 'winnable,' or that it would be in any way desirable to wish China's return to a state of industrial underdevelopment. Economic relationships, like any such between persons, involve complex interdependence. There is growth and change that involves flexible responses by both parties. I believe there may even have been Chinese philosophers, living in similarly complex eras, who may have had useful things to say on this topic.
Greg (Atlanta)
Chinese philosophers don’t have anything to say about anything. China is run by the Communist party, the same people that murdered 50 million people in the 1950’s.
Rebecca (Seattle)
Jim Harrison: "Once you really know the history of Native Americans, if you put a sheet over the American continent you can see all the places where the blood soaks through."
Charles (Clifton, NJ)
So the White House argument is that we can expend some of our currently good economy in a war with China: “'Everybody needs to relax,' Mr. Navarro said. 'The economy is as strong as an ox.'” Navarro doesn't know that this is a recipe for disaster for the Trump administration, and neither does Trump, evidently. Letting the irrational anger in the heartland drive trade policy will only drive the economy down to the level that these people feel that they are experiencing, even with the mere 4% unemployment rate that we have now, which would rise in a trade war. The problem with this strategy is that it has no plan for China that gives it alternatives; China's response becomes totally random. It'll just up tariffs on American goods, as Ana Swanson reports in this sobering article. “'The reason is that it would be a tax on consumers,' Mr. Kallmer said, 'precisely the people we are trying to support.'” So Trump heartlanders will pay higher prices. The raise they got because of Trump's lower taxes on companies is now spent. And heartlanders will lose *two* ways, in that China also puts a tariff on American agricultural goods. Do Trump people see their loss as a necessary wartime sacrifice?
angel98 (nyc)
"Navarro doesn't know that this is a recipe for disaster" It is all Navarro's idea he talked about it way back in October 2016. There is a New Yorker article about it.
Warren (Pennsylvania)
Dude, look at Trump's approval ratings. They are going up thanks to the "trade war." Cheap prices don't mean anything if you don't have a decent job. Also, have you noticed how prices never go up by the full tariff amount? Historically, about 2/3 of the tax incidence of US producers falls on foreign producers. This is basically free tax money; it will increase net welfare. Moreover, if you really cared about "Trump heartlanders" you would point out that Chinese tariffs on pork and soybeans will lower food prices for US consumers.
Pilot (Denton, Texas)
My brother works for Amazon (night shift). He has no money, no savings and no opportunities. Tariffs will help, because these other countries have been pacified to their slavery. Trump is trying to save US. America. Corporations are the enemy. Stop given them your energy. I believe there is a word for corporations that control slaves.
Frank (South Orange)
Worry not. "Trade wars are easy to win." The man said so himself, so it must be true.
MMK (Silver City, NM)
Does it necessarily follow that Amazon is the reason your brother has no money, no savings and no opportunities? Trump's tax cut was a huge gift to your stated enemy, the corporations, and added over a trillion dollars to the deficit which will be paid down, if it ever is, by people like your brother.
lastcard jb (westport ct)
What does that have to do with anything. Now he will have less money to spend on higher cost goods. Also, a slave has no choice- your brother does - tell him to find work elsewhere if he doesn't like where he is now. Choice- simple.
Paul Raffeld (Austin Texas)
Trump and his cronies think that trade wars are easy and we will win. This is the level of thought given to Trade. Watch out, we are drowning in details. Trumps kind of details mean nothing because they have no roots and change constantly. Wining says everything about this administration.
libdemtex (colorado/texas)
The strong economy won't last long with these fools in charge.
RioConcho (Everett)
So how does the US Chamber of Commerce respond? The silence is deafening!
Barbara Granick (Madison, WI)
Keep in mind that China can absorb almost any damage we might do whilst Americans are unwilling to suffer any inconvenience. Just a thought. Wm.
Douglas Lowenthal (Reno, NV)
The inconvenience is that most Americans and many businesses won’t he able to afford to buy things they need and currently can afford.
Deus (Toronto)
Absolutely and with 1.3 BILLION people and a society that has existed for over 2000 years, the Chinese will work it out one way or another. America? I am not so sure. For the bulk of the American citizenry that has little or no knowledge of the outside world and how it works, other than what they read in their own "entertainment" media, disguised as news, that's another story that is waiting to unfold.
Scott (Los Angeles)
Only took Bush Jr two terms to destroy US economy, Trump will destroy in one. Was Farmers profiiting from corn ethanol subsidies who voted Bush Jr onto second term, Trump will be lucky if he can make it through his first illegitimate first term. Glad we don't have that lady to deal with either way. Should have been Bernie for the future!
A. Jenkins (Canada)
Trade wars are 'easy to win'. Our stable genius of a leader said so. What's the problem?
jimD (USA)
Way, chock another brilliant plan up to this chuckle-head President! His idea of negotiating is to threaten you with a sledge hammer and see what he can get. If that doesn’t work he says let’s be best buds. Meanwhile the world around him recoils, people lose millions in market investments in their retirement accounts and he could care less of the collateral damage all the while delusionally convinced his “gut instincts” are genius! Gee, wonder why he hasn’t been bragging about the market recently?
D.j.j.k. (south Delaware)
Looks like Trump and the GOP turned on their biggest supporters the corporations. I hope you lost faith and trust in them now for good. In 1932 Smoot-Hawley GOP created a tariff and it angered many of there same supporters. We voted those two out then elected a Democrat Franklin Roosevelt for 4 terms. Why do the GOP keep governing with failed policies and a my way or the highway mentality. It didn't work in 1932 and it is not working now. I wanted to add this the GOP love to deregulate businesses so they are able to pollute. They are responsible for the size of Texas garbage patch spinning around in the Pacific. Thats is why we need regulations that garbage pile maybe there forever thanks to them.
Enzo Rossi (California)
Peter Navarro, who couldn't get elected dog catcher in this part of the world is now influencing economic strategy as an isolationist. Nice to see a 6-time loser advising a life-time loser.
Al (San Antonio, TX)
Trump should be seeking advice from the very best experts in economic policy, like Gregory Mankiw or Martin Feldstein or Austan Goolsbee. Navarro has no business advising a president. Look at the results so far. It’s ridiculous.
tm (Boston)
The problem is that the horse is already out of the barn: American companies should never have shared technology - that was obviously self-defeating and short-sighted as China builds its own products to compete not just in their own market (which they will always protect and thus isn’t anywhere near what US companies imagine) but in ours Then, as setting up sophisticated factories in China,because they are much cheaper than in the US makes it much harder to both give up that investment (via tariffs that drive up consumer prices) and set up American ones. Greed and the bottom line, which China exploited and US companies dumbly and willingly acquiesced to, as well as consumer desire for lower prices (esp if losing jobs to China) is why we are here
Ted Johnson (San Diego)
Perhaps the issue is that while China has been focused on economic growth and technological development over the past 20 years, the US has been focused on military adventurism, destroying the country of Iraq (weapons of mass destruction?), destabilizing the region and shifting the balance of power to Iran, costing the US trillions upon trillions of dollars. We totally squandered our "peace dividend", while the country has been languishing and going backwards. The US needs to do things more like China, focus on incremental improvements over time, steady growth, a long term perspective. Trump is the antithesis. The future is not in attempting to punish countries like China, but rather to establish mutually beneficial arrangements.
Ellen Liversidge (San Diego CA)
tm - I don't recall Americans ever requesting cheaper stuff from China in trade for the loss of decent jobs.
JFMACC (Lafayette)
Blame Nixon for opening up China? The thought was for those two billion consumers we could sell to. Now Trump is trying to close that door. But China is already and economic powerhouse with many markets other than the US it sells to.
LivingWithInterest (Sacramento)
For the record Mr. Navarro, My Ox lost 20% of its "weight" over the last month with its sharpest decline after tariff talk, in just the past week! This may not be the dot-com bust but it feels reminiscent. What's worse: it's an unforced error! Isolationism through tariffs creates losers and losers, not losers and winners or winners and winners. All nations acknowledge legitimate trade issues. And all nations also acknowledge that all of our economies are forever dependent upon each other because, today, financial sectors form an internationally connected global economy where it counts.
Ann P (Gaiole in Chianti, Italy)
Besides complaining about the President's actions, is American industry offering alternatives? If so, can The New York Times tell its readers about those alternatives? This article acknowledges that "American companies and business groups have frequently complained that China blocks off valuable markets ..." in violation of its WTO commitments. This situation has been long in the making, and it did not take shape during the Trump administration. America and many other countries need to address the imbalance. President Trump, I believe, is only trying to "level the playing field." But let's hear from some of the economic gurus and industry captains as to how they would remedy the problem.
BruceS (Palo Alto, CA)
Fair question. The Times did have an article on options a few days back, alas I don't have a ready link. I do remember three things: 1. There was a WTO protest produced by the Obama administration that Trump hasn't bothered to follow up on. 2. The TPP was at least in part a pact that was intended to pressure China, as it had many of it's neighbors agreeing to opening up to each other in ways that China hasn't. But we know what Trump did there. 2. Several countries had expressed interest in concerted action to pressure China, but of course Trump does nothing in teams.
John (Pittsburgh/Cologne)
I was a lifelong "Chamber of Commerce Republican". No longer. I finally recognized the truth that corporations and their shareholders are amoral. Not moral nor immoral, just amoral. They seek the highest legal, risk-weighted returns on capital. Nothing more and nothing less. I understand and support this, but realize that these corporations/shareholders don’t actually care about the United States as a nation. I am a dedicated, educated, experienced, and practicing capitalist. But I’m an American first and foremost.
Christopher (San Francisco)
One day, you'll discover that Republicans are amoral as well.
susan mccall (old lyme ct.)
christopher…the GOP is corrupt and care not for their country.
Allison (Austin, TX)
@John: Corporations don't necessarily have to be amoral, but if they are operated by amoral people, then they will be. Many people who think of themselves as moral in most situations will choose the amoral path when it comes to financial decisions, concepts, and strategies. Some excel at convincing themselves that amorality is necessary in order to ensure that their corporations thrive, and they will engage in all kinds of bad behavior if they adhere to the tenet that the end justifies the means. People comprise corporations, and it the people within the corporations who determine the corporate entity's morality or amorality. It is not the structure of the corporation that thrusts amorality to the fore, but the human pursuit of profit via any means necessary that embeds amorality into the corporate structure and mind-set.
mariamsaunders (Toronto, Canada)
White House proposes new measures that "would restrict investment flows between the two economic giants." I may be wrong, but isn't the flow of investment overwhelmingly from China into the U.S.? Doesn't China own a huge part of the U.S. debt? Does trump think he can have the U.S. declare bankruptcy and not expect the "other economic giant" to retaliate - bigly? I'm not a student of economics, nor do I brag about being a "stable genius." Even I know there's not much thinking that has gone into starting this trade war. This is not negotiation, this is madness.
mlbex (California)
I've seen many statements that trade wars are bad, that trade deficits are OK, and that fair trade is a good idea. All wars are bad. However, they are sometimes necessary, especially when your adversaries have been taking advantage of you and steadily chipping away at your defenses. At some point, you have to demand that they stop and take action if they don't. If they persist, you have a war. C'est la vie. Trade deficits might be OK to a point, but there is a threshold somewhere, and we are well beyond it with China. It isn't just the dollars; we are losing our industrial capacity and the jobs that go with it, and this needs to be stopped and reversed. As they move up the value chain, even more of their citizens will have jobs, and more of ours will not. Trade might be good but it has to be fair. They've been bending the rules, and we've been challenging them incident-by-incident in a hopeless game of whack-a-mole. Like a chiseler who cheats just a little on every deal, at some point you have to take action to change their underlying behavior or quit doing business with them. Finally, everyone is criticizing Trump's tactics, and they are probably right. They might be ham-handed and ill advised, but he's the only one doing anything. Everyone else seems to think we should just let things continue as they are. But China is capable of manufacturing everything that the world needs, and they will do so if we let them. If anyone has a better idea, I haven't heard it yet.
DavidP (Coachella Valley)
Bravo, well said !
Eric (Los Angeles, CA)
"Trade deficits might be OK to a point, but there is a threshold somewhere, and we are well beyond it with China. " Trade deficits are not the concern you make them out to be. This is a common economic fallacy. There is no such 'threshold', and you have no quantifiable data to suggest so. "we are losing our industrial capacity and the jobs that go with it, and this needs to be stopped and reversed" No it doesn't. Industrial capacity in the U.S. will continue to decline regardless of China due to automation and innovation. Attempting to protect doomed industries is a waste of resources, especially when protecting them invariably hurts other (and more important) industries. "If anyone has a better idea, I haven't heard it yet." Read an economics textbook. Learn the particulars of the terms you've referenced. Recognize that globalization has happened, will continue to happen, and isn't going anywhere. Ignorance of economics is what started this inane conflict.
PBS (NY)
Read the third paragraph of NormBC above.
Jesse The Conservative (Orleans, Vermont)
Imagine you are the President of the United States, and your goal is to correct decades of bad trade deals. President Trump is attempting to act in our best interest, by instituting policies that lead to free but fair trade. He not only recognizes the damage these policies have done to our middle class, but is willing to do something about it. For too long, China has: --devalued their currency --stolen our intellectual property --counterfeited our products --strong-armed our corporations into building factories in China --subsidized industries who dump cheap products into our markets But everyone it seems, is conspiring against Trump--including the countries who have been cheating us, the corporations who have benefited from cheap labor, the entire Democrat Party--and the left-wing media who have been acting as their publicity arm. How does the president win? Thankfully, Trump has the backbone and intestinal fortitude to resist these unpatriotic forces. He understands what with a $375 billion trade imbalance, China needs us more that we need them. Over 85% of their trade surplus comes from trade with the U.S., but here are plenty of cheap-labor countries who can produce the products we need. Trump is shrewd enough to recognize our advantage, and engage in a high-stakes game of chicken that we are sure to win--if the American People have the fortitude to stick with him---and if he can resist the unpatriotic calls for him to abandon his quest for fair trade.
Steve Cohen (Briarcliff Manor, NY)
"There are plenty of cheap labor countries who can produce what we need." I am going to hazard a guess that you have never been responsible for manufacturing any goods. It's not that simple. Supply chains and factories are established over many years. Infrastructure is not easy to just pick up and move. I know. I make goods both here and I. China.
Jesse The Conservative (Orleans, Vermont)
@Steve Cohen. Regardless of the difficulty in changing our sourcing for cheap goods, there are other options. And my point was not that it is easy to do so--only that the threat is a bargaining chip--one that the Chinese will understand. Again...we are in the drivers' seat. Trump recognizes this--and will press the point to gain concessions--if he can resist the outcry (real and feigned).
Christopher (San Francisco)
Jessie the Con: You forgot to include all the women Trump molested, the banks who won't lend him any money, and Special Counsel Mueller in the list of everyone conspiring against "honest Donald".
Mike L (NY)
Of course the huge multinational corporations like GE are going to try and stop Trump’s trade tariffs. That’s because China’s unfair trade practices often benefit the elite executives of these corporations. They’ve been able to divert manufacturing away from the US to China to save money. And in the process they have greatly increased the production of pollution on this planet as products are shipped across the world because they are no longer made locally. They have also devastated the American middle class as text mills closed and steel mills closed because labor is cheaper halfway around the world. China has been cheating on trade with us for decades. From ‘trans national’ shipping schemes to outright fraud, China has taken advantage of the US. The last few years have even seen the intellectual property of some American companies taken by the Chinese. That’s serious because that is now a national defense issue and is very unsettling. Time to break up these enormous ‘too big too fail’ companies like GE once and for all.
[email protected] (Los Angeles )
you touch on points that are probably just as key as the lower labor costs for American companies in China: there, firms are also much less restricted in labor practices (such as not paying people, or closing their doors overnight to avoid making payroll, or providing benefits, or safe work environments, or restricting deady pollutants, or a thousand other costs and bothers that "burden" them in the USA). in the 1950s we had the impenetrable air of Pittsburgh; today we have China, worse and much bigger. we export not only jobs, but hazzards.
JLC (Seattle)
If it is legal for individual states to negotiate their own trade terms with China, they should do so. The entire West Coast could opt out of the steel tariff drama and get to our own favorable terms regarding produce, wine and pork, then those who want to put their faith in Trump's bellicose trade rhetoric can roll the dice and blame themselves when their faith turns out to be misplaced.
Robert Vinton (Toronto, Canada)
The idea of the West Coast 'opting out' should be extended to 'secession'. California alone is often quoted as being the world's 6th largest economy. A powerhouse. The West Coast States would make a great country. Able to look West to the Pacific countries, & East to the remainder of the US. And North to Canada, & South to Mexico. Both very important trading partners. Of course Trump & Sessions would be terrified by that. But it is still a great idea.
cheryl (yorktown)
The Chinese ARE intellectual property thieves - and really skilled at it - and any entity that set up manufacturing there has to contend with that - it is a risk of doing business where you opt for the cheapest labor costs over operating in a more protective legal framework. Would it have been better if smartphones had been made here - and cost maybe three or four times the cost. Quite possibly ( more jobs here, far less waste, ). Would it be better if US residents no longer had super cheap clothing to buy? Maybe, but it would be a painful adjustment for many Americans whose wages have stagnated since the 70's. Trade agreements should be dealing with many issues - - the problem now is that nothing this Administration is doing is part of an overall strategy to strengthen our economy. Trump will be long gone and the unwanted injuries he inflicts will not have healed. He thinks he know how to hold a gun to an opponent's head to get what he wants: he seems oblivious to the fact that in the real world, adversaries have their own arms and ammunition. Now I hear he is doing meet and greet with Putin at OUR White House: what other damage is he about to inflict? How can he get away with his single handed demolition derby approach to everything?
eugene (lansing)
Perhaps if large international US companies and their Republican and Democratic supporters had been more concerned with helping displaced workers through education, training and human support systems like Canada, then a candidate like Donald Trump would not have been elected.
angel98 (nyc)
Exactly, it has always shocked me that education in the US is so low on the list as if the future doesn't matter and instant gratification is all. Other countries have poured money into education and the future to prepare for with what is now happening.
MMK (Silver City, NM)
Both Obama and Clinton (remember her visit to coal country?) called for these programs and were roundly pilloried.
Shari (Chicago)
It is not enough for countries to plan for the future. Citizens need to participate. Since Trump was nominated, people have refused to retrain. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-trump-effect-coal-retraining-insight/...
Richard J. Bono (York, PA)
Trump's actions on trade will soon incite China's equal and opposite reaction. Now I think there's truth on Chinese internal market obstructionism, but such a direct tariff attack on them is likely to disrupt good existing deals, relationships, and supply chains, as mentioned in this article. It's just unwise to behave like this, and consequences will be targeted to the red state base of the Republican Party. The Trans Pacific Partnership had bi-partisan support before Trump become president. Negotiating the Asia's wild west trade show to balance the Chinese elephant is what many Asian nations seek. We were are the right track. The USA has a role is keeping things balanced and stable and mutually beneficial. It is a role we are relinquishing with this president. The "know nothings" are in charge and there will be consequences.
Jesse Silver (Los Angeles)
"It's just unwise to behave like this, and consequences will be targeted to the red state base of the Republican Party." Perhaps such events will force these voters to look at issues more deeply. They wanted simple answers to complex problems. Now they get to an example regarding what that truly means.
daviesrl (Port Townsend, Washington)
Great photograph. A bucolic scene with a backdrop of intense industrialized just over the rise. The lighting makes it look so hopeful.
Bryan (Washington)
How far will our stock market have to fall before Trump will be held accountable by the GOP and the donor class to end this reckless economic agenda? In war; there are real casualties. First it appears will be the agricultural industry. in this (trade) war. The retail industry is hoping they will be spared, but they can never be spared. In the end, we will lose trading opportunities in some areas and pay more as consumers in other areas. It sounds like a terribly costly war to wage when negotiations and alliances to counter China would have been much more effective. Just as Trump has gutted our State Dept to enhance our military; he appears to want to gut alliances (i.e. NAFTA) in an effort to wage (trade) wars with trading partners.
Ignatz Farquad (New York)
Fools who vote Republican get what they deserve.
Cephalus (Vancouver, Canada)
The country with the most protectionist measures, subsidies, regulations crafted to favour domestic producers, tax write-offs, currency manipulation, arcane trade, investment, banking and consumer laws? Why the USA, of course. Bullying putative partners, tilting the playing field, launching actions in American courts and tribunals, doling out favours to farmers and financiers alike is as Yankee as apple pie, and has next to nothing to do with Trump. Even Obama indulged in it, costing US consumers billions and destroying companies and livelihoods abroad, despite the agreements and legal undertakings of the US government. The US is, was and always has been, about extorting maximum benefit while claiming innocence, even nobility. The rest of the world has long known this.
mlbex (California)
If we're so good at all that, why don't we have a trade surplus?
Rod Sheridan (Toronto)
mlbex, because you need a product other countries want to buy, at a price they want to buy it at. It really is that simple. Oh, and your product of course has to conform to standards in the country you're selling it in obviously. That's not a problem for manufacturing, products are built to the standards of your customer, that can however be an issue for agriculture, for example GMO, or pesticides. You do export a great many items, in great quantities, however your productivity is much lower than other countries so your citizens prefer less costly imports. ( By productivity I mean actual productivity and all other costs lumped together).
Bruce D (Mongolia)
Because Americans chose to buy a lot of cheap junk from China. Sold at Dollar stores and Wal-Mart Now do you understand?
Ed Watters (San Francisco)
If Trump keeps angering the .1%, he'll be history soon.
Wayne Patari (Mexico)
China buys a lot of the US Treasury Bonds...what is going to happen to the national debt when they stop?
DavidP (Coachella Valley)
OMG, perhaps we, as a nation might have to control our spending / borrowing.
ijarvis (NYC)
Navarro's comments remind me of two moments in time; 1 - the stock brokers who told millions of clients to not panic and to hold their positions as the housing and stock market began to crash in '08. 2 - the 'Unsinkable' Titanic.
Bruce D (Mongolia)
I hope that any countries which Trump targets with tariffs reciprocates specifically against products from red states which voted for Trump. Why? Because those voters need to realize, finally, that their votes have consequences and that they need to think long and hard about things before they exercise their constitutional right to vote. Plus - they would be hoist on their own petard. Fitting, because after all, they were the ones that elected this walking disaster of a President.
JustAReader (Singapore)
How does a hostile takeover by a Singapore company give rise to fears that technology may fall into Chinese hands though?
New to NC (Hendersonville NC)
I I cannot wait for the America Firsters to open their first quarter 401K statements.
RIF (canada)
im pretty sure most American Firsters dont have a 401K but they will be relying on Social Security
John (Sacramento)
Why yes, people who made billions of dollars outsourcing and offshoring are pushing back. Let them feel the pain they've put on the working class. This is not Trump's trade war. This is China's trade war, and we abdicated for two decades. It's long past time to do something about their economic warfare.
Ed Watters (San Francisco)
You misunderstand the power dynamics. Our .1% is quite happy with China's role in the global economy - the idea of billions of low wage workers in a country that outlaws unions is what they've always dreamed of. Your argument is with them, not China.
mlbex (California)
Ed: We should resist them on all levels. China is their current location, so we should push back on that, while remembering that they will pull the strings on their puppets elsewhere too. It's a constant multi-dimensional struggle.
John (Sacramento)
Ed, You assume that China is not a powerful actor. They are. They're quite capable of buying billionaires, and routinely do. The problem with our .1% is that they're sellouts, not that they're the primary problem.
NormBC (British Columbia)
Trump will of course mess up this attempt to address problems with US-China trade. But that doesn't mean that anyone should take pronouncements from the corporate world about how to manage this trade relationship very seriously. Spokespersons for corporations (and that includes the mega-farming sector) will inevitably claim that the right path here is the one that just happens to be exactly in their interest. Their interest is not your interest. In a more rational world a US administration would create a fact and research-based process to identify key unfair trade practices. It would then prioritize these and informally put publicly approach the Chinese on the most egregious ones. If that fails, it should go to key international trading organizations like the WTO. If that fails, then the case for the imposition of highly targeted trade sanctions would be made. Moreover, everyday folk might just then see how these government actions were in the country's long term interest. Instead, the US enters a trade morass, without a clear path and without broad based publc support.
mlbex (California)
"It's a fine mess we've got into, Ollie." One side does nothing and the other side thrashes around blindly. It's not looking good for the home team right now.
RIF (canada)
true the way he is going about it is to invite tit for tat tariffs where neither side can back down. especially as it is out in the open for all to see I would argue he has united american trading partners against the USA rather than what the consensus of experts thinks, and that is to unite Chinese trading parters against her to get more leverage, rather than going about it unilaterally bottomline countries know they give into concessions they will be giving more in the future
JR80304 (California)
It's striking that the president's incompetence is tolerated in matters of governing and diplomacy and that, only when his blundering costs us real money do we object that our highest office--and all its power--was given to a real estate developer with a dubious record and whose idea of global leadership is tweeting in all caps.
JM (San Francisco, CA)
You nailed it! But I would describe it as outrageous as well as "striking"
dsbarclay (Toronto)
Trump the isolationist is doomed. 1st rule of war: Gather your Allies. Yes, China breaks all the rules and should be held to account - by ALL our allies together. By unilaterally placing tariffs on imported Chinese goods, Trump has allowed China to not only get off the hook but to impose tariffs on US goods that will hurt the US more than it will hurt China. Its not strategic, not targeted and counter-productive.
Human (Maryland)
All he needed to do was to join with other Pacific rim countries in TPP, which he pulled out of with no thought. Trump hates multilateral agreements, an antipathy that runs deep. Bullies are not known for cooperating with others for the benefit of all. Trump fails to envision the larger picture and sees everything in personal terms.
MotownMom (Michigan)
"The Art of the Deal" Donald is playing a much bigger game than simply his real estate empire. He is playing the non-paying, short-paying, bankruptcy-ending bullying game that he brought to those deals, but this time with the economy of a country of 325 million people, and a world made up of 7 billion people. Most of us saw him for what he was. Hopefully the rest of the country understands that a Greed Over People party majority in DC has never, ever, ended well, at least not since Eisenhower.
MissPatooty (NY, NY)
You are spot on about Trump "playing the non-paying, short-paying, bankruptcy-ending bullying game that he brought to those deals, but this time with the economy of a country of 325 million people, and a world made up of 7 billion people".
George N. Wells (Dover, NJ)
Trump is only a symptom of a much deeper problem in America. Trump's base is still holding onto the idea that America can be totally isolated from the rest of the planet and be the top economy. Americans cannot hold the idea that in order for Americans to succeed all others must fail. While that may work in real-estate-development and the minds of some Americans it doesn't work on planet earth. The managers of these huge corporations know that we all share the planet and isolation isn't the solution. A problem in another country soon becomes our problem as well. For the planet to survive cooperation has to triumph over solitary self-interest. Yes, we need to do better with our own citizens, and we need to work with the rest of the planet to create win-win solutions to the problems we all face. Trump is hopefully learning that "trade wars" are not easy to win and attempt to hurt other nations will always wind up hurting Americans.
Greg (Atlanta)
Yes. We should all listen to our benevolent corporate masters. They are better than us- wise and all-knowing.
George N. Wells (Dover, NJ)
Greg, et al., Sarcasm noted. Yet Trump still sells himself as the quintessential businessman, the master negotiator, the "only" person who can solve all the problems. My point is that business is a human enterprise and despite its many shortcomings and failures there is a tacit understanding that isolationism simply doesn't work. As I type this Trump is on TV telling the world that he is going to deploy troops to the border because "the Democrats" won't let him have his "wall." So what are these troops going to do at the border if/when somebody tries to cross the border? Kill them in cold blood? Yes, isolationism is attractive as it is a link to a past that exists in our minds of a better day when we knew all the rules and America was on top and everyone knew his proper place - "the way we never were." The stock market is falling, commodity markets are shaky, and Trump blathers on about isolationism and nativism. In the mean time legislators are out to do the bidding of their wealthy masters.
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
“Everybody needs to relax,” said White House trade adviser, Peter Navarro, “the economy is as strong as an ox.” In a Wall Street Journal op-ed defending his views, Navarro stated, "If we are able to reduce our trade deficits through tough, smart negotiations, we should be able to increase our growth." Harvard University economics professor Gregory Mankiw has said that Navarro's views on the trade deficit are based on the kind of mistakes that "even a freshman at the end of ECON 101 knows." Tufts University professor Daniel Drezner said about Navarro's op-ed, "as someone who's written on this topic I could not for the life of me understand his reasoning". According to Tyler Cowen, "close to no one" in the economics profession agrees with Navarro's idea that a trade deficit is bad in and of itself. Nobel laureate Angus Deaton described Navarro's attitude on trade deficits as "an old-fashioned mercantilist position." Welcome to Donald Trump's Circus Carnival of cranks, charlatans, cretins and crud. This administration has all the IQ of a violent, angry child with severe behavioral and developmental issues. "Relax...the idiots are in charge"
JM (San Francisco, CA)
So well stated. Thank you Socrates!
Independent (Louisville, KY)
why are the republicans not speaking out and leading away from trump.
Socrates (Downtown Verona. NJ)
Independent...Republicans abandoned America decades ago for cold ca$h. Grand Old Phonie$ 2018 They wouldn't know a principle or patriotism if it hit them in their heads.
John (Stowe, PA)
In Econ 101 students learn about the law of comparative advantage. The basic idea is simple. Trade benefits everyone. Tariffs are a bad 19th century idea that filled the massive bank accounts of "robber barons" by essentially extracting a hidden tax from anyone who purchased their products. It is a "tax" because it is imposed by government and paid by the end consumer. trump likes to brag that he has an undergraduate degree from Wharton. Given his inability to grasp even basic concepts of economics we have to wonder if his father bought that degree the same way he purchased doctor notes to get the young donald out of Vietnam
JM (San Francisco, CA)
With his 19 century tariff ideas coupled with his 14th century wall ideas, Dinosaur Donald is really stuck in the Dark Ages.
PhillyMensch (Philadelphia, PA)
>>trump likes to brag that he has an undergraduate degree from Wharton. For the record, Wharton is the University of Pennsylvania's graduate school of business. Although Trump did graduate from U Penn's undergraduate school of finance and commerce, there is no record of him graduating from Wharton itself. Is anyone surprised by this disparity between his claims and the actual facts?
Clearwater (Oregon)
The big longterm problem, unless he's removed from office, is that Trump and his team do not comprehend the global economy much. Now, it's one thing to rally an already supportive base with protectionist battle cries but to follow through on all those simpleton campaign promises without understanding what exactly the global economy is all about is destined to put one on a raft floating out further to sea by one's self. I expect Canada, Mexico, African nations, South America, Europe and even Russia to increase their Chinese connections. See, there is a whole lotta world China can play ball with, increasing Chinese product consumers of all. We kind of blew it having this inept team enter the White House and also blew it by not having the TPP altered enough to be acceptable to liberals like me and then implemented. With the TPP done right we would have been the key player throughout Asia for years and years to come. Trump is way to simple for this world. A real throw back that would have been dusted on a campaign trail in the early 1900's. Now he's in charge . . . . for a tiny bit longer.
Robert (Out West)
Perhaps you would be so good as to explain precisely what was wrong with TPP.
LUC Nocente (Montreal, qc)
He doesn't listen to the team, the team is meaningless to him, he knows best, he doesn't need advisers, he has Javinka.
LivingWithInterest (Sacramento)
You are right Clearwater. The world can get along without the USA but the USA cannot get along without the world. In an April 2015 article published by The Hill stated "we remain completely import-dependent for 19 key minerals resources and more than 50 percent import-dependent for an additional 24 mineral commodities, which subjects supply chains to geopolitical instability and supply disruption." The consequence of citing national security as the logic behind tariffs will ultimately hurt our military and other sectors where specific resources are needed. See the article: http://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/defense/238041-advanced-military-t...
RLW (Chicago)
So, if I understand this correctly this is how great "Deals" are made by our "Businessman-in-Chief." Somehow Trump's deal making skills don't seem to be very good for the U.S. economy. The Art of the Deal seems to be the Art of Unintended consequences. So sad!
RIF (canada)
Many of his deals involve running up huge debts, and then sticking it to the shareholders and investors in the end only difference is he will be sticking it to the american taxpayer and people with the National debt he runs up
David (San Jose, CA)
Hmm, sounds like we need a trade agreement in which the United States and Asian partners work together to set intellectual property rules and counter the economic might of China. Oh, we had one - TPP. But Obama did that, so now we must do the opposite. Like everything Trump, the current approach is based around the idea of magically of turning the world back decades or centuries. Like the rest of those fantasies, it will fail.
Doug Broome (Vancouver)
TPP is progressing well absent an America that is steadily weakening under Trump.
Bruce Rozenblit (Kansas City, MO)
Trump doesn't understand that trade is never a zero sum game. He looks at dollars of goods in and out of China and says we are losing. No we aren't. He doesn't know how trade works. American producers, fabricators and assemblers import many goods from China. These include raw materials, refined materials such a sheet metal, parts and assemblies. China makes most all of the electronic parts used in American manufacturing. We then take those low cost parts and create products which are then sold all over the world. Even my little company exports about 50% of sales overseas. The low cost Chinese parts allow American manufacturers to be competitive in foreign markets. If Trump jacks up the prices on these goods, we will all have to raise our prices which will put us at a competitive disadvantage with other producers, who can get the materials at lower, non tariff prices. See how it works? The deficit with China creates a surplus somewhere else. It may not even be possible to tabulate what goes where, too complicated, too big to track. But the flows of goods across borders powers many industries. Not only is Trump ignorant of these things, there is no one in his administration who understands them either.
mlbex (California)
"The deficit with China creates a surplus somewhere else" When that surplus somewhere else approaches the magnitude of the deficit with China, that statement will be a lot easier to accept.
RIF (canada)
I would like to add to your points that the trade dollars flowing into China, is just where the dollars finally ended up, I saw an article when the Iphone was being sold for $500, China's export value on that was around $190.00 but if you factor in all the imported parts from other countries including the USA the real profit ends up being $7 split between Foxconn the manufacturer and the Chinese worker.... im sure the worker gets the lions share of those profits
CED (Colorado)
"Not only is Trump ignorant of these things, there is no one in his administration who understands them either." I agree, as it is characteristic of narcissists to surround themselves with ignorant sycophants.
Easy Goer (Louisiana)
Enough with the fake news paranoia and his minions (namely Sarah Sanders) left to decipher and (try to) explain his 3:00 am tweets later that morning This is NOT how a president should behave. All I ever see is him shouting answers (sometimes) to questions posed by reporters' all over the din of a roaring helicopter. Is this what a "News Conference" has been reduced to? I remember several presidents speaking on a regular basis to the American public. Even the actor Ronald Reagan had a weekly radio address, which (I assume) was weak attempt to copy the "Fireside Chats" FDR did weekly on radio.
Rick (Louisville)
I believe Twitter has destroyed whatever attention span he ever had. It makes him appear more ignorant than he already is. I'm sick of his apologists trying to explain "what he really meant".
Jon Galt (Texas)
Corporate management only cares about the bottom line and their bonuses, all on a quarterly basis. Our manufacturing sector has been destroyed in the name of greed, without any thought to the long term national security concerns. If we have to depend on our enemies for the most basic of goods, like steel and aluminum, we have failed the next generation.
Michael Decatur (Ithaca, NY)
Or, we have trade interdependencies between nations that vastly reduces the chances of armed conflict and reduces our need for military spending. Trade policies based on the military industrial complex will not be good for the vast majority of Americans.
Robert (Out West)
I like seeing Trumpists complain about destroying things in the name of greed. It's hilarious.
mlbex (California)
That's exactly what they said in the run up to WW1.
Deanalfred (Mi)
The opposition is based on simplicity. If you tax aluminum and steel imports you raise the cost of manufacturers and manufacturing exports. It costs more to buy domestically built goods, it reduces the competitiveness of your exports. Net result,, it costs America more to buy their goods and it costs jobs lost to the higher prices of exports. The Chinese are targeting finished goods for tariffs. Again, reducing what we can sell to them and costing the US jobs. The US tried steel tariffs in the 1970's to save steel jobs. It was estimated that each job saved in the steel industry cost the US $ 176,000 dollars, (equals approx, 500,000 today?) Those who do not study history are forced to repeat it.
Human (Maryland)
The time to have saved the steelworker was when Reagan was first elected, when Billy Joel was singing “Allentown” but this issue now arises 40 years later. It makes no sense to bludgeon our own economy by raising the cost of our own inputs (which is what tariffs really do) and shut the door to our exports in a trade war. That helps nobody. Then there is the hypocrisy of a Republican Administration that is anti-free trade.
Chris (Everett WA)
History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce.
Jim (Houghton)
And for how long were those '70's steel jobs saved?
Benny (Atlanta GA)
If all wall street, big corporations, and trade organizations are against it, you can bet it's good for everyone else.
JDR (Baltimore)
This is rather simplistic, zero-sum thinking, like Trump's. Are we moving back to "the enemy of my enemy is my friend", to avoid actually evaluating the details of a situation.?
Kevin (ATL)
Sorry to break the news to you, but the issue is a bit more complex than that.
RIF (canada)
yet you had no problem with cheap imported goods all these years.... guaranteed if the phone you are typing on is made in the USA? it will still have parts it it from another country you need to read between the lines "big corporations, and trade organization" even Trump states he wants to get into the closed off Chinese markets and their growing middle class and trump is willing to sacrifice the american consumer and economy to do it
Carsafrica (California)
China is drawing ever closer to Europe, South America , Asia and Africa. It can source all its needs from these areas and help develop their economies and influence . Soybeans from Brazil, planes from Airbus in lieu of protein deficient Soybeans from Iowa and Boeings from South Carolina. China has a long term plan we have nothing but myopic short term greed for the few. Even more troubling is our ability to compete in future , a crumbling infrastructure with no funds or plans to renew it. An education system hopelessly underfunded sustained in many States by underpaid teachers paying for books out of their own pockets. Trump is already accumulating wealth for himself and cronies and the expense of the middle class and the young. We are losing the war of knowledge , expertise and in time global influence.
Ellen Liversidge (San Diego CA)
Carsafrica - At least those underpaid teachers are resisting and protesting, something each of us should do in our own way.
PlayToe (Brooklyn)
So, trade wars are easy to win, or so says our president. It is said that when elephants fight, the ants get trampled. The ants, of course, are ordinary consumers around the world who depend upon "free" global trade. Isn't global trade really the engine of the world's economy? Mr. Trump, a self-proclaimed really smart guy, a graduate of Wharton's School of Business, must not have learned some very basic principles of economics in that prestigious business school. Unlike his personal businesses, simply declaring bankruptcy and moving on to the next venture, the people of the world are not so fortunate. Let's hope our leaders come to their senses about what free trade really means to the world. The voters will have their opportunity to cast their ballots soon. Enough!
Human (Maryland)
Trump transferred to U Penn from Fordham, and majored in business at the Wharton School, earning a bachelors degree from U Penn. Trump does not hold an advanced degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. After graduating undergrad he joined his father’s business.
Tar Heel Happy (North Carolina)
I am all for the tariffs because I want the voters in those states that voted for Trump pay a heavy price for their blind support. No sympathy at all for the farmers in Indiana or Iowa or North Carolina. Be careful what you do in the voting booth next time.
ChrisH (Earth)
Most people - including those of us who voted - did not vote for this abomination of a president, but that doesn't provide immunity from the ill effects of these tariffs, which will be felt by all.
Margaret Flaherty (Berkeley)
FYI agriculture tends to take a big hit with Trade wars and that means California. Coincidence?
Greg Nowell (Philadelphia)
Include the hog farmers in Western Pennsylvania. Pork has been included as one of the 128 tariffs by China.
jkenb (Chicago)
The plan was to have TPP, which excludes China, exert influence on that country's policies - the non-bluster, intelligent approach. Now we'll require years to undo this administration's severe errors.
Human (Maryland)
And meanwhile, the other members of TPP have signed their own agreement without us and are moving on.
Rod Sheridan (Toronto)
That's what happens when you decide to take your ball and go home. You discover that other people can bring their ball, and play without you.
Ted Johnson (San Diego)
TPP didnt exclude China. China was a major player in TPP, and now that the US has disengaged, China is by far the biggest player in TPP. There is no going back on TPP. China took HUGE advantage of US disengagement in Asia after Trump hastily scrapped TPP, and now China is the biggest influencer in Asia by far, while the US stands on the sidelines, and former US allies are now forced to make overtures to China.
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