Trump’s Love for Tariffs Began in Japan’s ’80s Boom – By Jim Tankersley and Mark Landler – The New York Times

InconvenientNews.Net

By Jim Tankersley and Mark Landler
May 15, 2019, 9
“WASHINGTON — Donald J. Trump lost an auction in 1988 for a 58-key piano used in the classic film “Casablanca” to a Japanese trading company representing a collector. While he brushed off being outbid, it was a firsthand reminder of Japan’s growing wealth, and the following year, Mr. Trump went on television to call for a 15 percent to 20 percent tax on imports from Japan.

“I believe very strongly in tariffs,” Mr. Trump, at the time a Manhattan real estate developer with fledgling political instincts, told the journalist Diane Sawyer, before criticizing Japan, West Germany, Saudi Arabia and South Korea for their trade practices. “America is being ripped off,” he said. “We’re a debtor nation, and we have to tax, we have to tariff, we have to protect this country.”

Thirty years later, few issues have defined Mr. Trump’s…

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Opinion | Trump Has No Idea What His Tariffs Have Unleashed for Farmers – By Robert Leonard – NYT

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By Robert Leonard
Mr. Leonard is the news director for the radio stations KNIA and KRLS.

July 26, 2018


A farm near Amana, Iowa.CreditScott Olson/Getty Images
“KNOXVILLE, Iowa — Today President Trump is visiting Dubuque, Iowa, where every year at harvest time, millions of tons of grain come via rail and truck to be loaded onto barges on the Mississippi River and shipped to Mexico, China and much of the rest of the world. Harvest puts coin into the hands of farmers, and they and their communities — indeed all of America — profit. Not this year.

The president is here to trumpet a $12 billion plan to aid American farmers. Why do they need aid? For Iowans, it’s because 33 percent of our economy is tied, directly or indirectly, to agriculture, and Mr. Trump recklessly opened trade wars that will hit “Trump country” — rural America — hardest and that have already brought an avalanche of losses. Indeed, the impact of his tariffs will probably be felt by family farms and the area for generations.

So perhaps visiting Dubuque is the least he could do.

The cost of being shut out of overseas markets for soybeans, beef, pork, chicken and more will be in the billions. Once those markets are gone, they will be difficult to recover. Commodity prices continue to drop, and good weather suggests an excellent crop is in the making, which will drive prices further down.

Brazil is ready to step in with increased soybean production, and China has already shifted its purchasing power there.

via Opinion | Trump Has No Idea What His Tariffs Have Unleashed for Farmers – The New York Times

Europe and Asia Move to Bolster Global Systems That Trump Has Attacked – By Steven Erlanger and Jane Perlez – NYT

 July 18, 2018 134 查看本文简体中文版查看本文繁體中文版

BRUSSELS — From trade to regulation to security, America’s traditional allies are accelerating their efforts to buttress a global system that President Trump has seemed prepared to tear down.

After months of stunned indecision, they have undertaken a flurry of efforts intended to preserve the rules-based order the United States created after World War II and championed ever since.

The most obvious example came on Monday, the same day a stunned world watched Mr. Trump praise President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia as a competitor after having dismissed Europe as an economic “foe.” A few thousand miles away, in Beijing, the leaders of the European Union and China held a long-scheduled meeting of their own.

In the past, expectations for such meetings were low, given the conflicts on trade and human rights between the Europeans and the Chinese. But while those differences remain, this summit meeting produced an unusual joint declaration and a common commitment to keep the global system strong.

The next day, the Europeans traveled to Japan and signed the biggest free-trade agreement in history, just the sort of deal the Trump administration has criticized.

And on Wednesday, Europe’s top regulator announced a $5.1 billion fine against Google, another strong indication that Brussels is not just fighting to maintain the rules-based trading order, but is also positioning itself as the watchdog of that system.

After months of denialangerbargaining and depression, Europe and other parts of the world have accepted that Mr. Trump and his mission of disruption are not going away.”

Source: Europe and Asia Move to Bolster Global Systems That Trump Has Attacked – The New York Times

Opinion | Brexit Meets Gravity – by Paul Krugman – NYT

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These days I’m writing a lot about trade policy. I know there are more crucial topics, like Alan Dershowitz. Maybe a few other things? But getting and spending go on; and to be honest, in a way I’m doing trade issues as a form of therapy and/or escapism, focusing on stuff I know as a break from the grim political news.

Anyway, as Britain’s self-inflicted Brexit crisis (self-inflicted with some help from Putin, it seems) comes to a head, it seems to me worth trying to explain some aspects of the economics involved that should be obvious – surely are obvious to many British economists – but aren’t, apparently, as obvious either to Brexiteers or to the general public.

These aspects explain why Theresa May is trying to do a soft Brexit or even, as some say, BINO – Brexit In Name Only; and why the favored alternative of Brexiteers, trade agreements with the United States and perhaps others to replace the EU, won’t fly.

Now, many of the arguments for Brexit were lies pure and simple. But their claims about trade, both before and after the vote, may arguably be seen as misunderstandings rather than sheer dishonesty.

via Opinion | Brexit Meets Gravity – The New York Times

Opinion | Someone Should Tell Donald Trump About America’s High Tariffs – The New York Times

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To hear President Trump tell it, every other country in the world is taking advantage of the United States by selling milk, cars, steel and other products to America while refusing to buy made-in-the-USA merchandise. His ceaseless complaint about trade — with neighbors like Canada and Mexico, allies in Europe or mercantilist China — is that the United States is getting a raw deal. Much of what the president has said is malarkey.

It’s true that America has run a large trade deficit for many years, and that some countries — China in particular — have used underhanded tactics like depressing their currencies to boost exports. But, by and large, the world is not ripping off the United States. Scratch the surface of many of the president’s statements about trade, and it’s hard not to conclude that he is either trying to confuse the public or is rather confused himself.
Recently, Mr. Trump has unleashed his Twitter account on one of America’s oldest and closest friends, Canada, criticizing the country’s decision to protect its dairy industry. Last month, the president railed about that country’s “270 percent tariff on Dairy Products!” — a statistic that sounds outrageous but really is not. Canada allows a small quota of American dairy imports to come in with low or zero tariffs. Imports above that amount are taxed at varying rates that can exceed 300 percent for some goods.

via Opinion | Someone Should Tell Donald Trump About America’s High Tariffs – The New York Times

Opinion | The U.S. and China Are Finally Having It Out – by Thomas Friedman – NYT

“With the arrival in Beijing this week of America’s top trade negotiators, you might think that the U.S. and China are about to enter high-level talks to avoid a trade war and that this is a story for the business pages. Think again. This is one for the history books.

Five days of meetings in Beijing with Chinese, U.S. and European government officials and business leaders made it crystal clear to me that what’s going on right now is nothing less than a struggle to redefine the rules governing the economic and power relations of the world’s oldest and newest superpowers — America and China. This is not a trade tiff.

“This is a defining moment for U.S.-China relations,” said Ruan Zongze, executive vice president of the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s research institute. “This is about a lot more than trade and tariffs. This is about the future.”

In one corner stand President Trump and his team of China trade hard-liners, whose instinct is basically right: This is a fight worth having now, before it is too late, before China gets too big.”

Source: Opinion | The U.S. and China Are Finally Having It Out – The New York Times

 

Yes, Sir. I agree.

Here are two comments  I recommended:

allan slipher
port townsend washington
Times Pick

“..there is a trade imbalance today because we’ve been investing in our future and you Americans have been eating yours.”

Spot on. Wake up call, America.

Our choice is self indulgent consumerism, cheap political theatrics, empty celebrity worship, and self absorbed rants, or redirecting ourselves and doubling down on basic research, education, infrastructure, well paid work, investment in the well being of our children and grandchildren and upholding the rule of law.

Bruce Rozenblit commented May 1

Bruce Rozenblit
Kansas City, MO

China employs state run capitalism. The US employs market capitalism. China views government as an asset. The US views government as an enemy. China pays to have its brightest students educated in the worlds greatest universities. In the US, we question why we even have universities, let alone want to pay for them. China follows decade long economic plans. The US is ruled by quarterly profits. China cheats. We don’t tax the billionaire class. In China, civil rights are forfeit. In the US, money has more rights than people. China is destroying the environment for quick growth. In the US, we want to destroy the environment for feeble growth. China pursues multi-national trade and investment policies. In the US, we used to and now want to pursue only unilateral policies.

So who wins? China will win. Trump did have the right idea about China getting away with murder. Many of our largest corporations made a fortune off of cheap Chinese goods, so we went along with it for years.

Until and unless we straighten out our twisted and self defeating ways, we cannot out compete China. The first step is to stop demonizing the government and allow government to participate in business. The ExIm bank is a good example. Big business in the rest of the industrialized world has government involvement. It’s about time we joined the club. We call it redistribution. They call it public investment.

White House Considers Restricting Chinese Researchers Over Espionage Fears – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie: In April, China is said to have tested an invisibility cloak that would allow ordinary fighter jets to suddenly vanish from radar screens.

This advancement, which could prove to be a critical intelligence breakthrough, is one that American officials fear China may have gained in part from a Chinese researcher who roused suspicions while working on a similar technology at a Duke University laboratory in 2008. The researcher, who was investigated by the F.B.I. but never charged with a crime, ultimately returned to China, became a billionaire and opened a thriving research institute that worked on some projects related to those he studied at Duke.

The Trump administration, concerned about China’s growing technological prowess, is considering strict measures to block Chinese citizens from performing sensitive research at American universities and research institutes over fears they may be acquiring intellectual secrets, according to people familiar with the deliberations.

The White House is discussing whether to limit the access of Chinese citizens to the United States, including restricting certain types of visas available to them and greatly expanding rules pertaining to Chinese researchers who work on projects with military or intelligence value at American companies and universities. The exact types of projects that would be subject to restrictions are unclear, but the measures could clamp down on collaboration in advanced materials, software and other technologies at the heart of Beijing’s plan to dominate cutting-edge technologies like advanced microchips, artificial intelligence and electric cars, known as Made in China 2025.

Source: White House Considers Restricting Chinese Researchers Over Espionage Fears – The New York Times

David Lindsay Jr.

Hamden, CT 

The Opium wars were a disaster for China, and they have essentially been at war with the West ever since, and with good reason. From History.com: “British troops occupying Peking, China, loot and then burn the Yuanmingyuan, the fabulous summer residence built by the Manchu emperors in the 18th century. China’s Qing leadership surrendered to the Franco-British expeditionary force soon after, ending the Second Opium War and Chinese hopes of reversing the tide of foreign domination in its national affairs.” This summer palace was like our 18 buildings of the Smithsonian Insitution, and the US Congress building, it was the largest collection of national treasures in China. So the Chinese have a goal, to conquer the West, and we need to be firm in opposing their stealing of our intellectual property. We might even have to go to war with them to prevent their taking over all of SE Asia by way of militarizing the South China Sea. But the best route is a firm, older brother, or younger brother, if you realize they were great once while we were Indian territory. Politely, we should stop letting them into our most sensitive scientific and military related laboratories. The TPP was a strong instrument to help the US shape trade and growth in East Asia, and steer China to fairer practices for US etc David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNewsWorldwide.wordpress.com

China Loosens Foreign Auto Rules- in Potential Peace Offering to Trump – The New York Times

“SHANGHAI — Beijing and Washington have threatened each other with tariffs for weeks, raising the prospect of a trade war. But on Tuesday, China took a step to lower tensions, offering to make it easier for foreign automakers and aerospace manufacturers to own factories in the country.The Chinese authorities said that in the next five years they would ease rules that have long required carmakers like General Motors, Toyota and Volkswagen to link up with a local partner before building a factory in China.”

Source: China Loosens Foreign Auto Rules, in Potential Peace Offering to Trump – The New York Times

Trump Proposes Rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership to Shield Farmers From Trade War – The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump told a gathering of farm state lawmakers and governors on Thursday morning that he was directing his advisers to look into rejoining the multicountry trade deal known as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, as the White House tries to come up with ways to protect the agriculture sector, which could be badly hurt by the president’s trade policies.

Rejoining the trade pact would be a surprising change in policy for Mr. Trump, who long criticized the deal and withdrew from it last January, in his first major trade action. The president has long maintained that he prefers to negotiate trade deals one on one, a tactic he says gives the United States better leverage over its trading partners.

But the risk of an escalating trade war with China has panicked American farmers and ranchers, who send many of their products abroad. China has responded to Mr. Trump’s threat of tariffs on as much as $150 billion worth of Chinese goods by placing its own tariffs on American pork, and threatening taxes on soybeans, sorghum, corn and beef.

China’s aggressive response to Mr. Trump’s tariffs is aimed squarely at products produced in the American heartland, a region that helped send him to the White House. A trade war with China could be particularly devastating to rural economies, especially for pig farmers and soybean and corn growers. Nearly two-thirds of United States soybean exports go to China.

via Trump Proposes Rejoining Trans-Pacific Partnership to Shield Farmers From Trade War – The New York Times

David Lindsay Jr.

Hamden, CT 

Dear fellow readers, If Donald Trump wants to show he can learn, and is willing to embrace the Trans Pacific Partnership, one of Obama’s smartest, most sophisticated, and most difficult to explain treaties, we should all applaud! (Applause.)

Unfortunately, it will have its negative effects. I was looking forward to all those red, agricultural states, turning blue in anger over Trump’s dumb as doornails tariff war with China.

David Lindsay Jr. is the author of “The Tay Son Rebellion, Historical Fiction of Eighteenth-century Vietnam,” and blogs at TheTaySonRebellion.com and InconvenientNewsWorldwide.wordpress.com

Opinion | Trade Wars- Stranded Assets- and the Stock Market (Wonkish) – by Paul Krugman – NYT

As I write this, China’s announcement of a new round of tit-for-tat tariffs has stoked fears of trade war and sent stock futures plunging. If this morning’s futures hold, the S&P 500 will be about 10.5 percent off its January peak, around 6 percent off its level when Gary Cohn, the last of the Trump “globalists,” was pushed out.

My question is, why such a large fall?

One good answer is, that’s a stupid question. The three rules you need to bear in mind when discussing the stock market are (1) the stock market is not the economy (2) the stock market is not the economy (3) the stock market is not the economy. And stocks move for all sorts of reasons, or no visible reason at all. As Paul Samuelson famously quipped, the market has forecast nine of the last five recessions.

via Opinion | Trade Wars, Stranded Assets, and the Stock Market (Wonkish) – The New York Times