Trump Is Melting Down Because China Won’t Give In on Trade

Trump’s international disputes usually end quietly. This one might be different.

23.8.2019

President Trump is in the midst of a public meltdown that is humiliating, scary, and banana republic–y even by Trumpy standards. jonathanchait writes

Trump’s international disputes usually end quietly. This one might be different.

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images President Trump is in the midst of a public meltdown that is humiliating, scary, and banana republic–y even by Trumpy standards. The reason is that Trump started a trade war and China refuses to back down, having announced this morning that it is imposing retaliatory tariffs on $75 billion worth of U.S. goods. Trump has picked fights with lots of countries. Usually they either placate him or try to give him a face-saving way of de-escalating (e.g., Mexico, which is never going to pay for the wall but doesn’t talk about the fact that it’s never going to pay for the wall anymore). Sometimes they get Trump to fold by stroking his ego (the North Koreans have carried out the most over-the-top version of this tactic). China is playing it differently. Trump is pressuring China with tariff threats, on the theory that China, which is more export-dependent than the U.S., has more to lose from a trade war. China, apparently, calculates that it is Trump who has more to lose from a trade war, since he is facing reelection next year and Chinese president Xi Jinping is facing reelection … never. What’s more, China has little incentive to cough up permanent concessions in its trade relations with the U.S., given that there’s a better-than-even chance Trump will lose and it can just wait for the next president. This has provoked one of Trump’s wilder public tantrums. First, he has lashed out at Federal Reserve chair Jay Powell, who has become Trump’s scapegoat for bad economic news despite the fact that it was Trump who appointed him to the job. (“Trump installed a Fed chair who is singlehandedly destroying the economy” sounds like an attack on Trump, but oddly enough it is Trump’s own argument.) Trump wants Powell to aggressively, quickly, and smoothly reduce interest rates to mitigate the economic harm Trump is inflicting on the economy. As Powell has pointed out, this is hard. “Because the most important effects of monetary policy are felt with uncertain lags of a year or more, the committee must attempt to look through what may be passing developments and focus on things that seem likely to affect the outlook over time or that pose a material risk of doing so,” the Fed chairman said today. “But fitting trade-policy uncertainty into this framework is a new challenge.” Translation: Monetary policy is always hard, but it’s really hard when the president is erratic. Trump has accordingly added Powell to his list of Enemies of the People. “My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?,” he tweeted, a message that is unlikely to calm the waters. Trump followed up that crazy tweet with a series of even crazier tweets, in which he ordered American firms to “immediately start looking for an alternative to China.” He added a “hereby” to the order, giving it the ring of a presidential decree. Trump does not actually have the power to unilaterally order private firms to redesign their global business models at the drop of a hat just because he is mad online. The stock market has indicated that businesses have not exactly been enjoying Trump’s anti-China bluster, but their panic has been bounded by the expectation that he will ultimately back down, as he has in his other international confrontations. Surely Trump won’t escalate the trade war to the point where he tips his own economy into recession, right? The normal rule is that presidents who run for reelection in the midst of a recession lose. Trump may not believe the normal rule applies to him. The Washington Post reported that Trump has been briefed on the ominous economic news but “has told aides that he thinks he can convince Americans that the economy is vibrant and unrattled through a public messaging campaign.” Maybe he thinks his propaganda apparatus can convince voters the economy is good even if it’s bad? If Trump does believe this, then he might actually continue escalating his trade war with China — not just with fake presidential decrees but with continued tariff increases. And maybe the assumption by business that this will all somehow end without too much collateral damage might turn out to be misplaced. Read more: New York Magazine

legion4thereare jonathanchait Keep reaching jonathanchait The man has dementia. Why does everybody keep pretending he is making rational decisions? wandainparis jonathanchait He thought it was gonna be “easy”. Wrong! NotWinning jonathanchait Get this b*tch out of washingtion!!!! ToBeSafeNSound jonathanchait “What Spoiled Brats Do When They Don’t Get Their Way”

USMCLiberal jonathanchait Too bad we can't dump him and Bolsanaro in the Amazon. jonathanchait Jonathan smokes domething hard.Always least Juan Williams is good mannered USMCLiberal jonathanchait USMCLiberal jonathanchait PLEASE PLEASE, anyone who voted for him please tell me how this behavior is ok? I'm so confused how he still has supporters.

jonathanchait BUT “Trade wars are good and easy to win” jonathanchait And the vast majority of Republicans still support him. That's what's scary.

Apple Stock Down 4% After Trump ‘Orders’ Companies to Leave ChinaApple’s share price was down around 4% Friday morning after President Trump took to Twitter to “order” U.S. companies to leave China. The slide came amid a market-wide sell-off, w… Trump lives in 1950. He doesn't get that even domestic manufacturers source parts globally, many from China. There is no such thing as an 'American' car. Where did the electronics come from? Dummy. Season Three of the POTUS is getting pretty interesting..

jonathanchait But 'the Chosen One' said trade wars are easy to win... Haha. jonathanchait I’m melting 😂

Trump doubles down on calling Jewish Democrats 'disloyal' to IsraelPresident Trump on Wednesday doubled down on referring to Jews who vote for Democrats as 'very disloyal' to Israel, invoking a dual loyalty trope widely viewed as anti-Semitic. Why is it difficult to grasp why American Jews don't want to rub shoulders with the 'Jews will not replace us' crew? He’s 100% correct. Racist in Chief

As Trump questions loyalty of US Jews, Israeli PM is quietIsrael's prime minister steers clear of Pres. Trump's comments questioning loyalty of U.S. Jews who support the Democratic Party—in sharp contrast to the tide of condemnation from Jewish critics who accused him of trafficking in anti-Semitic stereotypes. I think Bibi the Embezzler has enough problems too worry about Hey, ABC and the liberal media has no problem calling supporters of Trump deplorable,terrorists, Nazis, on and on for over three years! They are attacked by Antifa, attacked in restaurants, shot playing baseball. Bibi Netanyahu is so close to realDonaldTrump he can tell from first-hand observation what religion Trump is...or, isn't. snip, snip 😂😂😂

Trump attacks Ford for not supporting his rollback of Obama-era climate change protectionsFord defended its decision to join the California deal, saying, “This agreement with California provides regulatory stability' while reducing carbon dioxide emissions. 'The British are attached to being a great power,' Macron said Wednesday. 'The point can't be to exit Europe and say 'we'll be stronger,' before in the end, becoming the junior partner of the United States, which are acting more and more hegemonically.' Everybody gangsta until the president tells a car company that wants to decrease emissions to increase emissions What Trump doesn't understand is that the automakers gave accounted for the new standards in their business models. It costs them more to do a redesign so they really don't save much if anything.

Fact check: Trump makes at least 11 false claims to reporters, including two about GreenlandPresident Donald Trump made at least 11 false claims Wednesday while speaking with reporters for more than half an hour before leaving the White House for a speech and fundraiser in Kentucky. can you say 'lie' or a conjugated version of the verb? At who’s expense?! Poor hardworking middle class American taxpayers 🥵 11 lies BEFORE he got to Kentucky. Can't wait to find out how many lies at Kentucky event. LiarInChief UnfitToBePresident UnfitToServe eriecountydems ECYDOhio ohdemchairs OHDems

Why Trump is so obsessed with ScandinaviaFrida Ghitis writes that Trump's decision to suddenly cancel his trip to Denmark and call Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen 'nasty' is another example of the President's bewildering interactions with Scandinavian states. Opinion Opinion So did Hitler Opinion Just the little girls there



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