Tuesday, August 29, 2017

TRADE WAR LEAK: Trump Rejected China Deal; Wants Tariffs

Stop the trade wars.
President Donald Trump last month rejected a Chinese proposal to cut steel overcapacity despite it being endorsed by some of his top advisers, as he urged them instead to find ways to impose tariffs on imports from China, reports the Financial Times.

According to FT, even trade protectionist US commerce secretary Wilbur Ross  endorsed the deal and brought it to Trump, but the president rejected the proposal.

And then this from FT:
Mr Ross, a long-time friend of the president, floated the deal again the following week during the two-day meetings with Chinese vice-premier Wang Yang, but Mr Trump once again refused to accept it, according to a US official and another person familiar with the debate.
“The president had by then decided that he wanted to do something much broader,” said the US official, who added that the Chinese proposal for cutting steel overcapacity was significant. “It was fairly sizeable amounts. But the amounts don’t really matter [since] by then the president had decided that he wanted to go in a different direction — more towards tariffs than cutting excess capacity.
This is the second leak we are seeing in recent days that Trump wants tariffs. On Sunday, Axios reported Trump's desire for tariffs.

It appears the leaks are coming from anti-tariff people in the Administration, the "White House Democrats." They are better on trade than the Trump nationalists

David Stockman, yesterday, forecast that a trade policy bloodletting was coming---and the leaks signal it has begun. With Jared and Ivanka teamed with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Trump national economic adviser Gary Cohn against the President, this war could reach Shakespearean levels of intrigue,


1 comment:

  1. No government should be involved in private trade, of course, but politically, Trump snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The guy is epically incompetent. One wonders how he navigated in the private world.

    When Trump first won the nomination, I was concerned he would be an effective delegator. It's clear he's a flailing micromanager who likes watching the people directly under him fight (I've worked for guys like that before -- I would even call one of them a close friend). I'm guessing in "real life", he lets the "alphas" rise to the top to lead the pack for him, but because the presidency is so publicly visible, he's not doing that.

    It's to his own detriment as a president, but it means he's ineffective. That's mostly good for us, but dangerous in the military realm where the president has far more power.