Sunday, December 17, 2017

Trump to Deliver Bombshell Speech Monday has learned that in conjunction with the release of the National Security Strategy document,  President Trump will deliver a speech at 2:00 PM ET on Monday highlighting particulars from the document.

This is going to be a significant speech and will outline the policies that Trump will advance in 2018. 

It will be a bombshell to anyone who expected Trump to go in a free market, non-interventionist direction and who expected him to stop US foreign meddling. 

This is the first time that a President has
made a speech upon release of the document, a document that is mandated by law.

A senior White House official has characterized the guiding theme of the NSS document as "principled realism." And it will include "advancing American influence" globally as a pillar. So much for America First.

Among the obstacles that the document identifies to US goals are "revisionist powers " which is a reference to Russia and China.

It is expected that the document will define China as an economic competitor which is likely to lead to the imposition of significant tariffs on Chinese goods entering the country.

It also introduces the idea of protection for the "national security innovation base" and calls for taking steps to "preserve the technological growth advantage." This, of course, means central planning in the technology sector and likely government financial support for some technologies. In other words, the economically illiterate President is about to intensify industrial policy activities in the technology sector.

I spotted the possibility of Trump favoring an industrial policy early last year when he was still candidate Trump. In April 2016 in a post titled, The Most Under-Reported Sentence in Donald Trump's Foreign Policy Speech, I wrote:
Yesterday's foreign policy speech by Donald Trump has received extensive coverage.

However, one sentence in his policy speech is not receiving any coverage in mainstream media. The sentence deserves extensive coverage,

It is this sentence:
We need to think smarter about areas where our technological superiority gives us an edge. This includes 3-D printing, artificial intelligence and cyberwarfare.
In the paragraph above this, Trump said, "We are also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again – and to put Americans first again. "

This suggests that Trump is thinking in terms of some sort of national industrial policy, perhaps infant industry protection.

A google search for news relating to "Trump industrial policy'" turned up my comment yesterday on the matter but there were no other links related to Trump's speech and industrial policy.
I also pointed out in that post:
Of course,  such a program will benefit no one other than the cronies at the table and suffocate the rest of the economy...
Murray Rothbard considered industrial policy to be a left-wing Keynesian policy (See: Making Economic Sense  chapter 32).
Left-wing Keynesians, the hallmark of Democrat administrations,[as opposed to] conservative Keynesians [who] tend to favor the freemarket, at least in rhetoric, whereas left-Keynesians are morefrankly in favor of “industrial policy,” “economic strategy,” and an activist “partnership of government and business.”
And here we are, roughly 18 months later and the President is about to announce a move toward this left-wing Keynesian statist policy.


Also see: Trump to Go Total Batshit Protectionist Against China


  1. It's all right out of the "Lord Keynes" playbook:

    On the positive side, the call for $1 trillion in infrastructure spending is good – provided it does not degenerate into a public-private privatisation scam:

    The concern with re-shoring US manufacturing and open support for protectionism is excellent.

    Trump even invoked Lincoln and the Republican protectionism of the 19th century, and linked this with immigration restriction:

    I don’t see how Trump can (a) cut taxes and (b) increase defence andinfrastructure spending without massive Federal deficit spending. Hopefully immigration restriction, with industrial policy, and massive Keynesian stimulus with actually turn the American economy around. A real danger is another financial crisis and the temptation Trump might have to give in to the fiscal conservative hawks.

    An interesting discussion here:

    Dean Baker, “Trump and Trade: He’s Largely Right,” Beat the Press, 21 February 2017.
    This is a good read.

    In essence, Baker says that “there is considerable truth to what … [Trump] has said about trade costing a large number of good paying manufacturing jobs,” and he also points out the hypocrisy of the media on this issue. This is correct.

    For my own posts against free trade and in support of infant industry protectionism, see here:

    But even "Lord Keynes" knows that the present-day Democrat base will not understand that what Trump is doing is "left wing Keynesianism".

  2. The president's speech deconstructed:

    Blah blah Wall blah blah terrorists blah blah more spending. And America First, with a fist.