Politico is reporting on the President’s “working vacation” at his Bedminster, New Jersey Country club. Among the subjects included in the recently posted article is that President Trump thinks his trade war with China may be at an impasse, but he thinks his willingness to tax all $508 billion of its imports is a winning strategy. Most of his allies, supporters, and members of Congress are ratcheting up their objections as Trump looks for validation from them…
“He (Trump) has been polling close associates about trade with China while reinforcing his position that the rival superpower’s unfair trade practices must be curbed. The president indicated in conversations that he was not so much discussing the matter, but seeking reassurance from those around him, particularly since he’s taken so much heat from Republicans in Washington over the escalating tensions.
“At his dinner Tuesday for business executives, Trump allowed that “we’re in a little bit of a fight with China right now,” after raging on Twitter that the country has been spending a fortune on advertising and public relations “trying to convince and scare our politicians to fight me on Tariffs — because they are really hurting their economy.” Some inside believe he can “fix” trade deficits the same way he “fixed” taxes. And Trump is presenting the impasse as temporary, giving these people the feeling that he thinks it will soon pass.”
Buoyed by the belief that by reducing the trade deficit with China he will somehow be reducing the national debt, Trump conducts U.S. economic policy like Mr. Magoo.
Like Magoo, Trump is blind to much of what is happening around him and the consequences of his actions.
Trump is blind to the need for patience, unwilling to empower the State Department to employ needed diplomatic preparation and planning as if he’s allergic to the patience to play the long game.
Trump’s 1-hour television show mentality leaves him looking for some quick political opportunistic drama and resolution that allows him to declare victory in short order. China, however, is more likely based on its 5,000 years of cultural history to prove to be Trump’s Waterloo.
Instead of forcing China to capitulate, Trump’s escalation of tariffs is more likely to stoke the country’s nationalism and work to bond China’s 2 billion citizens even closer to Xi. Trump seriously runs the risk of Xi and China’s leadership leveraging his war against China as a war against its people and its businesses. The ramifications of this happening as China’s economy grows to become the largest in the world will reverberate for generations.
China’s Xi will not lose face in front of the Chinese people to President Trump. He will, however purposely take steps to make Trump look as feckless as possible in as many ways as possible, perhaps by…
· Negotiating rich trade deals with Canada, Mexico, and Brazil
· Moving its growing Navy in the South China Sea roll out even faster, looking for confrontation U.S. military assets
· Menacing Taiwan with Chinese Navy exercises that mimic an operation to landmine and quarantine the island in preparation for a Chinese invasion
· Publically loosening of sanctions against North Korea in coordination with Moscow and emboldening Kim Jong Un to do absolutely nothing on denuclearization unless Trump jumps through hoops
Should Trump not find a graceful exit from keeping the tariffs increasing, he runs the risk of China giving him nothing but misery for his trouble.
It might all be worth it if cutting our trade deficit would somehow measurably reduce our national debt. I’m afraid – with everything I understand about economics in the real world – the opposite will prove to happen. If this and the other trade wars continue to escalate and continue into 2019, they will constrain trade and economic growth, and the National Debt – approaching $22 trillion – will continue to climb as a result of even lower tax revenues into the Federal Treasury.
Ironically, Trump’s distress for Paul Manafort – his former campaign manager who is on trial for filing falsified tax returns, not paying taxes on $16 million in offshore income, bank fraud, and wire fraud – may be setting the stage for the worst Presidential pardon in history, and goes a long way to prove the comparison of Trump to Mr. Magoo.
Should the President pardon Manafort for these crimes that financially defrauded both the United States and a bank as a consequence destroy our Republic?
His tax cuts for the wealthiest people in this country and a pardon for an incredibly wealthy man who purposely didn’t pay his taxes at a time that we have over 20,000 military and support persons overseas fighting the longest war in U.S. history is the stuff of a justifiable national tax revolt.