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A Trade War Primer

By marcus following x   2018 Jun 5, 3:20pm 854 views   24 comments   watch   sfw   quote     share    


The world trading system is actually a quite remarkable construction – a framework that has consistently produced a high level of global cooperation. It has been pretty robust in the face of even severe shocks – notably, the world did not see a major resurgence of protectionism after the 2008 financial crisis. But it was never designed to deal with a major world leader who has contempt for anything resembling the rule of law.

Past presidents have used their authority to impose tariffs, and not always for the best of reasons. Even Obama imposed a temporary “market disruption” tariff on Chinese tires. They have always, however, been circumspect: their tariff actions were limited, and the economic basis for their actions was at least vaguely defensible.

But Trump has gone ahead and imposed tariffs using the national security argument, in a context that makes no sense. There is no coherent argument about why imports of Canadian aluminum pose a national security threat; there will be even less justification if he does the same for autos. In fact, his administration is barely even trying to pretend that real national security concerns are at work. He’s just doing this because he can.

1   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 5, 6:26pm   ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Everything you read about commerce is always 1 sided: using the cheap guy abroad is more efficient than using our guys. Which of course it is. Forget that other countries have deliberate strategies against us while we champion laissez faire. We let our industries go away in the name of getting a few crumbs in other markets. What has been the result so far?
- Yes we got efficiency, and cheap crap as a result.
- But the US has run continuously a massive trade deficit against all continents save Antarctica for many decades.
- to compensate, we went (and are still going) into massive debts.
- The federal reserve constantly lowered rates inflating bubbles that had caused extreme economic destruction.
- A large fraction of the population has become useless, unskilled (because skills come from working), future-less, and the basic government response has been to make sure they get opioids - to forget.
- We however imported massive amount of labor to beat down wages and squeeze a little bit more growth from our vegetating industries.
- And the entire scheme produced ok results for the top 10% and massive riches for the 0.1%.
- And - let's not forget - in the process we created an anti-democratic behemoth in Asia that is poised to become much larger than the US, while we created deep faults in US politics, and set in motion forces than could tear apart our institutions.

Oh yeah, we created efficient supply chains. Was it worth it?
2   Tenpoundbass   ignore (11)   2018 Jun 5, 6:31pm   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

marcus says
He’s just doing this because he can.

And he can because he's qualified. As he's shown time and time again.
3   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 5, 6:34pm   ↑ like (5)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Just project it out for 1 or 2 more decades:
China will be the center of the civilized world, dominating key industries, including: tech, movies, etc... While the US will be left a poorer, and deeply divided nation, left to work like slaves and devalue their currency to pay past bills.
Hope you enjoyed your cheap crap.
4   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Jun 5, 7:03pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

I might have to pay $500 for a laptop instead of $300, though.

Even though that would mean I'd get a $15/hr manfuacturing job with some benefits full time, versus $9/hr part time with food stamps.

Fuck that $15/hr+benefits job 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year. Give me $9/hr at 20 hours, just to save me $200 every 3 years when I buy a laptop!!! I'm saving money that way!!!
5   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Jun 6, 2:59am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says
Remember Trumpettes trade wars are fun, easy to win and will help you achieve MAGA if you or one or more family members can live without your prescriptions

Strongly dubious of this claim because China has almost no Rx patents relative to the rest of the World, and I'm exceptionally dubious that China "worlds' only source of antibiotics". Note that is the claim, with Vancomycin being used as an example. Not a single one of the world's 20 largest Pharma companies is Chinese. Not a single one.

~$500B dollars annually is China's problem, not ours. The Europeans never let themselves get dependent on China like we did. Getting off the cheap Heroin will be painful, but if we don't do it we'll be broke and frozen, dying in an alleyway.

One thing the solution definitely is not, is doing nothing.
6   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch   ignore (32)   2018 Jun 6, 3:41am   ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

This is easy:

Ban trade with slave states.

PRC collapses in 3 months starved of all capital and trade except with Liberia and Albania.
7   lostand confused   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 6, 4:08am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

LOl-love it dems are corporate loving free traders now! If trump support gay marriage, dems will now extol the virtues of traditional marriage!
8   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2018 Jun 6, 6:53am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

This is the key to enacting real change. Dont do what other administrations "always" do, and get the same results: trade imbalance.
Its called thinking outside the box. 17 boxes deep...
marcus says
They have always, however, been circumspect: their tariff actions were limited, and the economic basis for their actions was at least vaguely defensible.
9   BlueSardine   ignore (2)   2018 Jun 6, 6:56am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

With this thread argument it is libbies who appear conservative and resisting change and the crackeretts who appear liberal in implementing change
10   marcus   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 6, 7:04am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (2)   quote        

lostand confused says
LOl-love it dems are corporate loving free traders now!

What century do you live in ? When was the last time democrats wanted to have a trade war ? Yes, both democrat and republicans know the stupidity of this.

But there are those who will defend everything Trump does. He said it himself, he could walk out on to 5th avenue and shoot someone...
11   MrMagic   ignore (11)   2018 Jun 6, 7:59am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

marcus says
But Trump has gone ahead and imposed tariffs using the national security argument, in a context that makes no sense.

Crap, how does this happen:

Trump's "Trade War" Is Working: US Trade Deficit Collapses.

One month after the biggest plunge in the US trade deficit since the financial crisis - good news for Trump who has engaged in "trade war" with the rest of the world to boost US trader and exports - the good news continued in April, when according to the Census Bureau, the US deficit shrank again, down 2.1% from a revised $47.2BN to $46.2BN - the lowest since September 2017, and beating not only the $49BN consensus estimate, but also also the lowest Wall Street estimate of $46.2BN.

The number was so good, some were wondering why Trump didn't pre-tweet it, as he did with the payrolls report.

Incidentally, with today's revision, the March plunge in the US trade deficit has now risen to $10BN, the highest since 2008, and the second biggest improvement in the US deficit on record.

According to the census bureau, the deficit decreased from a revised $47.2 billion in March to $46.2 billion in April, amid a perfect trade environment as exports rose and imports declined for the second month in a row, or as Trump would say, "his policies to boost US trade worked."


12   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Jun 6, 9:55am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says
They are not selling - they are making the stuff. Ship it here, then out glorious pharmaceutical industry can mark up the price like no one's business
and it's a win-win.

How come Potus never wants to punch a Big Pharma, Kock Brother, Wall Street Exec in the face like he does with protestors or football players - these guys do more damage to everyone than anyone else.

What was the Obama and 2008-2009 Dem Congress proposal?

Or is this another, Gee Wilikers, it's the Global Economy, nothing we can do about it.
13   TwoScoopsOfWompWomp   ignore (2)   2018 Jun 6, 10:28am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says
Not talking about Barry - this one is on the current Potus.

If it's not POTUS we have to talk about the alternative. What is the Democrats' plan?

Feux Follets says
They do not even have to stop shipments - just do an American style "work slowdown and shipping slowdown" and blame the slowdown on anything and everything.

I think there are a ton of emergency powers no court would dare halt if it came to a drug shortage.
14   lostand confused   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 8, 4:38am   ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

marcus says
What century do you live in ? When was the last time democrats wanted to have a trade war ? Yes, both democrat and republicans know the stupidity of this.

Just accept it you love free trade and corporate globalism-except for government jobs . I mena why can't we bust up govt unions and bring in say hordes of Indians and Chinese who will work for 5 bucks an hour and work much harder with no benefits and pension too or just ship govt jobs over there for pennies on the dollar?

So the democrat positon is now everybody in the private sector free trade, deregulation, globalism-everybody in the public sector unions, can never fire, rules, regulation, high pay, pension. benefits, health care and take form the ever decreasing pie of the private workers and oh yeah high taxes-wow,just wow.
15   HEYYOU   ignore (16)   2018 Jun 8, 7:26am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says
How come Potus never wants to punch a Big Pharma, Kock Brother, Wall Street Exec in the face like he does with protestors or football players - these guys do more damage to everyone than anyone else.

As intended by Republican & Democratic voters.
The 140,000,000 that didn't vote are to busy texting & on social media.
19   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 22, 3:21pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says
Steel and Aluminum Tariffs are Causing HVAC Manufacturers to Increase Prices 4-6% on July 1, 2018

What good is "cheap", if you don't have a job?
Efficiency goes 110% to the top 10% and screws the rest of America.
The entire problem we are looking at is how to be less efficient but still gain for middle America, still lower inequalities, still gain for America as a whole.
"increase price" is not an argument here.
20   HowdyThere   ignore (0)   2018 Jun 22, 6:22pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Booger says

Trump really needs to replace his NAFTA negotiation team. He obviously has no faith in them to make a good deal if he has to jump in and impose tariffs. I guess after the drubbing the Mexican and Canadian negotiators gave the US in the original deal he's not taking any chances.
21   MrMagic   ignore (11)   2018 Jun 25, 6:59pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says
60 employees were laid off this month as certain operations were idled due to lost business from increased steel costs.

That's OK, THOUSANDS of jobs are available by other companies that are hiring.

Tell them to pick one:

22   HEYYOU   ignore (16)   2018 Jun 25, 7:28pm   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

James Howard Kunstler:
"Everybody and every institution is drowning in debt that can’t possibly be repaid."

When one's debt is in the trillions,does the type of currency matter?


23   bob2356   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 26, 6:23am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Booger says

There is a trade surplus with Canada. Are we going to be taking down our barriers?
24   Heraclitusstudent   ignore (1)   2018 Jun 26, 9:39am   ↑ like (0)   ↓ dislike (0)   quote        

Feux Follets says
Not sure how much of a gain for middle America - local HVAC contractors are quoting an average $500 - $600 increase on the price of a new install which I hope means both a furnace and AC unit.

Once again: low prices, by themselves, are not good enough.
It's ok to lose purchasing power if you get jobs and a healthier longer term situation.

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