Tom Kirkman

Trump vs. Xi Trade Battle, Running Commentary from Conservative Tree House

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(edited)

19 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

No, he would not.  Neither would I. 

And the reason is that you do not appreciate just how dangerous China was at that time.  It was being run by a committee of total lunatics.  They were quite prepared to start and carry on a full-blown nuclear war.  

Nixon defused that war impulse by opening up the US market to China.  then China decided internally to become the workshop of the world, instead of the primer of nuclear war.  

It was the later Presidents who started doing those "free trade" deals and tariff removals that fired up the big engine inside China.  Not Nixon.  What he did was really, really smart.  He diverted the impulses of crazy people to start and conduct nuclear war or wars. 

I disagree...

What he did was the BIG PICTURE rationale at the time...   

But since the war never actually started,  we will never know...

You are correct that Nixon only opened the door,  and that it was later Presidents that screwed the pooch...

Nonetheless,  i still believe that if Nixon were alive today,  he would regret "opening the door" because he would see that what he did has resulted in destabilizing our American ability to win.

China is far more dangerous now than it was then,   after all,    back then,  if there had been war,  the USA would have won..

That is no longer the case...

ps:   it is good to debate with you again.

Edited by Illurion

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This update is a video, not text.

I don't give a toss about Lou Dobbs or that this viseo is from Fox News.  What is important is the interview allows the White House / U.S. Administration to address this trade issue, uncensored.

White House Trade Advisor Peter Navarro Discusses Status of U.S-China Conflict

White House trade and manufacturing policy advisor Peter Navarro, appears with Lou Dobbs to discuss the current status of the U.S.-China trade conflict.

Within the interview Navarro discusses the impact of China devaluing their currency as a strategy to avoid U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports.  WATCH:

 

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1 minute ago, Illurion said:

back then,  if there had been war,  the USA would have won..

You cannot "win" a nuclear war.  

I am not prepared to accept the proposition that a policy that will result in several million dead Americans, fried alive in nuclear blasts, is a good idea because you will fry more Chinese than they fry you.  

Nixon and Kissinger were astute enough to grasp that and actually turn Chinese leadership from their war craziness.  It was a great move, and yes it cost, but overall, those costs were only money, and the US had a lot of that.  Nixon's paranoia about his enemies, and even his own staff, led him to go install tape recorders through the White House, and that led to his political disaster.  If he had not been so totally nuts, he would have been trotted out again as President!   You totally underestimate both the dangers, and the accomplishments of Nixon in defusing the dangers. Cheers.

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On 6/30/2019 at 11:01 PM, John Foote said:

There hasn't been diddly really accomplished, Kim still has his handful of small half assed nukes, and knows using one ends life there so they won't be. What is going on is a circus, but perception is reality in some things, politics among them, and if this brings down the rhetoric and chills things, great.

The North Korean forces are so heavily pre-deployed for a attack, pulling back the conventional forces would be relatively easy, and a great meaningful thing. 

Aligning with USSR, and then China, and then their own version of whatever they do. Look at what has happened to the North and South since 1950. If you ever needed dynamic evidence aligning with the USA is better than old school communists, that is it.

Since the USSR went broke and the Berlin Wall feel, countries either align with the western financial models, or they don't. China is big enough to sort of break the rules, but other than that, countries that don't essentially follow western money rules are left quite poor, the exception being the odd extraction based economy (classically oil or gas). Closed, subsidized industries just don't cut it any more.

It reminds me of the movie "CONTACT".

"Small Steps"  is what the alien at the end of the trip said.

It will take many "small steps" to nudge Kim away from the Chinese..

 

I believe Kim has made his choice.   He is with us.

But i believe the Chinese will not let NK go free...  It is more valuable to China as a thorn in our side.

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(edited)

9 minutes ago, Jan van Eck said:

You cannot "win" a nuclear war.  

I am not prepared to accept the proposition that a policy that will result in several million dead Americans, fried alive in nuclear blasts, is a good idea because you will fry more Chinese than they fry you.  

Nixon and Kissinger were astute enough to grasp that and actually turn Chinese leadership from their war craziness.  It was a great move, and yes it cost, but overall, those costs were only money, and the US had a lot of that.  Nixon's paranoia about his enemies, and even his own staff, led him to go install tape recorders through the White House, and that led to his political disaster.  If he had not been so totally nuts, he would have been trotted out again as President!   You totally underestimate both the dangers, and the accomplishments of Nixon in defusing the dangers. Cheers.

Millions would die in a nuclear war..  both back then,  and now.......

The difference is that back then,  the Chinese did not have MIRV's....

We did.....

Back then,   had the war occurred,   China would have been knocked back to the stone age...

The USA would have been damaged less,  and been able to recover sooner...

That is no longer the case...

 

ps:   I loved Nixon back then.   still do...

Edited by Illurion

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As I mentioned earlier today in another thread, China has *already * lost the trade war with the U.S. but they just haven't realized it yet.

Xi keeps trying to outsmart Trump, and Trump keeps outmaneuvering Xi.  Again and again.

Apparently, China's plan last month was to wait this trade war out in the hope that Trump will not get re-elected.  Bad move.  Trump just keeps turning up the heat.

Remember I keep mentioning to expect even more tariffs from Trump against China?

Just saw this news below, and chuckled. 

Excerpts below, full article and far more details in the link:

Wilbur Ross Hits Chinese Cabinet Manufacturers With $4.4 Billion Countervailing Duty – Beijing Caught W/ Stunning 200%+ Subsidy Rate For Chinese Companies

Wow. Go Wilburine!  U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has slapped a whopping $4.4 billion countervailing duty on Chinese cabinet manufacturers.  The rate of manufacturing subsidy identified within the ‘wood cabinet‘ study shows a massive 229% subsidy rate via discounted land, free lumber, electricity, raw materials, direct grants from government and discounted loans from Chinese banks to enhance export incentives.

The current study and duty only applies to wood cabinets and vanities, but if you ever wondered how come Chinese furniture is so cheap, well, it’s not a stretch to consider those same subsidy rates likely apply to their household furniture and wood products.  ...

 

... That $4.4 billion is a pretty hefty duty within a relatively small manufacturing sector.   Can you imagine if anyone has filed a trade/manufacturing complaint against the much larger ‘wood furniture’ and household goods?  Jumpin’ ju-ju bones.

In related news a lot more exporters operating manufacturing in China are starting to see the writing on their noses, realizing that Trump tariffs are only going to get worse, and are making plans to get the heck out of China, ASAP.  ...

 

... Think of China like a big lake filled with U.S. dollars and economic value; the result of our purchases of their products.   Through his ASEAN discussions with Vietnam, S Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, Japan, et al, President Trump has stealthily built a thin levy, an ASEAN dam of sorts, that will direct the China lake of economic value into Southeast Asia.

At any given moment Trump can blow that dam by triggering bigger tariffs. The exodus will benefit those who partnered with Trump.  Vietnam’s economy has jumped over eight percent so far this year…. almost exclusively as a result of companies leaving China.

China has no substantive tools in their economic armory to defend against President Trump in a one-on-one battle.   And Trump keeps landing body blows, the latest was the seizure of all Venezuelan assets.  The number one investor in Venezuela is China (by a mile).  China owns 49% of PDVSA Venezuela’s state owned oil company as an example.

The labeling of China as a currency manipulator opens the door to even more sanctions, and Beijing has no measurable way to respond.  Beijing can threaten other trade partners, but more than China everyone wants access to the U.S. market; so no-one wants to become a target for Trump by standing near Xi Jinping or engaging in transnational shipping.  ...

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Big picture time.  40,000 foot view time.

The MSM wailing and pissing and moaning about Trump and tariffs becomes increasingly amusing as the MSM shrieks of outrage get louder and ever more vociferous. 

Wall Street, Chamber of Commerce, and Multinationals are particularly unhappy that jobs are returning to the U.S. and would prefer to continue outsourcing U.S. jobs to dirt cheap labor overseas, specifically to China.  Hence the screeching of protest by these entities.

I keep repeating, expect more tariffs from Trump against China, until China actually sticks to its promises and agreements.  Everytime Xi ignores his own promises, expect Trump to turn up the economic pressure more.  Since China continues to be unwilling to negotiate in good faith and keep its agreements, expects more tariffs again and again and again, until China learns that Trump is not going away, and that China has already lost the trade war, and they just keep digging deeper into their own hole.

To those who wish to label me as "stupid" and "myopic" for supporting Trump and tariffs, kindly note I have not lived in the U.S. for almost 20 years, so I have a different perspective from outside, in a neutral country (Malaysia).

Anyway, here is a nice overview from Sundance.  This time, I am copying the full article rather than just an excerpt, because it is a nice, standalone, overview article, and is suitable for new lurkers here.  I bolded a few key points, for new lurkers:

 

President Trump Highlights Fed Disconnect: Main Street USA -vs- The Multinationals

It is hard to believe but it’s been three years since we first outlined what would happen if candidate Donald Trump’s “America First” policy was implemented.  Specifically how the Federal Reserve would essentially become disconnected and functionally obsolescent for a few years.  As a result of the evidence visible, we are in a unique position to explain.

Staying in the big picture, a disconnected Fed was very predictable.  In the past 35 years the Wall Street multinationals gained as cheap money flowed overseas to start global manufacturing operations; Main Street USA suffered.  When you reverse this process by punishing the multinationals (tariffs), shifting the global supply chain, and changing the best location for investment dollars, Main Street USA benefits.  President Trump August 7th tweets statement:

trump-tweet-fed-disconnect-1.jpg?w=585&h

 

Notice the “we are competing against other countries” part of the statement.  This is key to understanding what is in the future.  The Wall Street ‘multinationals’, corporations making and selling goods, are invested in production within other countries.

On one hand, Wall Street loves cheap money (low fed rates). However, on the other hand Wall Street multinationals are invested in overseas manufacturing; and those corporations don’t want to see the retention efforts of China and the EU undermined with a lower dollar value (lower fed rate).  So Wall Street is schizophrenic (check the stock market).

U.S. tariffs hurt the Wall Street multinationals because they want to keep making cheap goods overseas and they have invested in this process.  To retain the multinationals, the EU and China are devaluing their currency in an attempt to lower the price of goods they produce.

Lowered currency means their stuff costs less when exported to the U.S. market.  They need the U.S. market for their products; AND they don’t want to move their supply chain, or manufacturing into the United States.

Devaluing currency is what competing countries are doing to offset tariffs and try to block Trump’s America-First policies.  China also directly subsidizes their industries with free electricity, free domestic raw materials, and zero cost loans from their central bank.

As the EU and China devalue their currency, the value of the dollar increases.  President Trump responds to this in a Twitter thread today:

trump-tweet-fed-disconnect-2-august-8th.

 

One way for the U.S. to respond is for the federal reserve to cut interest rates, which should lower our dollar value and make it easier to export products; but can also raise the price of things we import.  That is why President Trump notes “(there is no inflation)”.

[However, I doubt any action from the Fed will change anything.  All the data looks to me like the Fed is disconnected in this process.]

We are currently importing deflation as the devalued cost of goods from China and the EU is lower than the tariff rate upon them.   The goal is to move those manufacturing jobs out of China.  Thus the incentive is for President Trump to raise the tariff rate on China even higher.  This looks like the most predictable outcome.

 

Three variables:

(1) The USMCA ratification.  [ USMCA = United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement ]  If/when the USMCA is ratified, this will give multinational manufacturers an established and cemented option to evaluate for supply chain moves.  (Watch Canada election; Trudeau loses and the U.S. stock market will bump.)

(2) The Fed’s rate cut.   If/when the Fed cuts the lending rate again; it will only modestly benefit domestic investment.  The rate cut is against the interest of multinational corporations because it undercuts the defensive efforts of China and the EU; though the cheaper money could help offset relocation costs.  [I strongly doubt much impact.]

(3) Timing.  The Chinese delegation is scheduled to visit in September.  There is almost zero possibility for a deal, unless the Chinese economy is in collapse.

President Trump has a quiver filled with deadly arrows; and after labeling China a currency manipulator, he’s now more likely to raise the tariff rate, perhaps as high as 25% across all sectors.  When this happens U.S. multinational corporations with heavy investment in China will see their supply chain and business model completely changed.

 

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This next update should probably be a thread all by itself.  New interview with Bannon, 20 minutes.

/ Odd side note, Maria Bartiromo is the niece of my landlord when I lived in New York City.  She is one of the very few newspeople that I give any credence to, as she seems to 'get' the bigger picture.  Maria was a good choice to interview Bannon.  Just my opinion; as always, you are free to disagree.

===================================

https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2019/08/11/sunday-talks-steve-bannon-extensive-interview-with-maria-bartiromo/

Sunday Talks: Steve Bannon Extensive Interview With Maria Bartiromo…

Posted by sundance

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon appears on Fox News with Maria Bartiromo for a wide-ranging discussion on current political and geopolitical events.

Topics include the U.S-Mexico border security and immigration; the 2020 democrat candidates (announced and unannounced); the bigger geopolitical issues behind the U.S-China trade conflict; Joe and Hunter Biden’s direct financial relationship to the Chinese communist government; the USMCA  [ United States, Mexico, Canada Agreement ]  trade agreement; Trump’s leverage to increase an EU free economic alliance against China; and radical action by dems.

 

bartiromo-and-bannon.jpg?w=584&h=246

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Once again, the media freaks out about the trade war, and I laugh in amusement.

Read this latest update below, and you may feel a bit better.  And hopefully by now, you have learned to pretty much ignore the 4am talking points parroted copy & paste by the mainstream media.

785fef98c2c7603bb1f62c79bf46686fec0e43558a4e549ebaf6f21daf7e4fb2.png.71639ed52cefbecbdecabaa1ba35db58.png

 

And instead have egged on those lovely little grey cells between your ears and learned to pay attention to what is going and and make up your own mind instead of being content with being told what to think.

I'm not posting an excerpt this time, please read the whole article.  I assure you, this article is not the "news" being reported on CNN and MSNBC:

U.S. Delays and Modifies “Next Step” Tariffs on Chinese Products

 

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Excerpts below relevant to the trade war.  Full transcript in the link:

Subject: Remarks by President Trump Before Air Force Once Departure | Morristown, NJ

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 15, 2019
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP
BEFORE AIR FORCE ONE DEPARTURE

Morristown Municipal Airport
Morristown, New Jersey

...  Q What actions are you prepared to take to avoid a recession if this yield curve thing is really predictive?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think we're going to have a very long period of wealth and success. Other countries are doing very poorly. As you know, China is doing very, very poorly. The tariffs have really bitten into China. They haven't bitten into us at all -- except for the reporters that want to make it look that way, but they don't understand what's happening.

The tariffs, we've taken in close to $60 billion in tariff money. And the consumer has not paid for them. Now, at some point, they may have to pay something. But they understand that. And who really understands that is our great farmer. The farmers of this country really understand it. They know we had to do something about China, and we're doing something about China.

With that being said, I think we're having very good discussions with China. They very much want to make a deal. We'll see what happens. We had a deal and they decided not to make it. Now, I think they would like to have had that opportunity again, because I think they really would --

Q Mr. President --

THE PRESIDENT: I think they really missed a great opportunity. I think they feel that they missed a great opportunity. But China very much wants to make a deal. We're talking to them. We'll see what happens.  ...

 

...  Q Are you worried that a prolonged trade war with China will pitch the economy into a recession?

THE PRESIDENT: No, I think the longer the trade war goes on, the weaker China gets and the stronger we get. We're taking in massive amounts of money. Billions and billions of dollars, Steve, as you know. And I think the longer it goes, the stronger we get. I have a feeling it's going to go fairly short. I think it's going to be –

China has lost millions of jobs; you saw that reported today. Thousands of companies are closing in China. And I don't know, you know, maybe they want to do this for a year. They'd love to have somebody like Biden, who doesn't know what he's doing. I mean, I just put a clip where he said, "Oh, we want to build up China. We want to build up China." Well, they gave us a very strong China. China has taken out over $500 billion a year for many years from our country. And that's not going to happen anymore.  ...

 

...  Q Sir, China has said that they want to retaliate, that they're going to retaliate because of the tariffs increase that you announced. What's your response to that?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, if they did retaliate -- which I don't think they will do because we're talking to them and they're offering things that are very good. I don't think they'll retaliate. But if they did, we have the ultimate form of retaliation. I think that they'd have very few jobs left in China, because we'd be able to step it up.

Just so you understand, I've been very mild about it. Very, very mild. There's a long way I can go. And somebody had to take on what was happening with China. We can't allow China to take, out of our country, $507 billion every year, not including intellectual property theft and so many other things.

So, we're having very good talks with China. I think things will happen, but we'll see.

Q If they do retaliate, will you want your team to meet with them in September as planned, or no?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, that’s too -- I -- look, September, the meeting is still on, as I understand it. But I think, more importantly than September, we're talking by phone and we're having very productive talks. They would like to do something, I will tell you that.

And the talk we had a few days ago with my two representatives, nobody knew what was on that talk except for myself, China, and those two people. That was a very good conversation.  ...

 

...  Q Did you talk to Xi directly? Was that who you talked to in China?

THE PRESIDENT: I will speak to him. We have a call scheduled soon -- President Xi. We’ll be speaking to him very soon. I really believe he can work it out. I know him well. If he wants to, he can work that out in a very humane fashion. He can work something that everybody is happy. Thank you.

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Nails It – Economic Analyst El-Erian: The Era of “De-Globalization” is Here

Posted by sundance

Finally an economic analyst gets prime-time media pundits to listen as he describes the fundamental difference between the U.S. “Economy” (Main Street) and the U.S. “Markets” (Wall Street).  Charles Payne understands most of this, but El-Erian has it nailed.

Allianz Group chief economic advisor, Mohamed El-Erian, accurately describes what is happening in an era where deglobalization is taking place. The U.S. economy is strong; however, the multinationals on Wall Street -invested overseas- are exposed.  Thus there’s a disconnect and accompanying market volatility.

This is well worth watching because this is the first well-regarded financial pundit that is speaking truth to Wall Street in terms the panel pundits will understand/accept.

There is nothing that China and the EU can do to stop the de-globalization process; and efforts to stimulate their economy, more quantitative easing (pumping money) while the global supply chains are being shifted, are futile.

The more a nations’ economy is dependent on exports, the more exposure they have to the inherent downsides of de-globalization.   U.S. companies that are invested in these nations will lose their investment over time; some rapidly.  This will keep the stock market volatile, yet the Main Street USA economy is thriving.

 

President Donald Trump has purposefully stalled the process of globalization, and is resetting global supply chains. This is bringing massive amounts of wealth back into the United States.

In essence Trump is engaged in a process of: (a) repatriating wealth (trade policy); (b) blocking exfiltration (main street policy); (c) creating new and modern economic alliances based on reciprocity (bilateral deals); and (d) dismantling the post WWII Marshall plan of global trade and one-way tariffs (de-globalization).

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Wow Tom, this is gold. Thankyou.

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And here is a guest appearance in this thread by The Tylers over on ZeroHedge (who are also frequent contributors to the Oil Price main news site).

I was pleasantly surprised that The Tylers actually "get" what is going on with the trade war.

China Paper Slams "Dumped Dog" Steve Bannon For Orchestrating Anti-China Sentiment

There's no denying that earlier this spring, around the time that President Trump first signaled in an improvised weekend tweet that he would raise tariffs on Chinese goods because he had lost patience with Beijing, former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon started expounding his hawkish views on China during an extended media tour. He did interviews or published op-eds with the Washington Post, Fox, CNBC - even the South China Morning Post.

His argument was simple: the US and China are not engaging in trade war, but rather battling for world domination, an argument made first last year by none other than Bank of America's CIO Michael Hartnett, who said last May that "the first stage of a new arms race between the US & China to reach national superiority in technology over the longer-term via Quantum Computing, Artificial  Intelligence, Hypersonic Warplanes, Electronic Vehicles, Robotics, and Cyber-Security."

Of course, Beijing wants its 'slave' system of totalitarian communism to define a new world order, while Washington must do everything in its power to preserve good ol' fashioned American democracy and the American-led world order.  ...

 

...  Unfortunately, as Bannon would explain, the sides aren't quite so black and white. The American financial and corporate sectors were largely to blame for helping transform China into an economic super power. Wall Street had gratefully accepted IPOs of Chinese companies and allowed Chinese companies to raise money in American markets. American companies like Apple built things on the mainland, often contracted via mainland subsidiaries.

But despite joining the WTO and promising to be more transparent and open, Bannon argued, Beijing continued to accept the generous trade terms offered but rarely reciprocated. It maintained a tight control over its financial markets and FDI. Meanwhile, it used 'debt diplomacy' to build out the Belt and Road Initiative, the world's greatest 'neocolonialist project'.

Well, Bannon hasn't been quite as active lately, though it is clear that he's thrilled the president ultimately decided to embrace his position on China. Which is why the Global Times, the Communist Party's nationalist mouthpiece, has run an editorial attacking Bannon, something that he also probably finds exceedingly thrilling.  ...

 

...  Ultimately, the GT accused Bannon of masterminding what it called "China threat theory", and has used his influence within the West Wing, which lingers on through his loyalists and even his continuing relationship with President Trump, to vilify Beijing and encourage Washington to take a hard tack in the trade war.  ...

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On 8/5/2019 at 11:13 PM, Illurion said:

I disagree...

What he did was the BIG PICTURE rationale at the time...   

But since the war never actually started,  we will never know...

You are correct that Nixon only opened the door,  and that it was later Presidents that screwed the pooch...

Nonetheless,  i still believe that if Nixon were alive today,  he would regret "opening the door" because he would see that what he did has resulted in destabilizing our American ability to win.

China is far more dangerous now than it was then,   after all,    back then,  if there had been war,  the USA would have won..

That is no longer the case...

ps:   it is good to debate with you again.

Didn't the US and China fight a war in Korea "back then?" And wasn't it a draw? 

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Amusingly, it seems this thread triggered a Chinese spammer to innundate the Geopolitics here will spam.  11 posts, hugely long with English and Mandarin characters. For IELTS and related stuff.   And dang near froze up the forum, apparently due to the length and complexity of the Simplified Chinese characters going through the translation process.

Normally, as a moderator, I simply flag spammers, which makes all the spammers posts be hidden from non-moderators.

But the site was siezing up, so I went back and manually deleted all 11 spam posts.  Seems to have done the trick.

But dang, some Chinese spambot got seriously triggered. 

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8 hours ago, DayTrader said:

Wow Tom, this is gold. Thankyou.

Happy you enjoy reading this, DayTrader.

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I read reports of most of the jobs leaving China are headed to other low wage countries. There has been some large pledges, Apple in particular that is a big win for Trump. This is still the very early stages of the terrif trade war and I don’t think Trump or XI know how it will shake out. We’ll see if all the exuberance holds up while the long term pain takes further hold in both countries. 

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2 minutes ago, Boat said:

I read reports of most of the jobs leaving China are headed to other low wage countries. There has been some large pledges, Apple in particular that is a big win for Trump. This is still the very early stages of the terrif trade war and I don’t think Trump or XI know how it will shake out. We’ll see if all the exuberance holds up while the long term pain takes further hold in both countries. 

I'm in Malaysia.  Local news here:

 

image_8e44d5dd-dea1-4e90-97b5-a2d2074a8a0720190807_021651.jpg

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Little talked about is unemployment was pretty decent when Trump took office and a huge tax break for corporations fueled more gains. Where would the workers come from when wages are rising as business competes for workers. Makes sense Malaysia is benefiting. I imagine Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines and others as well.

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3 minutes ago, Boat said:

Little talked about is unemployment was pretty decent when Trump took office and a huge tax break for corporations fueled more gains. Where would the workers come from when wages are rising as business competes for workers. Makes sense Malaysia is benefiting. I imagine Vietnam, Singapore, the Philippines and others as well.

Yep.

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(edited)

3 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Yep.

As far as I can tell, Malaysia is not seeing any benefit from Trump's trade war. The economy is doing quite badly because commodity prices are low, trade is weak and the new government had been been reining in spending. There is a glut in the property market and prices are projected to be depressed for the next 3 to 5 years. The trade war has caused some capital flight.  The only stimulus that everyone is looking forward to is the ECRL Project which is funded by China as part of BRI.

The stock market has been a roller coaster because of Trump. I went for a dinner a few nights ago and some friends who lost money are very angry at America and Trump for his trade war and treatment of Huawei. Tom, you can check this out with local Malaysians.

Edited by Hotone
Grammar
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3 hours ago, Hotone said:

As far as I can tell, Malaysia is not seeing any benefit from Trump's trade war. The economy is doing quite badly because commodity prices are low, trade is weak and the new government had been been reining in spending. There is a glut in the property market and prices are projected to be depressed for the next 3 to 5 years. The trade war has caused some capital flight.  The only stimulus that everyone is looking forward to is the ECRL Project which is funded by China as part of BRI.

The stock market has been a roller coaster because of Trump. I went for a dinner a few nights ago and some friends who lost money are very angry at America and Trump for his trade war and treatment of Huawei. Tom, you can check this out with local Malaysians.

Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir has apparently thrown his hat in now with China.  I interviewed Dr. Mahathir a few years ago, exclusive, face to face, for an hour, in his private office.  I was surprised he agreed, because he has been very vocal against America in years past.  Interview attached.

Anyway, when Mahathir was re-elected a year or so ago, he cancelled a bunch of lopsided contracts with China that were agreed to by Najib, the former Prime Minister, and which were extremely unfavorable to Malaysia, and heavily in favor to China.

In the last few months, after Mahathir's chat with China, his attitude has apparently changed, and he now seems all for China deals, and against the U.S.

I leave it to others to speculate on what may have caused the attitude change.

Dr Mahathir _ Petronas Interview.pdf

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15 hours ago, Tom Kirkman said:

Amusingly, it seems this thread triggered a Chinese spammer to innundate the Geopolitics here will spam.  11 posts, hugely long with English and Mandarin characters. For IELTS and related stuff.   And dang near froze up the forum, apparently due to the length and complexity of the Simplified Chinese characters going through the translation process.

Normally, as a moderator, I simply flag spammers, which makes all the spammers posts be hidden from non-moderators.

But the site was siezing up, so I went back and manually deleted all 11 spam posts.  Seems to have done the trick.

But dang, some Chinese spambot got seriously triggered. 

@CMOP  @Selvedina

The same Chinese spammer is back with a new user name, 15 huge posts in 11 minutes, choking the forum, all in the Geopolitics subforum.  Clearly, this China spammer dislikes my U.S. vs China / Trump vs Xi threads here in the geopolitics subforum.

The lengthy spams are apparently choking the forum bandwidth, due to the forum trying to translate the Simplified Chinese characters.

I suggest the site admin block the entire IP address chunk from where the spam is originating from.

Since I flagged this Chinese spammer yet again, his posts are hidden from view by non-moderators, although mods and admins can still see the spam.

For non-moderators to see what I am talking about, below is a screencap of a very tiny section of one of the spam threads, they are exceedingly lengthy, many thousands of characters in each thread, maxxing out the capabilities of the forum to auto-translate from Chinese characters to English words.  

20190817_093216.thumb.jpg.51bb8893e3bc12bd9a02dcb7f13ede98.jpg

And here is what the same spam looks like after it is auto-translated to English.  Again, each thread is enormous, exceedingly lengthy, these are just snippets to show non-moderators here what is going on behind the scenes by spammers.

 

Screenshot_20190817-094538_Chrome.jpg

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As I mentioned earlier in a related thread

China has *already* lost the trade war with the U.S. but they just haven't realized it yet.

Trump keeps outmaneuvering Xi.

 

Here is an update today:

China Shifts Purchase Priorities From Manufacturing Materials to Food

An interesting article in the South China Morning Post (SCMP) highlights how China is shifting their procurement priority from minerals used in manufacturing (cobalt, copper) to the acquisition of food and agriculture products.

The impact is being felt throughout Africa, where mining companies are shutting down operations because Chinese demand no longer exists.

Articles like this highlight the ancillary impacts of a weakened Chinese economy.

Despite the proclamations by Beijing about their ability to withstand the withdrawal of the U.S. as a primary customer for manufactured goods, reality shows they cannot.

There is a confluence of events all leading to radical changes just below the surface.  China has been burning cash to subsidize industries impacted by U.S. tariffs.  Simultaneously Beijing has lowered the value of their currency in an effort to eliminate the tariff impact in the cost of their finished goods. However, as the ideological economic conflict between the U.S. and China continues, Beijing cannot hold their position indefinitely.

 

[…]  A decelerating construction boom in China also has led to a decline in demand for copper while Beijing’s move to raise standards for electric vehicles qualifying for subsidies is depressing the market for cobalt.

An economic slowdown in some African countries is seen as tied to China’s economic slowdown, accelerated by the tariff battle. (link)

Countries that attached their economy to purchase agreements with China over the last 20 years became dependent on those exports.  As China slows or stops their purchases those dependent economies are now at risk.

[…] Martyn Davies, managing director of emerging markets and Africa at Deloitte, said China’s demand for commodities has underpinned Africa’s growth for 20 years.

“Any commodity-exporting economy’s growth model has been underpinned by China’s demand for commodities in the last generation,” Davies said.

“This in itself has resulted in complacency in many commodity exporting countries because if you had China growing at 7 or 8 per cent, you don’t need to struggle. “Unfortunately,” Davies said, “the world has changed.”  (link)

And now China’s biggest weakness starts to surface.  A country that cannot feed its own population even during the best of times, is now facing a downturn in economic and employment activity while the need to import food remains.

[…] analysts say that while countries that export cobalt, copper and iron ore will be hardest hit as Beijing – the major buyer of Africa’s hard commodities – diversifies the sourcing of its imports during the trade war, opportunities are opening up for exporters of soft commodities, such as agricultural products. (link)

There comes a time in the life of a panda when bamboo is no-longer taken for granted.

trump-trade-panda-impact.jpg

 

 

==============================

/ Side note, waiting to see of this is going to trigger a third round of spam attacks by our persistent Chinese spammer against the Geopolitics subforum here.

/ / Update, yep, the triggered China spammer came back for a third round of intensive spamming in the Geopolitics subforum under yet another name, and I banned him yet again.  19 threads this time, took up the entire front page of the forum.   The site admin should block ban the IP range of addresses to cut off these targeted spam attacks. 

@CMOP @Selvedina

 

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Trump's chopper press briefing: excerpts relevant to the trade war with China are below, full transcript in the link:

Subject: Remarks by President Trump Before Air Force One Departure | Morristown, NJ

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 18, 2019
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT TRUMP
BEFORE AIR FORCE ONE DEPARTURE

Morristown Municipal Airport
Morristown, New Jersey


4:32 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: So, we had a lot of meetings yesterday on Afghanistan, on the economy -- which is doing very well. We have the strongest economy, by far, in the world. The tariffs have cost nothing, in my opinion, or certainly very little. We have import prices from, and through, July -- all the way through July. And they're down 1.8 percent so that the import prices have actually gone down.

China is eating the tariffs because of monetary manipulation. And also, they're pouring a lot of money into their country because they don’t want to lose jobs. They're losing, as you probably know, because you reported it, but they lost over 2 million jobs in a short period of time. And they want to make a deal; we'll see what happens. But they definitely want to make a deal.

I'd like to see Hong Kong worked out in a very humanitarian fashion. I hope President Xi can do it. He sure has the ability, I can tell you that, from personal knowledge. He certainly has the ability to do it if he wants to. So, I’d like to see that worked out in a humanitarian fashion. I think it would be very good for the trade deal that we're talking about.  ...

 

...  Q Can you comment at all on where things stand in terms of the China negotiations? You said there was progress.

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think President Xi obviously has this in mind because he probably would’ve acted faster. So I think he has at least something in mind, having to do with trade, because it's something he could do fairly easily. It could be, unfortunately, very ruthless. So I do think it plays on his mind, and I do think he -- he's thinking about what I've had to say. It would have an impact on trade; there's no question about it.  ...

 

...  Q On Huawei -- is the administration going to allow U.S. businesses to continue selling to Huawei? Is there going to be an extension of the license tomorrow?

THE PRESIDENT: No. That was reported. And, actually, it's the opposite. Huawei. Huawei is a company we may not do business with at all. And it was sort of reported, I think the opposite, today -- I was surprised -- that we are open to doing business. We're actually open not to doing business with them. So I don't know who gave the report.

Now, they have little sections of Huawei, like furniture and other things that we could do. But when you cut out sections, it gets very complicated: what's being sold, what's coming in.

So, at this moment, it looks much more like we're not going to do business. I don’t want to do business at all, because it is a national security threat. And I really believe that the media has covered it a little bit differently than that. So we're looking, really, not to do business with Huawei. And we're actually talking about not doing any business, because, again, the rest of it is not national security, but it's very difficult to determine what's coming in and what's not coming in. It's still Huawei. So we'll be making a decision over that in the not-too-distant future. But it's a little bit the opposite of what seemed to be reported this morning.  ...

 

...  Q And are you doing any planning, or are you going to be directing your administration to plan for the possibility of a recession?

THE PRESIDENT: I don’t see a recession. I mean, the world is in a recession right now. And -- although, that's too big a statement. But if you look at China, China is doing very, very poorly. They've had -- I just saw a report -- they've had the worst year they've had in 27 years because of what I've done. And they want to come to the negotiating table. You know, they're having companies lose -- I mean, they're leaving. The companies are leaving. And they're laying off millions of people because they don’t want to pay 25 percent. And that's why they want to come to the table. I don’t think there's another reason other than President Xi, I'm sure, likes me very much. But they're losing millions and millions of jobs in China. And we're not paying for the tariffs; China is paying for the tariffs, for the one-hundredth time.

And I understand tariffs work very well. Other countries it may be that if I do things with other countries. But in the case of China, China is eating the tariffs, at least so far.

Q But a lot of economists say that you should be preparing for a recession; that no President is immune from a recession, and that it's malpractice for the government not to be doing something to get ready for that scenario.

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah. Phil, honestly, I'm prepared for everything. I don’t think we're having a recession. We're doing tremendously well. Our consumers are rich. I gave a tremendous tax cut, and they're loaded up with money. They're buying. I saw the Wal-Mart numbers; they were through the roof, just two days ago. That's better than any poll. That's better than any economist.

And most economists actually say, Phil, that we're not going to have a recession. Most of them are saying we're not going to have a recession.

But the rest of the world is not doing well like we're doing. The rest of the world, if you look at Germany, if you look at European Union; frankly, look at the UK -- I mean, look at a lot of countries -- they're not doing well. China is doing poorly. Parts of Asia are doing poorly.

We are doing better than any country, or even area, anywhere in the world. We're doing great. And our consumer is really, really strong, and it looks like they're going to be for a long time.

Also, when you go in and analyze the curve, the curve always means that about two years later maybe you'll go in. That's a long time -- two years. But I don’t think so. Interest rates are low. I think I could be helped out by the Fed, but the Fed doesn’t like helping me too much. But, you know, frankly, we have money that's pouring into our country because they want the security of the United States.

We have billions and billions of dollars daily that's pouring in -- we've never had anything like this -- because they want to come into the United States. That's a great thing. That means we can loan that money out.

Mortgage rates are at an all-time low. Borrowing costs are at an all-time low. It's probably a great time. I told Secretary Mnuchin that this is a great time to refinance our bonds, or some of our bonds.

You know, it's -- I mean, the money is pouring into the U.S. like never before and like no other country has ever experienced, including China money. I mean, China money -- everybody -- they're all coming into the U.S. So we've never had anything like it. I think our economy is very, very good.

Q But if it were to slow down, could you win reelection?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I'd be prepared for it. We can do -- sure, we can do a lot of things. But if it slowed down, it would be because I have to take on China and some other countries.

Look, you have other countries that are just as bad as China, the way they treat us. You take a look at what's happening with the European Union; they have barriers, they have tariffs. Take a look at other -- I'm not going to mention all the countries because you'll be surprised. But we're treated very badly -- a lot of them by our allies. We're treated very badly.

When all of that normalizes, we've got a rocket ship. Our country is going to be stronger, by far, than ever before. I mean, if I wanted to make a bad deal and settle on China, the market would go up but it wouldn’t be the right thing to do. I'm just not ready to make a deal yet. China would like to make a deal. I'm not ready.  ...

 

...  Q Can you clarify what you meant when you said that you don't want to do business with Huawei? Are you not going to extend this license for 90 days to temporarily allow --

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I'm talking to my people, but ultimately, we don't want to do business with Huawei for national security reasons.

Q But not even a temporary extension that --

THE PRESIDENT: We'll see what happens. I'm making a decision tomorrow. It could be temporary -- could be -- and maybe not. But we're going to make a decision tomorrow.  ...

 

...  Q So, why can't you tell us whether you talked to President Xi?

THE PRESIDENT: I just don't want to comment on that

Q Is there a call set up for next week?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I can speak to him any time. But he understands how I feel. I just can't comment as to whether or not I spoke to him. But I will tell you this: We're having very, very substantive talks with China, and with others, but with China.  ...

 

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