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Trump reinvented tariffs and it worked

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23 minutes ago, Zhong Lu said:

Excuses, excuses.  The results are what matters and the results show:

1. Farmers got screwed.

2. Manufactures in America aren't benefiting (though the ones in Vietnam are- Make Vietnam Great Again is indeed working).  Some supply lines might move out of China, but the majority are still there.  And when they move, they're not moving to America but elsewhere in Asia or Africa.

3. In the meantime China is extending their influence in Africa and South America.  

Personally I think the blue states should be more supportive of Trump because his economic policies have been HUGELY beneficial to them, and the red states should hate him more.  Instead, everyone's gotten brainwashed by their tribalism.  If I could have thought of an economic policy that benefits blue states at the expense of red states, Trump's would be it.  The evidence so far is clear: blue states have benefited from Trump, red states have not.  I.e. a continuation of what was going on with Obama.  

It is clear you are impatient for results of a long term trade reset process with China. It can't be instantaneous. It isn't a futures trade. 

The idea that the work would come to the US was naive. and the structure of the tariffs should have included final goods as well as materials and components. Because some assembly work moved out of the US to continue taking in Chinese materials and parts. Mexico benefited well. But the basic idea was to get the next step up from cheap plentiful NG in petrochem and  basic materials and continue to parts and (this is where it gets dicey) to assembly with lots of automation. Turned out that staffing the equipment was hard and much of the automation was not ready for prime time. It was still cheaper to do the work manually in a low labor cost country. But the margin pressure should attract more work into US manufacturing as the automation matures. Will it bring back 5000 people at a steel mill? not at all, but it will bring multiple smaller mills and high grade steel manufacturing back into the US and from there  you will get parts etc. but with most of it automated. 

There was lots of discussion of US productivity in the 1990s. It was not real. The largest component of it was the offshoring of labor intensive steps in the supply chain, mostly to China. That made productivity seem to improve since most final steps were in the US. But the reason that US workers were not sharing in that apparent productivity gain was that it was not really in the US labor's activity, it was that the work was done offshore and at remarkably low productivity.

I think that China's influence is not that great  in Africa and S. America and (1) they can't afford it, (2) the development projects have largely gone bust and the debt defaulted, while the work was done by Chinese contractors using Chinese workers. Once the facilities are owned by China, there is buyer's remorse. China has become more careful and piled up more conditions on the deals and the potential host countries are not that enthusiastic any longer 

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On 2/10/2020 at 1:13 PM, 0R0 said:

Corruption is endemic to all authoritarian regimes. China is just a somewh?at worse case of it. Democracies suffer plenty of it as well. But I do want to understand what the "corruption" was. I simply believe it to be some seperatist leaders wanting to devolve power into more autonomous regional and provincial governments that could potentially have led to opportunities for the provinces to separate out from China. 

So why not give us your picture of what happened and how it was threatening China's survival as an independent country ?

Since the corruption drive started, over 300,000 cases have been processed, ranging from the very minor to the very great.  No exaggeration to say perhaps a $trillion has been embezzled.  To relate even one case is no easy task. The results of corruption are easier to relate.   Each and all of the cases result in tragedies and a very angry population. The CCP does not want anger and distrust! China incurred a very bloody civil war and revolution not so very long ago, and nobody wants to see causal factors rise again. In general, the undoing for each of China's dynasties is internal corruption. Empires do not fall down, they fall apart. For better or worse, the Chinese accept their government, by and large, and nobody wants to risk their country on account of corrupt officials. 

I shall endeavour to gather the info for a case or two, in my spare time. As I am labelled on this site as a troll, an operand, a falsifier, and other evils du jour, I should present supporting docs, which will require a great deal of my time to organise.  

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5 minutes ago, 0R0 said:

It is clear you are impatient for results of a long term trade reset process with China. It can't be instantaneous. It isn't a futures trade. 

The idea that the work would come to the US was naive. and the structure of the tariffs should have included final goods as well as materials and components. Because some assembly work moved out of the US to continue taking in Chinese materials and parts. Mexico benefited well. But the basic idea was to get the next step up from cheap plentiful NG in petrochem and  basic materials and continue to parts and (this is where it gets dicey) to assembly with lots of automation. Turned out that staffing the equipment was hard and much of the automation was not ready for prime time. It was still cheaper to do the work manually in a low labor cost country. But the margin pressure should attract more work into US manufacturing as the automation matures. Will it bring back 5000 people at a steel mill? not at all, but it will bring multiple smaller mills and high grade steel manufacturing back into the US and from there  you will get parts etc. but with most of it automated. 

There was lots of discussion of US productivity in the 1990s. It was not real. The largest component of it was the offshoring of labor intensive steps in the supply chain, mostly to China. That made productivity seem to improve since most final steps were in the US. But the reason that US workers were not sharing in that apparent productivity gain was that it was not really in the US labor's activity, it was that the work was done offshore and at remarkably low productivity.

I think that China's influence is not that great  in Africa and S. America and (1) they can't afford it, (2) the development projects have largely gone bust and the debt defaulted, while the work was done by Chinese contractors using Chinese workers. Once the facilities are owned by China, there is buyer's remorse. China has become more careful and piled up more conditions on the deals and the potential host countries are not that enthusiastic any longer 

You make some good points.  Farming has definitely taken a hit, although the hit came at the same time as bad weather and other factors such as debt and interest rates and short term loan terms (10-14 months on average).  What some farm publications are calling the perfect storm.  Bankruptcies are up year over year from 2018, the data is clear.  But the data is also clear that bankruptcies are not up drastically from their highest levels somewhere around 10 years ago.  Long term though, China has to eat and they will buy American farm products at levels higher than they did pre-Trump/tariffs, it will just take another year or so to build up.  Phase one of the latest trade deal is already bringing some of the demand back from China to the U.S. (although this CoronaVirus is going to wreak havoc on those numbers too.  But that would have happened with or without tariffs.).

So, I'm disappointed that farmers had to take (possibly) more than their fair share of pain, but I still think the tariffs were the thing to do.  Nothing else at all was being done prior to that and China was able to dictate, which is also not good long term.

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3. In the meantime China is extending their influence in Africa and South America.  
 

Their viruses as well, don’t forget their viruses!

Just may have an impact on all that influence peddling...

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1 hour ago, frankfurter said:

Since the corruption drive started, over 300,000 cases have been processed, ranging from the very minor to the very great.  No exaggeration to say perhaps a $trillion has been embezzled.  To relate even one case is no easy task. The results of corruption are easier to relate.   Each and all of the cases result in tragedies and a very angry population. The CCP does not want anger and distrust! China incurred a very bloody civil war and revolution not so very long ago, and nobody wants to see causal factors rise again. In general, the undoing for each of China's dynasties is internal corruption. Empires do not fall down, they fall apart. For better or worse, the Chinese accept their government, by and large, and nobody wants to risk their country on account of corrupt officials. 

I shall endeavour to gather the info for a case or two, in my spare time. As I am labelled on this site as a troll, an operand, a falsifier, and other evils du jour, I should present supporting docs, which will require a great deal of my time to organise.  

Agreed.  For a short one paragraph explanation, it is not bad at hitting the main points accurately.  IMHO, of course.

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2 hours ago, frankfurter said:

I shall endeavour to gather the info for a case or two, in my spare time. As I am labelled on this site as a troll, an operand, a falsifier, and other evils du jour, I should present supporting docs, which will require a great deal of my time to organise.  

Everyone, as a moderator, I do not consider frankfurter to be a troll.  If you disagree with him, better to present a rebuttal to his points, rather than just throwing out a label. It seems unlikely that I will ever agree with much of anything that frankfurter says, but echo chambers are not good.  Echo chambers are boring.

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Interesting.  If anybody has reports and numbers to show how the tariffs have worked in Trump’s favour, would you please post them? Thanks.

Trump wants a ‘better’ trade deal and his hammer is tariffs, thereby reducing American ‘losses’. This, despite the objections of every economist I know and have read.

Tariffs protect the home country and thus serve to restrict trade, not expand it. Besides, tariffs can have other consequences.

Let’s take Trump’s tariffs to the logical finality: let’s say Trump is successful to eliminate the trade deficit entirely and then turn the tables entirely. US residents would sell all their goods to foreigners, but buy zero goods from foreigners. Voila, a trade surplus! A total Trump triumph.

A trade surplus would mean foreigners would need huge quantities of dollars to buy US goods, but would have no means to earn dollars because they would have zero sales to the US. With no dollars, how can foreigners buy US goods? Aye, there’s the rub.

Thus US residents would need to extend credit to foreigners. So US citizens would labour away to produce goods, sell them on credit, and receive what – bookkeeping entries? IOUs?

This could not continue for very long, as US banks would cease to lend credit to foreigners for the simple reason those foreigners would have zero ability to repay. All trade would then stop. The US economy dependent upon exports would collapse to zero, and the entire world economy would be zero.

A trade surplus means Americans would trade their labour, capital, resources for IOUs until such time as Americans no longer want IOUs [darn short time] and all trade stops: causing US bankruptcies, huge unemployment, crashed stock market, depression and what not. Wow, such a great deal!

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15 hours ago, Marcin2 said:

I really do not get this argumentation about selling below market prices parroted by Americans: be it Japanese in 1980s or Chinese now, face it some economies are more competitive than United States, China has much higher productivity of labor per 1 dollar of wages than US, at least 3 times at blue collar level.

 

Who said anything about MARKET price, they have been selling at below their cost of making it, they have the backing of the government. That is hugely unfair to every other company in the world... That is why this whole thing started, unfair competition from Chinese companies, the government will back them up no matter what. And to top it off a lot of goods coming from there are inferior products anyway, but the government will send them even if they know it is inferior, as we have been dealing with for a couple of decades now. If there was ANY shred of integrity from China at one time, it is all gone now.

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(edited)

2 hours ago, SERWIN said:
18 hours ago, Marcin2 said:

I really do not get this argumentation about selling below market prices parroted by Americans: be it Japanese in 1980s or Chinese now, face it some economies are more competitive than United States, China has much higher productivity of labor per 1 dollar of wages than US, at least 3 times at blue collar level.

 

Who said anything about MARKET price, they have been selling at below their cost of making it, they have the backing of the government. That is hugely unfair to every other company in the world... That is why this whole thing started, unfair competition from Chinese companies, the government will back them up no matter what. And to top it off a lot of goods coming from there are inferior products anyway, but the government will send them even if they know it is inferior, as we have been dealing with for a couple of decades now. If there was ANY shred of integrity from China at one time, it is all gone now.

There is an issue of aliasing of capital flight with exports. Some exports are real ongoing exports that are profitable and see the proceeds return to China. Other exports are done for capital flight purposes of two types, where the profitability is not of much concern, (1) is a long term flow that requires only breakeven, (2) one time export of capital coupled with default on its funding. 

As in this chart from Brian McCarthy, taken from SAFE data trailing annual sums of exports are compared to actual sums received by SAFE. The difference is unrepatriated export proceeds, i.e. capital flight. The difference peaked in 2016 at over $600 billion annual sum.  It has continued ever since, though at lower levels. Indeed, it ate up 7% of China's GDP of the time for each of the two years 2015-16. It fell to under $100 billion for 2017 and has increased since then to $250 B for the year to 6.2019. It is how China managed to lose reserves while at record trade surplus. Note that this chart does not cover official capital flow numbers which are separate and reported on BOP figures.

Merchandise trade surplus vs. dollar balance.gif

We can also see the similar pattern of forex flows not showing up where they were expected in the Errors and Omissions BOP report line. Here given quarterly in billions of dollars ("k"). (add trailing 4 quarters to obtain an annual figure)

?type=area&period=10y&lang=en

https://www.ceicdata.com/en/china/balance-of-payments-bpm6-quarterly/bop-net-errors-and-omissions

That is on top of the Capital Account figure which is very small - in the single billions or less either direction. 

The run of the mill capital flight via exports is simply that you don't repatriate the portion of revenue that was not required to cover expenses for which you can't borrow. 

The really big burst of capital flight via exports is from people borrowing against their domestic iliquid China assets and buying production runs to be sold in export markets for whatever can be obtained for them. They don't care to make a profit but to move their capital as much intact as possible out of China. They sell the goods and default on the loans after resettling their families abroad.  It is a way to liquidate your assets and move them out of China. 

 

 

Edited by 0R0
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12 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Marcin, have you considered getting professional help? 😂

I thought it would be a good segue to divert attention of Jan and Enthalpic from their conflict and towards the topic of their common interest. It did not work.

A week ago or so, Selva, moderator deleted some posts in different thread. It was just  another of Jan's rants, against I think Enthalpic, and later me. I think I suggested him to cool down. I do not want another thread chopped because of their animosity.

Anyway, thank you for the advice.

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On 2/10/2020 at 3:22 PM, Jan van Eck said:

I also note for the readership that, yet once again, our peripatetic  Canadian loser, the coward ...

 He is such an utter asshole. ...

Jan have you considered getting professional help ? In anger management ? :-)

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania: Anger management jack nicholson

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On 2/3/2020 at 1:04 AM, Dan Warnick said:

Well, after a whole lot of discussion on here about Tariffs and Trump, it would appear that my and other's positive stance to them is coming to light of day.  I'm sure the naysayers will still hold their ground, but the following article sheds light on what I believe are the realities.

Trump reinvented tariffs and it worked

A couple of excerpts:

Tariffs were once a mainstay in U.S. trade policy. Constituting the main source of federal revenue from 1790-1914, and at one point providing over 90% of government income, they were a pivotal component of U.S. fiscal and foreign policy. Their main motivation in those times: protect U.S. industry from foreign opposition. It wasn’t until colossal industrial growth coupled with the introduction of the income tax rendered them less critical to the government balance sheet, and their use declined.

...

While presidents have implemented them since, the degree to which President Trump has deployed them drew near universal rejection. Pundits disparaged them as economically illiterate, and the same class of expert that predicted Trump will lay waste to the economy claimed these tariffs would usher in recession and global malaise. Even members of Trump’s own staff resigned because they carried such ideological opposition to even the notion of tariffs.

Well, none of that happened. It turns out tariffs make for quite the negotiating instrument.

Trump’s simplistic-yet-correct sentiment that leverage in a trade war essentially resides with the party who incurs the trade deficit should no longer be condescendingly dismissed by economy wonks who denigrate any policy that isn’t globalist goodthink. China relies far more on exporting to the United States than we do purchasing those same cheaply made imports: a straightforward notion that tariffs exposed.

...

So, the questions are:

-Has anyone changed their minds over the last months? 

-Did you believe they were bad and now agree that they might be just the tool that was needed at just this moment in time (and possibly more often in the future)? 

-Did you believe there were good and now believe they were not as good as you thought?

As a non Trump voter the holy grail is 366 billion in trade disparity with China alone. Time will tell how successful he will be with all of his trade deals. If he makes a significant improvement he certainly deserves the credit but success like his N Korea experience is still unfolding and looks like hot air. In fairness let’s let the numbers do the talking when it comes to trade.

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A broken politics, a broken democracy, a broken country. 

Is the United States beyond the point of repair?

I think China’s trump card is actually that it will be a seen as a more reliable partner than the USA if the current trends continue.

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(edited)

21 hours ago, Boat said:

As a non Trump voter the holy grail is 366 billion in trade disparity with China alone. Time will tell how successful he will be with all of his trade deals. If he makes a significant improvement he certainly deserves the credit but success like his N Korea experience is still unfolding and looks like hot air. In fairness let’s let the numbers do the talking when it comes to trade.

I think you're right, and that the results are rather a few years out yet.  We'll see, but I think he has done the right and difficult thing, that no other politician in a generation or two had the cajones to do.  And he did it for American industry and American workers, which he correctly calculated would get him into office and will probably get him re-elected.

I also have a feeling that, whether Pres. Trump is re-elected or not, 9 months from now or 4 years 9 months from now there will still be a number of tariffs in place.  If that is how it turns out, then I want to see if the next president 1) fully cancels any remaining tariffs, 2) only reduces them by some small (political) percentage, or 3) leaves them fully in place (citing the need for cautious withdrawal, of course).

Just my opinion, but I could be right!

Edited by Dan Warnick
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(edited)

2 hours ago, Dan Warnick said:

I think you're right, and that the results are rather a few years out yet.  We'll see, but I think he has done the right and difficult thing, that no other politician in a generation or two had the cajones to do.  And he did it for American industry and American workers, which he correctly calculated would get him into office and will probably get him re-elected.

I also have a feeling that, whether Pres. Trump is re-elected or not (9 months from now or 4 years 9 months from now) there will still be a number of tariffs in place.  If that is how it turns out, ten I want to see if the next president 1) fully cancels any remaining tariffs, 2) only reduces them by some small (political) percentage, or 3) leaves them fully in place (citing the need for cautious withdrawal, of course).

Just my opinion, but I could be right!

This first round of agreements is in theory to take care of 200 billion of trade imbalance. There will still be 166 billion to follow which may or may not need teriffs. If China bought our new nat gas imports and say a couple hundred GE gas turbines that capture waste heat/CHP to supply flexible efficient energy. Even Russian gas will burn in modern technology. One hopes our government is smart enough to talk about these types of ideas while evening the trade disparity.

It was kind of fun to have a conversation. At the end of the day it’s about improving the US in all endeavors.

Edited by Boat
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“So, I'm disappointed that farmers had to take (possibly) more than their fair share of pain, but I still think the tariffs were the thing to do.  Nothing else at all was being done prior to that and China was able to dictate, which is also not good long term.”

Agree entirely. If we want to get America ‘off of the Chinese tit’, there will definitely be some pain in the ‘short term’. As you day, the farmer’s appear to be the hardest hit, but this is due in part to the ‘perfect storm’ which you mentioned.

Americans, as a whole, should play their part and reduce their addiction to cheaply manufactured Chinese junk. Some will take offense at the term ‘junk’, but it is. Granted, if you want a tool or item to perform once (car jack, chain fall, etc...), the price is attractive - if you plan to use it repeatedly then get prepared to buy multiples - and the price (and headache) is no longer attractive.

If everyone accepts some pain and does their part in the short term, the long term looks good!

 

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On 2/11/2020 at 3:52 AM, Dan Warnick said:

So, I'm disappointed that farmers had to take (possibly) more than their fair share of pain, but I still think the tariffs were the thing to do.  Nothing else at all was being done prior to that and China was able to dictate, which is also not good long term.

Dan, I respect what you have to say, but please, examine the number of suicide hot lines that have been installed in the midwestern states. Farmers are proud people, usually conservative, and are dependable to help others in time of need. 

Okay, now that I've got you wound up, the tariffs were ostensibly implemented to punish China for "stealing intellectual property" and for "currency manipulation." I don't know currency manipulation, but most of the intellectual property was stolen from Apple, possibly the most successful company ever, and also a company that exploited child labor at Foxconn. It got so bad that they had to--I hate to use the S word again--install suicide bars outside the windows at Foxconn. 

As the son of farmers--good people who saw this sort of crap every few years and just gritted their teeth--I am so sick of this. You know, when a father has a daughter who gets raped, he almost never gets violent. Neither do farmers who have to take this in the shorts every time some fat cat wants to make a point. I am a Republican, but I am sickened unto death by this same old rhetoric. I am sorry if I've gone off on you, but now you know what it's like from the other side.

I'm not a farmer, but I recall vividly how it felt to worry if there was enough money to pay the bills. This trade war was just fine--but not for the reasons given. If we wanted to punish China for allowing wet market virus mills to churn out a new zoonotic virus every year--one that threatened the world--that's a good reason for tariffs--I'd vote for 100%. But to punish folks who are barely hanging on, well, that's another damn story.

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@Gerry Maddoux

Gerry, obviously you are from a farming background and identify with farmers. That said, if not tariffs, how would you suggest that America address the seriously lopsided balance of trade, intellectual property theft, currency manipulation, etc....by China?

To ‘make America great again’ will cause a certain amount of pain, in some sectors, for a period of time.

I am not a fan of shale oil, but it was good for the States, for awhile anyhow. The fact that it essentially forcibly retired me still annoys me, but it provided jobs in the States and decreased the dependence on foreign oil...so I suppose it is the case of ‘the greatest benefit for the greatest number’.

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Not to poke fun at Gerry’s post, but there are now suicide hotlines for those who can’t determine what gender they are...

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On 2/12/2020 at 12:18 AM, SERWIN said:

Who said anything about MARKET price, they have been selling at below their cost of making it, they have the backing of the government. That is hugely unfair to every other company in the world... That is why this whole thing started, unfair competition from Chinese companies, the government will back them up no matter what. And to top it off a lot of goods coming from there are inferior products anyway, but the government will send them even if they know it is inferior, as we have been dealing with for a couple of decades now. If there was ANY shred of integrity from China at one time, it is all gone now.

Can you cite a case please?  

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7 hours ago, Gerry Maddoux said:

Dan, I respect what you have to say, but please, examine the number of suicide hot lines that have been installed in the midwestern states. Farmers are proud people, usually conservative, and are dependable to help others in time of need. 

Okay, now that I've got you wound up, the tariffs were ostensibly implemented to punish China for "stealing intellectual property" and for "currency manipulation." I don't know currency manipulation, but most of the intellectual property was stolen from Apple, possibly the most successful company ever, and also a company that exploited child labor at Foxconn. It got so bad that they had to--I hate to use the S word again--install suicide bars outside the windows at Foxconn. 

As the son of farmers--good people who saw this sort of crap every few years and just gritted their teeth--I am so sick of this. You know, when a father has a daughter who gets raped, he almost never gets violent. Neither do farmers who have to take this in the shorts every time some fat cat wants to make a point. I am a Republican, but I am sickened unto death by this same old rhetoric. I am sorry if I've gone off on you, but now you know what it's like from the other side.

I'm not a farmer, but I recall vividly how it felt to worry if there was enough money to pay the bills. This trade war was just fine--but not for the reasons given. If we wanted to punish China for allowing wet market virus mills to churn out a new zoonotic virus every year--one that threatened the world--that's a good reason for tariffs--I'd vote for 100%. But to punish folks who are barely hanging on, well, that's another damn story.

"But to punish folks who are barely hanging on, well, that's another damn story."

uh, what do you think the intention of the tariffs are, if not to punish Chinese folks who are barely hanging on? 

a new zoonotic every year?  proof?

fear not. The Chinese do want to buy American farming outputs. As incomes rise in China, such outputs from the US become affordable. One would think this is a desirable outcome.

But you and others might want to "be careful what you ask for".  Your government has chosen to weaponise trade and to renege on many agreements. So as US farm outputs increase to China, say 2x, the next unilateral trade war could see another retaliation, with 2x greater losses to US farmers.

International trade is supposed to the result of comparative advantage. When governments step in to alter things in the short term, the results are untenable in the long run. Trade is tricky stuff. 

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2 hours ago, Douglas Buckland said:

Not to poke fun at Gerry’s post, but there are now suicide hotlines for those who can’t determine what gender they are...

or maybe for those who regret their decision?  

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25 minutes ago, frankfurter said:

or maybe for those who regret their decision?  

So true....

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25 minutes ago, frankfurter said:

Your government has chosen to weaponise trade and to renege on many agreements.

Nope.  Just like Trump called out NATO members for not paying their agreed upon share, Trump is ending decades of UNFAIR trade agreements with China.  Which were made by corrupt, self-enriching U.S. Presidents.  Obama, Clinton, Bush Sr and Bush Jr.

NAFTA was recently replaced with a much better trade agreement between Canada, Mexico and the U.S.  All parties agreed to the new trade deal.

New trade agreements are being made between China and the U.S. and both countries are actively participating in the ongoing trade negotiations.

China's political and economic predatory lending tactics embodied in the One Belt One Road initiative is designed to force other countries to default on predatory loans from China, so China can seize assets from other countries.  Zero Sum game: China wins, every other country loses.

U.S. wants no part of such predatory trade tactics and subsequent political dictatorship by China, with the losing countries as political and economic vassal states subservient to CCP dictates. 

WTO is a useless organization, as is the United Nations.  Both have allowed China to continue its outright theft of intellectual property from other countries unabated, and offer predatory loans to corrupt third world countries.  WTO allows China to continue to be self-labeled as a "developing country" when they hold enormous clout over the world.  Absurd.

China's CCP government, like the Absolute Religious Dictatorship governments in Iran and Saudi Arabia, are a pox on the planet, and need to be quarantined.

Note that my ire is directed at these horrid governments, and not at the people.

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One of my best friends is an elderly man who won the Nobel Prize in economics through a unique equation. At the beginning, he informed me that nobody wins in a trade war--it just causes pain and suffering to the sectors that get caught innocently in the squabble. That was, predictably, farmers. To a lesser extent, it was also oil and gas. Apple? Nope. Microsoft? Nope. So we punish the country guilty of stealing intellectual property, and China retaliates against us by not buying soybeans. Gosh, anyone can see the "shared pain" in that one. 

You're right about me: from a farming background, identify with them. But this cuts a little deeper than that. These people have faithfully followed the president, saying they would indeed take a hit to their income, if it would benefit the greater good: MAGA. But any artificial hardship--this isn't a drought or a flood, thought those both came on top of the artificial ones--has to be rectified at some point, or the people turn. 

Well, guess what, if they turn in swing states like Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, to name a few, then we could easily wind up with Bernie Sanders. My thesis hasn't changed: let Xi save a little face and wrap this thing up. Especially now. 

 

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