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The Media Is Lying To You About Trump’s China Tariffs



  • David, thank you for those sources, which I waded through. I understand the arguments for Globalization, but those ideas are now colliding with the consequences of our offshoring to one of our greatest rivals, if not enemies, the privilege of manufacturing our products. Whenever I buy a computer or cell phone, I watch the tracking info on Fed Ex as my purchase bounces around China and then finds its way to my doorstep. I'm sure Apple, HP, etc are saving a lot of money doing it that way and we get cheap computers. Never mind that China ends up in possession of our latest technology, which it is now duplicating on its own for its military purposes and to compete with us. So not only have we empowered our enemy, we have weakened our own economy (no factories here to compete with our rivals) and laid the foundation for today's populists movements. The cost of Globalization includes Trump's victory. Now he is very effectively changing the future of this country (the Supreme Court is likely to reverse decades of progressive accomplishments, his appointees are gutting regulations that protect us and our environment, etc.,). Big business has done a great job of selling its arguments that globalization has increased our prosperity. But jobs lost here damages families, reduces tax revenues, and hurts all the local businesses whose customers lack the income to spend. We need to think what will happen to this country if our college students face a dead end because their future jobs are being performed by foreigners and/or robots.
  • @Lawlar: Yes sir, you make some astute observations and powerful arguments. I get the impression that David doesn't really disagree with most of what you're saying, but rather that he just doesn't think that a tariff contest is going to be very helpful in evening up the situation.
  • My understanding of tariffs is that they are instituted to protect local industries (not working too well for farmers and several others currently) or to reduce trading with undesired or misbehaving partners (as Jefferson attempted with Great Britain when impressment of sailors and confiscation of American merchantmen was a major issue). The latter didn't work too well either, but fortunately the Napoleonic War ended.
    Since there are other purveyors who can supply commodities, the tariffs applied on them by China may reduce our markets for years.
    Probably the most useful tariffs would be on electronics, even though I suspect manufacturing would only move to India or Viet Nam (but I would prefer India to profit instead of China - they are sort of a democracy), since it seems that the electronics manufacturing that returns to the US is largely robotic. If we could only get it all moved to Taiwan, it would be temporarily more secure (I hope). I don't update my cell phone often, so I think I'd be willing to pay $200 more for one made in the US from a reputable company. Apple has made enough billions on the backs of cheap Chinese labor; and all they seem to do is charge top tier prices while keeping their profits off shore.
    I do agree that keeping Chinese and Russian (Kaspersky, for example) electronic industries from access to US networks is wise, but that horse may be already out of the barn.
    I presume at some point, victory will be declared and the status quo resumed, but Brazil will sell more soybeans and China will sell more electronics and utilize more US-developed technology.
  • edited May 2019
    Yes, that too, ty, but it is important to understand the evolving and challenging nature of comparative advantage, and first to understand comparative advantage in the first place, which is tricky, to fully assess all of these issues.

    Especially today, as everything is more complex and interrelated than cloth and wine.

    @Lawlar's paragraph is simplistic, unfortunately. The calculus of cheap flatscreens and smartphone for all vs damaged families is immensely complex.

    This does not exactly address that, being more about FDI (foreign direct investment) than trade as commonly bruited today by the "president", but is interesting for the weedy, a Q&A on China-US relations from a year ago, I think. ICAS-biased, obvs.

    Pertinent among other things about the idiocy of win-loss positing.

    @Lawlar, the point about FDI added value at around 12-13' might interest you. It is not as onesided as you appear to believe. USA, USA!

    IPR violation at ~17'.

    Here's the teaser for one of the courses in this area, from 3y ago, but much has changed in the gaseous-sphere, clearly; this was before the last election:

    (sorry, not posting right:

    put https:// before this, or not

    I include it in all of its bogo-drama only because it highlights the issues that need to be delved.
  • It is going to be interesting to watch how this all plays out. Note that Ted Moran serves on an advisory committee for Huawei. That’s part of the problem: everyone sees this issue through the prism of self interest.
  • Maybe I missed it but where in the original posted article die the author call out which lie(s) were being told?
  • @STB65

    Well thought out post on May 16 - I thank you!


    Your May 16 post is referenced to who and what post? thank you.
  • How Xi’s Last-Minute Switch on U.S.-China Trade Deal Upended It
  • Old_Joe said:

    @Ted: Can you please clarify whether no one can respond to catch22, or just MFO members? If it's just MFO members then maybe I can talk to him after all, since you also kicked me out some time ago.


    @Ted - Crickets
  • The largest sources most likely are his daddy, the Russian mob, stiffing his workers and evading his taxes. No doubt there are plenty more but not his businesses. Those are all losing money according to him.
  • @Mark, So true!
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