Trade war and Trump praise continue

The US-China trade war continues to escalate, Donald Trump claims “some really super” GDP growth and praises himself, but warnings there are from within the US.

USA Today: Trump escalates trade war with 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods

The Trump administration announced Tuesday it is moving forward with a 25 percent tariff on $16 billion in Chinese goods, further escalating a trade war with Beijing.

The tariffs are the second round of duties that the U.S. has imposed on Chinese goods in a dispute over technology. An initial round of tariffs was placed on $34 billion of Chinese products on July 6.

More tariffs could be coming soon

President Donald Trump earlier proposed 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese imports. Last week, he instructed U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to consider more than doubling those duties to 25 percent. Those tariffs could be levied in September, following a public comment period.

The latest round of tariffs comes during a breakdown of trade talks between the Trump administration and Beijing and amid a growing trade dispute that has rattled global markets.

CBA News: Trump predicts GDP growth above 5 percent next quarter

President Trump predicted Tuesday that gross domestic product growth in the next quarter “could be in the 5s” — that is, higher than 5 percent.

Mr. Trump made the bold prediction Tuesday evening before a dinner at his Bedminster, New Jersey, golf resort with leaders from FedEx, Mastercard, Boeing, PepsiCo and other companies.

The president also hailed his own economic and trade policies, saying he is “taking our economy to incredible new heights” in spite of fears of damage from the escalating trade disputes he has provoked.

“You’re gonna see some really super growth,” he promised.

The government reported last month that the economy grew at a rate of 4.1 percent in the second quarter, the fastest pace in nearly four years.

That’s good for now, but risks are also growing, as is US debt.

He acknowledged, “We’re in a little bit of a fight with China” over tariffs, but predicted a “fantastic trading relationship” eventually.

Maybe. Or it could turn to trade and economic custard.

At the end of his remarks, President Trump asked the business leaders to introduce themselves. The introductions began to resemble the scene at many of Mr. Trump’s Cabinet meetings, in which the president’s appointees take turns praising him. Trump jokingly noted that everyone at the dinner appeared to like him.

Trump seems to have a need to keep seeking praise. His oversized ego needs to be continually propped up, usually by orchestrated meetings.

But there are concerns within the US.

Washington Examiner: Trump’s trade war has Indiana on edge

President Trump’s trade policies are sending tremors across Indiana, as voters reliant on the agriculture and manufacturing industries that are the backbone of a thriving state economy brace for the fallout from retaliatory tariffs being slapped on U.S. exports.

Trump’s aggressive imposing of tariffs on foreign imports to negotiate more favorable trading terms for American products threatens to upend a strong Indiana economy that exports $4.6 billion annually in agriculture commodities, according to government figures.

Indiana also is a manufacturing hub that sustains hundreds of thousands of factory jobs. That’s why the Republicans that dominate politics here, and the voters they represent, are growing anxious as the disputes with China and other countries that Trump instigated and, once boasted would be easy to win, show signs of escalating into a full blown trade war.

“The ag community is extremely nervous,” Indiana Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, a Republican who oversees the state department of agriculture, said this week in an interview with the Washington Examiner. “It seems to be our president’s modus operandi to push issues to get a agreeable settlement. We are hopeful that that is what is happening here.”

Conceding the initial pain his policies could inflict, the president has proposed a $12 billion federal bailout to keep the agriculture industry afloat during what could be protracted negotiations.

Trump has urged patience, promising jittery Republicans and loyal supporters in farm country that the administration’s strategy will pay big long-term dividends. Conceding the initial pain his policies could inflict, the president has proposed a $12 billion federal bailout to keep the agriculture industry afloat during what could be protracted negotiations.

Republicans are hesitant to criticize Trump, preferring a united front — and hoping to avoid his Twitter wrath — heading into the midterm elections. But privately, they are concerned Trump’s trade agenda and liberal use of tariffs could be a drag on the economy less than 100 days before the vote.

A warning sign: Trump’s Trade War Is Killing American Blue Jeans

It’s the latest gut punch for an industry that had already declined into a shell of what it once was. In the past year, two of the last-standing major denim mills closed, including the biggest: Cone Denim’s facility in Greensboro, North Carolina, that many firms say was the last to make high-end denim fabric in the U.S. on a large scale. Increases in California’s minimum wage also helped drive several apparel factories in Los Angeles to shutter or move to Mexico, adding to a tumultuous year for an industry that’s been just hanging on.

On top of that, free-trade agreements had been pushing blue jean-making overseas for two decades, and now the remaining manufacturers can’t believe the irony of getting hit by a return to protectionism. Major brands, like Levi Strauss & Co., had already largely bailed, shifting almost all of their production to Asia or Mexico.

Another warning sign: South Carolina’s first tariffs casualty: Television factory in Winnsboro closes, lays off 126

A television maker in Winnsboro that uses Chinese components for its assembly operation has announced that increased costs related to tariffs are forcing it to shut down.

Element Electronics’ plant just north of Columbia is the first in South Carolina to close as a direct result of the emerging global trade war, according to a governor’s office spokesman.

Gov. Henry McMaster called the plant’s closure “a sad moment” as it is the only TV manufacturer in the United States. But he also offered cautious support of President Donald Trump’s tariffs strategy, saying that trade around the world needs to be free, open and fair.

“I am hoping that when all the work is done and all the facts are known, that the businesses and industries in South Carolina will not be hurt but instead will prosper,” he said.

Maybe this is just a bit of collateral damage on the way to better trade relations with China. But it could also be an warning sign – not that Trump is likely to take any notice. He seems intent on using threats and disruption to try and drive better bargains, and is confident he will win, but there is going to be losers as well.

22 Comments

  1. David

     /  August 9, 2018

    One point having been a close observer I dont think the roundtable things are ego related, he is a hugely rich man who is doing this job because he genuinely wants America to do well and wants Americans to have good paying jobs and the dignity of work.
    He also doesnt want America to be taken advantage of and because he is a businessman used to negotiations he knows where the power is and how to get what he perceives as a good result for America.
    He is avowedly America 1st and the world is used to globalists, its jolting for some.

    • artcroft

       /  August 9, 2018

      He genuinely wants to follow Putin’s instructions with the intention of being the best little puppet he can be. Putin want’s the Western Alliance gone and Trump’s delivering. Putin want’s to isolate America, and Trump’s delivering.
      Trump is avowedly Putin first and the world is used to an patriotic president, its jolting for some.

      • David

         /  August 9, 2018

        Because the Western alliance has been so effective for the last decade. America first has delivered a better funded NATO, brought Chairman Kim to the table, with luck overthrow the terrorist backing Iranian regime, almost eliminated ISIS.
        Tell me what the globalist Obama delivered.

        • artcroft

           /  August 9, 2018

          Nato is better funded? Not yet, but yes it will have to be cos Putin is much stronger and the US so much weaker.

          And Kim is busy building his nuclear weapons while leading Donald a merry dance.

          ISIS is not dead but simply relocating to Europe while Putin decides with Tehran how to divide up Syria.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  August 9, 2018

      Saint Donald of narcissism?

      • Patzcuaro

         /  August 9, 2018

        Patriot except if it involved going to fight, philanthropist as long as charity begins at home, businessman as long as there is someone to bail him out and there is no tax to pay.

  2. Blazer

     /  August 9, 2018

    Free Trade…just another fantasy sold to the shuffling …hamsters.

    • David

       /  August 9, 2018

      Surprised you are with Trumpy on this one.

      • Blazer

         /  August 9, 2018

        The U,S had an isolationist policy before.They will suffer more…NZ is one of few boltholes with great appeal.
        People will be lining up to get in here.
        We don’t need the uber rich…

        I wanted Trump to win…he could do no worse and its the ultimate reality …magic show.

  3. Zedd

     /  August 9, 2018

    more of MrTs ‘bully boy tactics’..
    echoes of GWB unilateral agenda ‘your either with us or your with the terrorists’ 😦

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  August 9, 2018

    US$ is strong:
    https://www.marketwatch.com/investing/index/dxy/charts

    So is US growth including manufacturing. So far Trump is winning.

    • Zedd

       /  August 9, 2018

      but… “mind the gap Alan” ; More Tory ‘neo-liberal trickledown B-S’ ! 😦

      Just because the top 10% have more cash ‘than they can EAT’ doesnt mean their economy is strong.. it just proves that neo-liberalism IS a failure, with a vast majority (as in NZ) just above the ‘breadline’, even many working fulltime or two/three jobs.. its called ‘Inequality’

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 9, 2018

        You obviously didn’t like the link I posted the other day showing that minority employment has risen along with wage rates. Eyes wide shut.

        • Zedd

           /  August 9, 2018

          I often read these ‘good news stories’ then discover that the ‘benefits’ that the majority get are just ‘peanuts’ compared to the massive profits that those on the ‘top table’ often received.. its called ‘baffle them with B-S’.. Eyes are WIDE open 😦

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  August 9, 2018

            No, that’s called the politics of envy where you want everyone to stay equally poor rather than all get unequally richer.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  August 9, 2018

      Trump is winning what?

      On Tuesday night (US) there was a special election in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, which leans Republican by 7 points. The Democrat candidate was competitive loosing narrowly. There are 60 Republican held congressional districts with narrower margins.

      Rural areas didn’t turnout for the Republicans and suburban college educated whites are struggling with Trump, especially women. Come November the battlefield may change if Democrats take the House and or Senate.

      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2018/08/08/tuesday_night_is_a_bad_sign_for_gop_chances_in_the_house.html

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  August 9, 2018

        Yes, the House was always going to be a challenge for the Republicans this year. Senate much less so. Time will tell on that.

    • David

       /  August 9, 2018

      Had meeting with stockbroker this morning, loving the Trump.