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Trump on Trade ... Stupidity and Childish...

LFC's Photo LFC 26 May 2017 - 11:24 AM

Trump is now throwing a hissy fit (another hissy fit) over Germany. I suspect that at least part of this was caused by Angela Merkel coming out looking so much more like a world leader than he did when they met but my bold below likely has as much if not more to do with it. Here's the piece in full:

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President Donald Trump is ready to fight Germany in an auto battle according to Germany’s Der Spiegel.

Trump got a chilly reception at the NATO summit in Belgium after attacking fellow members. But he was caught pledging a battle with German automakers as part of his anger with “back dues” he feels the country owes to NATO. As CNN’s Jake Tapper noted Thursday, “Trump seems to think it’s like a country club.”

In a discussion about the country’s trade surplus, Trump said. “The Germans are evil, very evil.”

“Look at the millions of cars they sell in the US, and we’ll stop that,” sources told Der Spiegel.

According to the report, EU Commissioner Jean-Claude Juncker took up for Germany explaining that “free trade is good for all.”

According to a report from the “Süddeutsche Zeitung,” the EU allies were horrified by the willingness of the Americans to view global trade with such a lack of awareness. Trump’s economic consultant Gary Cohn was said to have chided German auto trade during a discussion between the US and Germany and the USA and Belgium. Trump had previously attacked them during another conversation.

“I would say to BMW if they want to build a factory in Mexico and sell cars to the US without a 35 percent tax, they can forget that,” Trump said at the time.

The report revealed that since that comment, there has been “a threat of a criminal tax” in the room.

Trump is bothered by Germany’s trade surplus because many other countries have deficits, particularly the U.S.

He simply can't stand the fact that Germany is doing better than America in some way. Well, unless it's per capita wages, healthcare outcomes, education level, poverty rate, standard of living, general happiness, ... Those don't matter.
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golden_valley's Photo golden_valley 26 May 2017 - 11:29 AM

Trump can't stand Merkle. That was clear when she was in DC. This week she was in smiley photos with Obama. He knows he can't pick on her personally in public so he picks on her country.
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LFC's Photo LFC 26 May 2017 - 11:48 AM

 golden_valley, on 26 May 2017 - 11:29 AM, said:

Trump can't stand Merkle. That was clear when she was in DC. This week she was in smiley photos with Obama. He knows he can't pick on her personally in public so he picks on her country.

Yep, it can all be summed up in two words; "temper tantrum."
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D. C. Sessions's Photo D. C. Sessions 26 May 2017 - 01:11 PM

In at least one source, a picture of Merkel and POTUS was captioned "The Leader of the Free World and Donald Trump."
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Rue Bella's Photo Rue Bella 26 May 2017 - 03:33 PM

Posted Image
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LFC's Photo LFC 30 June 2017 - 12:20 PM

It looks like Steve Bannon may be gaining traction on the trade issue with Trump, much to the horror of less apocalyptic people in the administration.

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With the political world distracted by President Trump's media wars, one of the most consequential and contentious internal debates of his presidency unfolded during a tense meeting Monday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, administration sources tell Axios.

The outcome, with a potentially profound effect on U.S. economic and foreign policy, will be decided in coming days.
  • With more than 20 top officials present, including Trump and Vice President Pence, the president and a small band of America First advisers made it clear they're hell-bent on imposing tariffs — potentially in the 20% range — on steel, and likely other imports.
  • The penalties could eventually extend to other imports. Among those that may be considered: aluminum, semiconductors, paper, and appliances like washing machines.
  • One official estimated the sentiment in the room as 22 against and 3 in favor — but since one of the three is named Donald Trump, it was case closed.
No decision has been made, but the President is leaning towards imposing tariffs, despite opposition from nearly all his Cabinet.

In a plan pushed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and backed by chief strategist Steve Bannon (not present at the meeting), trade policy director Peter Navarro and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, the United States would impose tariffs on China and other big exporters of steel. Neither Mike Pence nor Jared Kushner weighed in either way.

Everyone else in the room, more than 75% of those present, were adamantly opposed, arguing it was bad economics and bad global politics. At one point, Trump was told his almost entire cabinet thought this was a bad idea. But everyone left the room believing the country is headed toward a major trade confrontation.
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golden_valley's Photo golden_valley 30 June 2017 - 10:23 PM

 LFC, on 30 June 2017 - 12:20 PM, said:

It looks like Steve Bannon may be gaining traction on the trade issue with Trump, much to the horror of less apocalyptic people in the administration.

What are they thinking? Global trade is a fact of life. The world is knit together by trade. We cannot afford to withdraw from it. This isn't the pre WWI world. Between these cretins and the Federalist Society types who think we can survive in a pre-Civil War economic and governmental system we are headed to the Stone Age.
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andydp's Photo andydp 01 July 2017 - 02:15 PM

Oh for the good old days of the Smoot Hawley Tariffs !!! THAT showed them !!
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LFC's Photo LFC 05 July 2017 - 09:51 AM

 golden_valley, on 30 June 2017 - 10:23 PM, said:

What are they thinking?

"What? Are they thinking?" (Fixed the punctuation for you.)
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LFC's Photo LFC 02 March 2018 - 11:15 AM

OK, I get trying to trying to level the trade playing field with China but keeping with "stupidity" and "childishness" Trump handles this one in his usual ham-fisted, unthinking, pre-adolescent style. At the moment the Dow is down over 750 points between yesterday and this AM. Thanks, Trump.

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President Donald Trump on Friday insisted “trade wars are good, and easy to win,” a bold claim that will likely find many skeptics, including those on Wall Street and even some Republicans.

Trump has declared that the U.S. will impose punishing tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, escalating tensions with China and other trading partners and raising the prospect of higher prices for American consumers and companies. After the announcement Thursday, stocks closed sharply lower on Wall Street. China has expressed “grave concern.”

Early Friday, Trump took to Twitter to defend himself: “When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win. Example, when we are down $100 billion with a certain country and they get cute, don’t trade anymore-we win big. It’s easy!”

He later tweeted: “Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!”

His announcement came only after an intense internal White House debate. It brought harsh criticism from some Republicans and roiled financial markets with concerns about economic ramifications.

Here's some interesting additional info on China's potential reactions and how this lash out would impact South Korea and Japan, nations that are supposedly our allies in the region.
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Progressive whisperer's Photo Progressive whisperer 02 March 2018 - 11:48 AM

Hey, good of him to trash the economy before the mud-term so it’s pretty clear who to blame...
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golden_valley's Photo golden_valley 02 March 2018 - 11:51 AM

I'm curious. Even if Trump manages to shut off import of steel would it create American jobs? How much of steel manufacturing can be or is automated? I don't think we need men guiding huge vats of molten metal to some machine anymore. (That's my mental picture of steel manufacturing workers.)
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indy's Photo indy 02 March 2018 - 12:11 PM

It's highly automated (https://www.bloomber...year-in-austria) but there are some ancillary jobs benefits as well in things like transportation or building the factories that make the steel.

Some relatively small number of permanent jobs will be created, and we will all pay a pretty hefty price for them.
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indy's Photo indy 02 March 2018 - 12:27 PM

BTW, Bush Jr. tried this same thing and had to back down immediately because a trade war isn't limited to steel. Other countries immediately began targeting industries that held political sway and they will do so again because they aren't run by morons.
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Progressive whisperer's Photo Progressive whisperer 02 March 2018 - 12:30 PM

Wonder how many jobs are lost because of more expensive or harder to get steel? Or resulting from other retaliation.
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Traveler's Photo Traveler 02 March 2018 - 12:32 PM

Boeing is not happy. Not only having to pay more for aluminum, but very likely the prime retaliatory target.
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pnwguy's Photo pnwguy 02 March 2018 - 12:37 PM

 indy, on 02 March 2018 - 12:11 PM, said:

It's highly automated (https://www.bloomber...year-in-austria) but there are some ancillary jobs benefits as well in things like transportation or building the factories that make the steel.

Some relatively small number of permanent jobs will be created, and we will all pay a pretty hefty price for them.
Yeah, I grew up in a steel town, and even with flat demand, the workforce is a tiny fraction of what it once was. And given the danger of the process, it makes total sense for investment in automation. Would you rather have a machine scorched or crushed, or a human?
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LFC's Photo LFC 02 March 2018 - 12:40 PM

 indy, on 02 March 2018 - 12:27 PM, said:

...because they aren't run by morons.

[sigh] I recall a time in America when we weren't run by a moron. Of course that was preceeded by another time that we were.
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indy's Photo indy 02 March 2018 - 12:43 PM

Financial times (https://www.ft.com/c...a7-502f7ee26895, pay walled) has an article up suggesting the EU's preliminary discussions are about targeting red state industries, particularly agriculture.
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LFC's Photo LFC 02 March 2018 - 01:07 PM

 indy, on 02 March 2018 - 12:43 PM, said:

Financial times (https://www.ft.com/c...a7-502f7ee26895, pay walled) has an article up suggesting the EU's preliminary discussions are about targeting red state industries, particularly agriculture.

Imagine how they'll whine that the EU is in league with the Democrats and doing something evil having quickly forgotten their intentional attack on the blue states by limiting SALT deductions.
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