Thursday, October 25, 2018

Alex Ward — The US is stopping trade talks with China

“China is convinced that Trump is not looking to resolve the trade dispute,” Daniel Russel, the State Department’s top Asia diplomat from 2013 to 2017, told me last month. Instead, he says, the Chinese feel Trump is merely using trade issues as a way “to undercut China.”
According to multiple sources, Trump’s goal is to severely hurt China’s economy, mostly by making it so hard for companies to do business there that they go elsewhere. The tariffs are one way to do that. 
It helps explain why Trump is in no rush to solve the trade dispute even though top economists say it will hurt the global economy....
Russia is also charging that US sanctions are anti-competitive devices aimed at US global monopoly.

The upshot is likely a protracted trade war unless the ROW caves to the US.
“If President Trump’s strategy is to enter into a political and economic pain tolerance test with Xi Jinping, he is going to need to condition expectations with the American people and ask them to sacrifice,” he told me.
Good luck with that. The ROW can take a whole lot more pain than Americans, who hate even discomfort.

US farmers are already seeing the soybean market they had with China being replaced by other suppliers. Russia also has offered China a large tract of adjacent land to grow soybeans themselves for import substitution. When suppliers are replaced, those markets tend to be permanently lost.

See also at VOX
For the past several months, President Donald Trump has been waging a costly trade war with China, which has had no shortage of ill effects on US farmers.

The Trump administration cut more than $25 million worth of bailout checks to the agriculture industry in September, just a few months after the president announced a $12 billion aid package for US farmers coping with retaliatory tariffs that foreign countries have imposed on their products.

But now it’s clear that the tax subsidies won’t just help US farmers — they’ll help their foreign competitors too, and will likely benefit many of the countries Trump is supposedly targeting.

The news is the latest twist in the president’s trade war with China, which was supposed to help American workers and businesses but has been hurting them instead. Trump’s trade war is failing, and hurting the US economy, and he doesn't seem to care....

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