By on April 10, 2018

“Paramount Leader” and Chinese President Xi Jinping clearly hopes to defuse China’s trade situation with the United States after Donald Trump launched an aggressive tariff hike on metals last month. The People’s Republic has already filed a complaint with the World Trade Organization alleging Trump’s decision to impose additional duties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent aluminum violate international trade rules.

It’s also requesting 60 days of consultations with the United States to resolve the dispute.

There’s also an olive branch on the table. Xi has promised to cut auto import taxes and improve intellectual property protections in a bid to bolster foreign exports and ease tensions before the U.S. and China enter into a full-blown trade war. Meanwhile, the White House is threatening to increase duties on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods in response to claims that China essentially bullies foreign companies to hand over technology in order to sell it inside the country. 

Trump’s hardball approach to Chinese trade has been polarizing, but Xi’s initial response shows some promise that the tactic wasn’t for nothing. While the United States gets the vast majority of its steel from elsewhere, China remains the world’s largest steel exporter by a huge margin and the tariffs set a scary precedent. In addition to the increased duties on Chinese goods, President Xi seems prepared to nip this tiff in the bud before things get any worse.

Speaking to Chinese and foreign businesspeople at the Boao Forum for Asia, Xi didn’t specifically mention Trump but did say Beijing will lower tariffs on auto imports (currently set at 25 percent) this year and ease restrictions on foreign ownership in the auto industry “as soon as possible.”

Right now, China mandates that any outside manufacturer hoping to build vehicles inside its borders (or sell at a meaningful volume) enter into a joint venture. Critics claim this is tantamount to handing proprietary technologies over to potential competitors, since the law dictates foreign ownership cannot exceed 50 percent. While ruling primarily affects automakers, it is by no means limited to them. Many have argued the joint venture laws are part of the ruling Communist Party’s plan to create home-grown global competitors in everything from robotics to medicine.

Whether or not it’s true, it does allow Chinese businesses to benefit from foreign investment in a big way, opening up the possibility of sharing advanced technologies they wouldn’t have had access to otherwise. Still, while Xi said the automotive industry can expect fewer restrictions on foreign ownership, he did not specify by how much or when.

Jake Parker, vice president for China operations for the U.S.-China Business Council, told the Associated Press he welcomed the announcement, but expressed hope for additional steps — such as ending requirements for joint ventures and technology licensing altogether.

“Ultimately, U.S. industry will be looking for implementation of long-stalled economic reforms, but actions to date have greatly undermined the optimism of the U.S. business community,” Parker explained.

Xi also reiterated his earlier promise that China would expand imports and narrow its widening trade surplus. The country’s overall exports increased 11 percent last year to over $423 billion in goods — and roughly two thirds of those items went straight to America.

[Image: U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)]

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

Recommended

92 Comments on “All About Imports: Chinese President Tries to Mellow Blossoming Trade War With U.S....”


  • avatar
    highdesertcat

    It’s unlikely there will be a trade war between the US and any other of its trading partners.

    Not conducive to good business.

    Will there be major changes to existing trade agreements?

    You betcha!

    And long overdue.

    • 0 avatar
      Big Al from Oz

      highdesertcat,
      No details have been given yet by the Chinese. The Chinese will expect some reciprocation by the US as well.

      The Chinese could turn the table on Trump by pushing down tariffs and import barriers leaving the US exposed.

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    Once again Trump is proven correct while the “smart people” are shown to be morons.

    Trump: We’re going to get 3% GDP growth
    Smart People: It’s crazy to think you can have 3% GDP. What a dummy!
    Q4: GDP grows 2.9%

    Trump: Manufacturing jobs will come back
    Smart People: Manufacturing jobs are never coming back. What a dummy!!
    196K net new manufacturing jobs created in 2017

    Trump: We can win a trade war with China
    Smart People: You can’t win a trade war with China. What a dummy!
    China surrenders in the trade war

    • 0 avatar
      TwoBelugas

      Smart people: We are concerned about the trade deficit and Republicans are too greedy to do anything about it, they don’t care about the common worker.

      Trump: I want to raise tariff to bring jobs back to the workers.

      Smart people: Trump is too unstable and hates American workers.

      • 0 avatar
        IBx1

        More like raising tariffs to reach fair parity with those on the other side of our business if they won’t lower theirs against us.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Much much more complicated than you present. Starting in the late 80s, they sold the economy to Asia. Now, Asia has taken a great stance in world affairs, and they want to bring an economy back. The Petro Yuan is now challenging the dollar on the world stage, and as a result, interest rates have gone up and will continue going up. If China demanded we exchange US dollars for Petro Yuan for trade, then the Chinese have *all* of the leverage. Maybe their cheap crap stops being cheap with no leverage? I don’t agree with everything thats been done but I see the strategy, and I challenge you to come up with a better one.

        • 0 avatar
          zerofoo

          Petro-currencies are all vulnerable to two potential threats – Russian and North American natural gas, and renewables.

          Petroleum producing countries know there are billions upon billions of cubic feet of natural gas located under capped wells just waiting to be tapped.

          Couple that with a somewhat half-assed build out of off-shore drilling and wind turbines and European and North American energy producers could tank petroleum markets – if they so desired.

          They subsidize manufactured exports, we subsidize energy production. It’s not the trade war everyone envisioned, but one I could see being used as a club to beat the other guy with.

        • 0 avatar
          28-Cars-Later

          Good points, esp summary.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Hey, maybe he should fly onto an aircraft carrier and give a speech with a big “Mission Accomplished” banner flying behind him, since you’ve already declared victory.

      Wait…that one’s been done already. My bad.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      “China surrenders in the trade war”

      Have they?

      “SHANGHAI, Jan. 9 — China has resolved to shift some of its foreign exchange reserves — now in excess of $800 billion — away from the U.S. dollar and into other world currencies in a move likely to push down the value of the greenback, a high-level state economist who advises the nation’s economic policymakers said in an interview Monday.”

      “SEPTEMBER 12, 2017 – China will soon introduce a crude oil futures contract denominated in yuan and convertible into gold, the Nikkei Asian Review reported on September 1. Analysts say that since China is the world’s largest oil importer, the move could deal a major blow to the global influence of the United States dollar.”

      China and Xi Jinping are the ones playing 4D chess. TwitterPotus functions as a reactionary organism.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Now, Lou, we all know we won the Trade War That Never Happened But Did Happen…’cuz, our prez never makes bad business moves. Never. It’s nothing but win. All. The. Time.

        Wait…

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_affairs_of_Donald_Trump

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        This is all about the Petro Yuan and has been for some time.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Additional: This guy sums it up nicely.

        zerohedge.com/comment/11484013#comment-11484013

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          @28 Unfortunately the Zero Hedge site has zero credibility and is allegedly linked to Russian money.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            To write off a well laid out theory or argument based solely on the fact that the website it was on has “zero credibility” and “alleged links” is pretty obtuse and/or conspiratorial. Funny how it’s the left now that has gone full McCarthyite (along with the old neocon stalwarts like McCain/Graham). You guys are in good company with that stuff lol

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Gtem, maybe the piece might have more credibility if the author weren’t listed as…wait for it…Tyler Durden.

            Geez.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            That’s ZeroHedge’s shtick. It’s actually a pretty brilliant site to get some different viewpoints that aren’t ladled out by CNN-lackeys.

            “Attack the person, not the argument”

            28CL was linking to a COMMENT on that article, I will copy and paste it for you:

            “Keep playing the Western idiots Xi.

            Globalisation handed everything to China on a plate.

            China has played a blinder and taken naive Western globalists for the ride of their lives.

            The West played by the rules of economics and China looked after its national interests.

            The Western economies got hollowed out and China turned into a super power.

            Geopolitics 1, economics 0.

            The broader political economy might have helped, which looks at the bigger picture and the nation as a whole.

            Narrow economics just concentrates on maximising profit, which is best done in China with its low labour costs.

            We let the wealthy keep their money so they could invest in Asia for the best returns.

            The Government would have spent that money here if they had taken it in taxes.

            Political economy 1, narrow economics 0”

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            @FreedMike

            Apparently your credible friends at Washington Post feel comfortable referencing Zero Hedge as a source in articles to boot:

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/paloma/the-finance-202/2018/04/11/the-finance-202-trump-buys-chinese-line-on-tariffs/5acd3c0d30fb0406a5a1230c/?utm_term=.9ee66558c73b

            You know who really pushes against the credibility of Zero Hedge? Our Clintonista friends over at MediaMatters (created and run by creepy David Brock of Hillary’s failed campaign):
            https://www.mediamatters.org/shows-and-publications/zero-hedge

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            @gtem:

            “My friends at the Washington Post”?

            I don’t have any friends at the Washington Post, last I checked. I don’t read the Washington Post.

            All that I said was that I have a problem believing something written by someone whose pen name is a fictional character from a movie who liked to blow stuff up. You’ll excuse me if that somewhat limits ol’ “Tyler’s” credibility, OK?

            Thanks for the daily ad hominem, and assuming you know something about me when we’ve never actually met, though. Thanks a bunch.

            I’m out, bro. Talking with folks around here about politics just ends up with people being jerks to each other. Not worth my time. I’ll stick to cars.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Oh jeez don’t get bent out of shape. Two sentences lower I refer to Media Matters as “our friends,” all tongue in cheek of course.

            My point is that Zero Hedge is a really interesting source, and used by many across the political spectrum for some pretty deep dives you won’t find in “regular” MSM sources. Furthermore, I’d argue efforts to discredit Zero Hedge for some of the uncomfortable things they discuss is coming from truly odious sources (MediaMatters).

            Washington Post’s scoop on Brock:
            http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/one-hillary-clinton-supporters-rotten-political-empire/2018/01/02/ec207e7c-efe2-11e7-b390-a36dc3fa2842_story.html?utm_term=.0b7fc6d6bdbc

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Well, then, you keep on reading Zero Hedge. Your call.

            Peace out.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            @Arthur

            If 2016 taught us anything, its that all “media” is fake news to a degree. All of it. Probably has been for decades, limited technology allowed a better handle on it that’s all. Pick your poison because even within fake news can lie some truth. I’ll take probable Soviet propaganda vs what I know is largely fake Western MSM.

            @gtem

            Yes I was just referencing good points made by another. All are arguable of course but I think he hit most everything succinctly.

            @Freed

            I’ll read Jeff’s Blog occasionally because I don’t believe every article to be completely false, but I take it with a grain of salt like most else. Once one starts reading everything he can and makes his own judgments, but I think with time he can see how truly censored many things are and just how deep the rabbit hole could go.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ Lou_BC

        How does driving down the dollar help China win a trade war? It makes Chinese goods/services expensive, and US goods/services relatively cheap. Maybe if the United States was a natural resource desert, and the cost of inputs of production would skyrocket, but that’s not the case, and we’ve been pressuring the Chinese for decades to let the yuan appreciate, which will balance trade naturally.

        We’ve been pushing for USD-Yuan rebalancing since W’s first term.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @TW5 – wars aren’t usually rational exercises.

          China tying its Yaun to oil and backing it with gold devalues and weakens the USA by competing for top spot as the world’s trade currency. Great Britain lost much of their global influence when the pound sterling lost out to the USA dollar.

          China owns 1.17 trillion in USA currency. A sell off would hurt the USA and trade around the globe. Add to that the fact that China owns almost 1.2 trillion of USA debt. Chinese debt is roughly 42 percent of their GDP. USA debt is roughly 75% of GDP. If China causes a devaluation of the USA greenback that will drive up debt.

          Those who say Drumph’s tough stance has won concessions from China don’t realize most of the major concerns held by the USA related to China were in the process of being adjusted well before the trade war rhetoric started.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Lou_BC

            Japan owns roughly the same amount of American treasuries. We’ve been pressuring China and Japan for over a decade to stop plowing their trade surplus with the US into our capital account. Their irrational preference for investing excess capital in the US is what is slowly gutting our lower middle class, and, in Japan at least, leading to economic stagnation. In China it’s leading to over-leveraging of corporations. Reinvesting in the US, despite our relatively poor growth and stagnant wages, begets more US debt, which Japan and China must buy in order to continue their mercantile economic strategy.

            Devaluation of the currency and slightly higher equilibrium inflation in the US does not lead to more debt. In fact, it helps American exports, it tends to spur economic growth slightly, and it inflates away the nominal value of the debt. We’ve been trying to introduce enough inflation to allow the Federal Reserve Bank to begin raising interest rates, but we struggled during Obama’s entire tenure.

            The “competitive advantage” exploited by our Asian trading partners has been primarily manipulation of the US dollar. It must end, even if the United States has a less prestigious currency for a generation.

        • 0 avatar
          Arthur Dailey

          The problems with Zero Hedge as a source are:
          1) That its posters hide behind the Durden name and therefore cannot be held accountable.
          2) That although it has posted/broken some true investigative stories, those are mixed among ‘fake’ news stories and stories that have been discredited by among others, Snopes.

          Both make it unreliable as a primary source.

    • 0 avatar
      ect

      I_like_stuff, you’re very, very mistaken if you think this is a Chinese “surrender”.

      The Chinese government, which has a clear long-term plan to build its economy and expand its international influence (e.g, Belt and Road Initiative), has seized every opportunity that Trump has given it (and this is just the latest in a continuing series) to present Xi as the adult in the room, and China as the voice of reason. Trump makes it easy for them.

      China, like many countries, has a habit of making grand announcements that aren’t followed up in practice. How much will they actually change this time? As the Zen master famously said, “we’ll see”.

      In any event, it was inevitable that China’s trade surplus would fall as national incomes grew, and that is what has been happening.

      And don’t get too excited about 2017. It is a fact that US manufacturing output has been growing steadily since the end of the Great Recession in 2009, and is now back to where it was at the start of the Great Recession in late 2007. Growth in 2017 didn’t deviate from the trend line, in either direction.

      Although output has recovered, employment has not. There were 1.2 million fewer manufacturing jobs in the US at the end of 2017 than there were at the end of 2007 Technology continues to eliminate manufacturing jobs.

      Follow the data, not headlines.

      • 0 avatar
        TwoBelugas

        Such congregation of great minds and the only thing I am seeing people coming up with is “Xi smart, Trump dumb dumb.”

        What would y’all do differently?

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          “What would y’all do differently?”

          For starters, I wouldn’t charge into this like some kind of half-a**ed contestant on “Survivor.”

          Trump’s not playing with his money anymore. He’s playing with the country’s economy. Sometimes a little caution ain’t a bad thing.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            China is indeed playing the long game.

            They have built infrastructure in Africa in return for ownership of raw materials.

            They are building one of the largest saltwater ports in the world in Pakistan and have nearly completed a super highway between it and their country.

            Wait until they decide to reclaim Taiwan and see what happens>

        • 0 avatar
          ect

          “What would y’all do differently?”

          For starters, accept the fact that we’ve been proving throughout the last 150 years that growing trade makes everyone wealthier.

          Also, accept the fact China is the most serious economic, military and political competitor for the US in the 21st century – and will almost certainly replace the US as the world’s largest economy.

          Therefore, sign on to TPP, which not only would open important new markets for US-made agricultural, high-value manufacturing and high-tech products around the Pacific Rim, but also anchor those countries politically and economically to the US, as a counterweight to China.

          And stay with NAFTA, which has been beneficial to the US and offers Mexico a chance to grow its economy productively. If Mexicans can make a decent living in Mexico, they won’t be crossing the border as illegals to try to feed their families.

          And negotiate a free trade deal with the EU.

          And accept the jobs paradox in the US, where skilled jobs are going begging because companies can’t find people to fill them and unskilled workers are begging for jobs that have been lost to automation. Which means that a comprehensive worker retraining program is long overdue.

          That’s for starters…

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ ect

            TPP is a trojan horse designed to destroy the United States by corrupting America’s trading partners and turning them against us. We learned this the hard way with NAFTA, which can’t even be renegotiated because Canada and Mexico are inexplicably pushing to retain or expand non-NAFTA content. Why? Because they’ve been coopted by the Chinese and other foreign governments who promise to buy their resources.

            Now imagine NAFTA is 12 or 13 countries; therefore, there are more countries to turn against the US, and the US is a relatively smaller piece of the trade area negotiations. Total annihilation.

            The things that you’ve been taught about “good foreign policy” were designed to destroy you and your country. Pay attention to who is telling you to ratify these contracts.

          • 0 avatar
            ect

            TW5, your diatribe is complete balderdash.

            The impact of trade agreements is a serious subject that has been extensively studied by serious people for many, many years.

            The mindless vitriol, ravings and conspiracy theories that permeate the alt-right blogosphere are the stuff of blind prejudice, untainted by any reality and entirely fact-free.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ ect

            Why do you prefer multi-lateral agreements to bilateral agreements? Do you even understand the distinction?

            You don’t support TPP because it’s the best way to do things. You’re parroting the arguments made by other people, while pushing the United States into a multi-lateral format that hasn’t served the lower middle class particularly well.

            We already know the issues caused by NAFTA. We don’t need to quadruple the size of our problems to satisfy a small group of plutocrats.

            Our poor economic performance during the 21st century is not a conspiracy theory, and your inability to deal with our economic challenges unless they are candy-coated for taste is quite troubling.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @TwoBelugas –

          “What would y’all do differently?”

          TPP should not have been cancelled. That handed upwards of 40% of Pacific rim trade to China.

          China should have been penalized for the theft of intellectual property a long time ago i.e. multiple Presidents past.

          The USA and other countries should not have set up shop in China to avoid the cost of moral and ethical obligations to protecting workers health and welfare as well as environmental stewardship. Why do you think China was such a cheap place to do business?

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            Lou,
            It was 40% of the value of GLOBAL trade Trump p!ssed away an immeasurable influence for the US.

            Then, the US should of struck a FTA with the EU and had 55% of global trade under it’s influence.

          • 0 avatar
            TW5

            @ Big Al from Oz

            Why wouldn’t Trump want to influence or control 40% of global trade volume?

            No one has established a motive for him doing such a thing, and they never will because TPP was not designed to give us control of anything.

            Furthermore, we haven’t relinquished any influence, on the contrary we want bilateral negotiations with trading partners around the world, this includes China who were excluded from TPP.

            Multi-lateral trade is not the only way to get things done. Learn.

    • 0 avatar
      ra_pro

      Yes, Trump the business genius that has such a great credit report with American Banks that none that is no major (or minor) US bank will lend him and his companies money. His banker is Deutche Bank accused and convicted of numerous illegal activities in the US and the guarantors to his loans if any seem to be Russian Mafia people many of them connected to Putin.

      • 0 avatar
        bd2

        Plus, aside from his numerous bankruptcies, Drumpf was stupid enough to start a mortgage company in 2007 – right when the RE bubbles was about to pop (about as dumb as his SiL astronomically over-paying for an office building in Manhattan at the height of the market where they are having a lot of trouble servicing the debt).

        It’s one thing for Drumpf to have no clue how to run casinos, an airlines or running the USFL into the ground, but isn’t real estate supposed to be his area of “expertise.”

        And lookee here, Drumpf has assigned Larry Kudlow and Bob Lighthizer the task of looking into re-entering the TPP; one of the reasons behind that is that the one of the impetus behind the TPP was to form a trade bloc to counter China’s economic power.

        Speaking of China, was against the opening of trade (or at least to the level it was) with that totalitarian regime, but big corporations got their way (Walmart being one of the driving forces).

        Such actions merely jump-started the PRC’s economy and accelerated China’s ability to start throwing their weight around, not to mention being the biggest rival to US military might.

        Also note how none of the tariffs imposed on China involved apparel or other goods which would impact Drumpf or Ivanka-licensed products made in China.

        Also, for all this talk about China unfairly dumping steel, the Drumpf properties in Chicago and Vegas were built with Chinese steel and aluminum.

  • avatar
    IBx1

    It’s his negotiating style and it’s why we voted for him. Come in not just strong, but come in like a lunatic, and negotiate to your realistic goal. All you need is the power behind you to make it bad if you walk away and to have set a few examples of doing just that in the past. It’s not bluffing if you’re not afraid to do it, even if it’s not what you really want in the end.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      OK, but in the past, it was his money he was gambling with, so he could go as balls-out as he wanted. If he failed, then it was his loss. Now, failure is the country’s loss.

      There’s a reason why presidents are usually risk-averse on this kind of issue. Lose, and you can royally screw up the economy of a whole nation…and if you screw up this country’s economy, the whole world suffers. A quick scan of the history books tells you in no uncertain terms that when the world’s economy suffers, one of the usual consequences is war.

      Maybe the balls-out strategy works, maybe it doesn’t, but hailing him for doing this without at least recognizing the kind of risk he’s running only tells part of the story.

      • 0 avatar
        IBx1

        Given the status quo with us heading towards irrelevancy anyway, I’d rather take some risk.

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          Feel free to do that, as long as it’s your money. Problem is, it’s my money too. And let’s recongnize what kind of risks can befall the “balls out” strategy we’re seeing right now.

          And as far as “irrelevance” is concerned…we’ve been doing pretty well as a nation despite supposedly being on the “road to irrelevance” since before disco died.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “disco died”

            Oh noooooooo!

            WHEN????

            So much for dieting to try to get into my Saturday Night Fever suit. (I didn’t want to look like Fat Elvis)

          • 0 avatar
            TwoBelugas

            “And as far as “irrelevance” is concerned…we’ve been doing pretty well as a nation despite supposedly being on the “road to irrelevance” since before disco died.”

            So you whole point is we should not rock the boat and let the chips fall where they may.

            Sounds like you are irrelevant.

            Meanwhile the US need to figure out how to make sure the rapidly increasing hispanic population can be fully integrated into the economy, and status quo was not going to mysteriously generate millions of jobs for them.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            “So you whole point is we should not rock the boat and let the chips fall where they may.”

            No, my point is that we shouldn’t approach this like an episode of “The Apprentice.” A little more caution may not be a bad thing.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          I’m with ya IBx1. Voting Trump into office was an act of desperation on behalf of a large part of the country, and with this China stuff he’s going to bat for us. No doubt there is risk, but he’s tackling an issue head-on that has gone on for far too long. I’d point to NAFTA and giving China “favored nation” trading status as the two most damaging things to our social fabric in the US based strictly on the sheer number of good paying low-skill jobs we lost (granted, automation is another huge piece). We’re driving towards more and more social/economic inequality because of this, and we’re seeing the instability and resentment brewing as a result.

          • 0 avatar
            highdesertcat

            ” Voting Trump into office was an act of desperation on behalf of a large part of the country”

            I agree. A large part of America had been devastated by the redistribution of wealth of the last guy in office. Epic Fail!

            I didn’t vote for Trump, but I sure like what he has done so far.

            And we better enjoy it while it lasts. Trump has to fight his own party hacks, the ‘crats AND The Deep State; everyone except the people!

            Truly fvcking amazing.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            ” Voting Trump into office was an act of desperation on behalf of a large part of the country.”

            True but is much easier to sell the populace on a myth that all of that desperation was caused by foreign entities.

            “A large part of America had been devastated by the redistribution of wealth of the last guy in office.”

            @HDC – pull your head out of your azz. The process of selling out the USA middle class has been going on for multiple presidencies. Over many decades “government of the people, by the people, for the people” has truly been “government of the bought, by the 0.1%, for the 0.1%”

            Extremely naive to believe that Drumph is any different. I must give him credit for the wonderful job of selling Cambridge Analytica’s manipulation campaign.

            To quote you, it will lead America to an “Epic Fail!”

          • 0 avatar
            IBx1

            Lou, as a higher-functioning Trump voter, the desperation was clearly caused by the swamp that is our elected officials selling this country to China since the late ’70s. Not by China or any other foreign entity, but by our politicians.

            You’re daft if you think some memes and fake news made my decision for me, or for most others who voted the way we did.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            Agreed again IBx1. The root cause was poor policy-making by our pols (on both sides of the aisle no doubt). Neocon and “libertarian” repubs are all too happy to sell US workers down the river at the altar of GDP growth (by way of corporations cutting costs through outsourcing production overseas), along with being a-okay with a porous border that feeds cheap labor to their wealthy donors’ construction/ag/etc businesses. Neo-lib dems always see third world immigrants as future voters, and seemingly long ago have forgotten about the legal-citizen working class as their classic bulwark voting bloc (see NAFTA under Clinton, TTP with Hillary, focus on progressive social justice issues). And on foreign policy the Bush/Clinton/Obama camps have all been in lock step to do Israel’s and Saudi Arabia’s bidding in the Middle East, no matter the long term repercussions or cost in American blood and treasure. I see Trump getting lead down the same path on foreign policy unfortunately with all these Syria machinations and bringing on John freakin’ Bolton into his cabinet.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @IBx1 – “as a higher-functioning Trump voter”

            You must have read that article about manipulation. I did not imply that you or anyone else here were “lower-functioning” but there were sufficient numbers of “those” voters that fell for the rhetoric.

            I do agree 100% that there needs to be drastic changes to the self-enriching/self-serving political system that currently exists. Your potus is definitely not the messiah you seek. Drain the swamp….. too funny since he acts like the head reptile feasting on the carcasses of the middle-class or what ever other group he exploits for his own pleasure or gain.

            HDC on the other hand has the audacity to whine about the redistribution of wealth when multiple posts indicate that he does not give a flying fvck about others.

          • 0 avatar
            bd2

            @highdesertcat

            You’re blaming Obama for the devestation of the redistribution of wealth? lol

            That was started by “Saint” Reagan, continued by Bush I and Clinton (but spear-headed in Congress by Phil Gramm) and accelerated by Bush II.

            The Great Recession (which was started under Bush II’s watch) was what devastated the middle class (which was already hurting).

            Much of the policies which brought about the conditions for the Great Recession were spear-headed by Phil Gramm who is now living the high life as a Vice Chairman for UBS.

            The mistake that Obama made was extending the Bush II tax cuts (yeah, those tax cuts really stopped the economy from tanking) in the hope that doing so would make the Republicans more amenable to bipartisanship (yeah, like that was going to happen).

            The latest round of tax cuts (for the wealthy) and de-regulation of the financial markets are laying the groundwork for the next major economic downturn (like it has time and time again).

            And economic downturns caused by malfeasance by the banking/finance sector always end up with longer, slower recoveries (Great Depression, Great Recession) as opposed to the normal business cycle downturn.

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            bd2,
            I think the US is squandering a great opportunity right now in restructuring it’s future.

            I do understand the angst by many working and middle class Americans regarding their futures.

            No matter what Trump does or promises will not make the necessary change in direction required to MAGA.

            My view is Trump was voted in because change was needed, but unfortunately Trump is offering the incorrect change. To the less educated (TW5 amongst others) they are seeing change with Trump and he makes lot of noise whether true or false regarding the current changes underway in the US. The desperate people support this as it fits in with their view of change.

            One day a decade down the track many of these people will hang their heads down in disgust at themselves, not ever wanting to admit they were Trumpet’teers.

            People like HDC (DiM) is a troll, if you read his comments he has no real direction or belief, they change to suit how and what he’s trolling.

            Trump is so inconsistent he’s considering the Trans Pacific Trade Pact again! But, the countries have already signed up and the mumours are stating the US will not have the same deal as the orignal as the new TTP has been altered to suit the new suite of nations.

            Trump 2017
            http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-01-21/donald-trump-trade-strategy-starts-with-quitting-asia-pact/8200426

            Trump’s view 2018
            “https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/apr/13/trump-says-he-would-rejoin-tpp-if-offered-better-terms-than-obama”

            Reality TPP 2018
            http://www.northbaybusinessjournal.com/northbay/sonomacounty/8221053-181/pacific-trade-partnership-asia-trump

            Trump, fncked up big time here. The deal maker he is!

      • 0 avatar
        ajla

        “without at least recognizing the kind of risk he’s running only tells part of the story.”

        I might be giving people too much credit, but I assume his voters recognized the risk of his proposed trade policy and decided “victory or death” was the way they wanted it to go.

      • 0 avatar
        TW5

        @ FreedMike

        There is no risk. In the past, politicians were selling us out to make their donors happy, and conditioning us to believe that the sellout was part of diplomacy and civic duty. Obviously it was BS.

        At worst, Trump can fail to make things better. The demise of our country was already certain though the average person was completely oblivious to the fact. Trump is trying to undo malaise and apathy with aggressive US economic policy.

        People still have no clue that we hold virtually all of the cards. They live in the world Big Al has created for them.

        Sad. The only way we can lose is by believing a bluff and folding.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          TW5,
          Well, my view is different than yours. I believe to take the Chinese on we need to pull together. That is all of the OECD economies.

          That means closer trade ties between us without this crying from the US like a kid that didn’t get that 1/4″ of milk his brother got.

          What goes around comes around. The US is doing as well as any other OECD nation overall. So, I don’t see any need to have the issues resolved the way Trump is managing them.

          China would of considered it too risky to do many of the things it has done, but a fragmented “West” has allowed China to do so. We can only blame ourselves and this is where the US must lead others, not alone.

          The longer term damage Trump has caused the US isn’t measurable. Like Britannia, the US will very slowly slide backwards and their is no stopping this with the current belligerance dealt out by Trump.

          The US was undeniably the most influential country, now it’s challenged as we are witnessing on Planet America.

          The dramatised events in the US show desperation on the US’es part combined with mismanagment is making many friends and Allies doubtful of the US ability to be as large a contributor to world peace and economic growth as it has been in the past.

          This is what’s important. Without peace and economic growth globally the US along with others will suffer.

      • 0 avatar
        ra_pro

        Trump doesn’t believe he ever last in anything, his bankrupcies, just good business according to him.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      We voted for him?

      I couldn’t figure out who was sane, so I abstained. It’s the first time I didn’t vote in a Presidential election, even for a third party candidate.

    • 0 avatar
      Tele Vision

      Yep.

      Lunatic. Congenital liar. Narcissist. Man-Baby. Philanderer. Professional Litigationist. Probably Writes In Infantile Cursive To Match His Grade School Vocabulary. Out Of His Depth/Over His Head.

      I could go on.

      He’s a Worldwide laughingstock as a human – nevermind as a President.

      • 0 avatar
        gtem

        “He’s a Worldwide laughingstock as a human – nevermind as a President.”

        Well I don’t see you sitting in the Oval office or being a multi-billionaire, so there’s that. *shrug*

        • 0 avatar
          FreedMike

          And I don’t see a long line of women lining up to say I treated them a sailor fresh off the ship in Bangkok, so there’s that too.

          *shrug*

          (I don’t care how much money he made – the guy’s a creep. I don’t wish him ill, but it’s hard for me for to root for him. Character counts.)

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            “And I don’t see a long line of women lining up to say I treated them a sailor fresh off the ship in Bangkok, so there’s that too.”

            Sounds like rapey ol’ Bill Clinton more-so than Trump to be honest. Trump’s obviously not much of a classic committed family guy, but I haven’t heard of credible claims of him actually assaulting women in some sort of non-consensual manner. Hillary sticking by Bill with all that’s gone on reminds me exactly of Huma Abedin’s situation with Weiner. It’s all about political power.

            “I don’t know @Tele Vision personally but unlike Drumph, I doubt that he won the “rich” lottery of dribbling out the end of a wealthy d!ck.”

            You really think you could be where Trump is now simply by being born wealthy? Also, I’ll reiterate what I’ve said in the past, you come across as a (leftist version) of mouth-breathing “Obongo’s a Muslim” sort with all this “Drumpf” “dribbling out of the end of a wealthy d!ck” talk. Just so you’re aware.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          “Well I don’t see you sitting in the Oval office or being a multi-billionaire, so there’s that.”

          I don’t know @Tele Vision personally but unlike Drumph, I doubt that he won the “rich” lottery of dribbling out the end of a wealthy d!ck.

          • 0 avatar
            Arthur Dailey

            @Gtem, there are a number of quite credible claims of ‘inappropriate’ behaviour against the current POTUS. Including a first hand allegation from a friend of my own (extended) family. Plus his own statement on camera/video.

            Clinton was also a ‘hound’ and also someone who had only a passing relationship with the truth. It is my belief that HRC’s acceptance of this, damaged her reputation/standing with many other female Americans,and prevented her from ‘attacking’ her opponent on moral grounds during the campaign.

        • 0 avatar
          ra_pro

          Yes, laughingstock is exactly right but it’s laughter through tears at least in many European countries (many of whom might not exactly love America but have appreciated its leadership over the decades), this is what America has come down to.

        • 0 avatar
          Tele Vision

          He isn’t even a billionaire. Read up on it. Had he put his inheritance in the S&P 500 he’d be rich. He didn’t so he isn’t.

          I don’t lie or steal or cheat and my family comes first, above all. Your ‘President’, a ‘man’ you obviously voted for, can’t state any of that in truth.

          He’s an idiot and everyone knows it. Look up Wharton – but you won’t.

          • 0 avatar
            28-Cars-Later

            The secret of great fortunes without apparent cause is a crime forgotten, for it was properly done.

            -Balzac

            https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Honoré_de_Balzac

            That about covers everyone’s misplaced heroes.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Someone left his thinking cap at home.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      However overestimating your power or your hand can also be very damaging.
      The question is who can do without the other, China or the USA?
      And based on current economic and political considerations the correct answer might not be what you want.

      Remember that public corporations have no national loyalty.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Arthur,
        This is what concerns me regarding the way in which Trump operates. He’s shows little or no diplomacy in retaining existing Allies and friendships.

        Here’s something that will over time impact US influence.

        https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2018-04-10/trump-s-trade-war-pushes-europe-toward-china

  • avatar
    dont.fit.in.cars

    Panda bear mask on the red dragon. China culture is either win or lose and refuses mutual benefit. We do not need China for anything. No one piece of equipment out performes nor greater value than products from Korea, Japan, or US manufacture.

  • avatar
    threeer

    Not that I voted for him, or trust him, or think he’s necessarily stable…but he is the first person that I can recall who is attempting to address this. I’d be more than happy to trade with China all day long if it were based on reciprocity. China slaps 25% tariffs on our goods coming in? We do the same. China forces JV’s to enter the market to produce? So do we. China forces intellectual property to be handed over? So do we. I know it’s much more complicated than that, and a zero-sum balance sheet should not necessarily be the end-game, but come on…a $300 billion drubbing year over year over year isn’t what right looks like, either. We’re ceding our wealth, influence (and I’d argue security and independence) to a country that is neither friend or ally.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @threeer – Drumph hasn’t really affected China’s strategy at all:

      “China President Xi Jinping offered little in the way of concessions in Beijing’s trade flap with the U.S. in a high-profile speech Tuesday, instead reiterating a raft of previously announced measures on reducing tariffs and increasing access to Chinese markets. But he didn’t escalate the situation, either. And that was enough to send markets off to the races, analysts said.”

      “Headlines focused on Xi’s pledge to open China’s markets and reduce tariffs on auto imports, but China watchers noted that few of the items were new and that many had been outlined in previous speeches, including Xi’s high profile address at the World Economic Forum’s 2017 annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.”

      “While markets cheered, there was little in Xi’s speech to encourage the Trump administration that Beijing is ready to entertain the types of reforms it has demanded , said Scott Kennedy, director of the Project on Chinese Business and Political Economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank.”

      China did concede to tightening up intellectual property rights but most “in the know” believe that was already in the works.

      China just threw Drumph a bone to chew on.

      • 0 avatar
        ra_pro

        Drumpf not Drumph. The Chinese are so smart when dealing with the idiot that they understand exactly how to play him and hist stupid followers well represented on this forum. Cheer on Innocents (to put it politely), you are on the Great March to make “America Great Again”. Then go and look up how the Great March ended up in China some 60 years ago.

    • 0 avatar
      redapple

      ^AGREED^

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      And not just this. For the first time since Gorbachev there is a president who is actually doing something to make his country better. God bless America!

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    You know, I’m thinking that people are counting their chickens before they hatch.

    China isn’t stupid. What if the Chinese state an across the board removal of all vehicle taxes or it’s a no go to Trump?

    Imagine the US with $14 000 midsizers? $22 000 for a fully blinged dual cab?

    The Chinese might just start throwing back some of the protectionist argument back to the US daring Trump to reduce US protection and the Chinese will match.

    • 0 avatar
      vvk

      > Imagine the US with $14 000 midsizers? $22 000 for a fully blinged dual cab?

      I am sure I have no idea what you are talking about.

      > The Chinese might just start throwing back some of the protectionist
      > argument back to the US daring Trump to reduce US protection and the Chinese will match.

      What US protection? 2.5% import duty? What are you talking about?

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        vvk,
        No the large vehicle market is highly protected. Think pickup trucks and commercials …… if you are not aware have a Chinese like 25% import tax.

        This is the bread and butter of the US auto manufacturers.

  • avatar
    redapple

    We are at war with China.

    A Trade war.
    A currency war.
    Intellectual property theft war. (including military designs.)

    ALL – WE HAVE BEEN LOSING BADLY.

    This yields — China Industrialization vs USA de industrialization.

    This WILL not go on forever with out devastating results.

    The old way of past presidents (Clinton thru Osama) ensure de balling of America world wide and China becoming the world dominator.

    If that is what you want- fine – stop the president.

    The world without a strong america is right around the corner. I know most people hate trump and or hate america, but only a fool wants a weak america. But that is coming. That s what the chart shows. Just look at that straight down ward graph line. I ll make out OK. It ll take another 15-25 years years.

    Economics 101. The only way you create wealth is through mining, manufacturing and agriculture. Everybody else is just moving $ around and taking a cut off the top.

    We must be a wealthy country in order to be able project power around the world and be the defender of the world including europe. We wont be there for the next world war. You are on your own.
    Laff it up while you can.

    • 0 avatar
      Arthur Dailey

      @Redapple; When the Soviet Empire collapsed the USA had an international opportunity unlike any since the end of WWI. A global one power hegemony.

      And the American political elite managed to p*#s that opportunity away.
      Why?

      The gave in to global corporate greed, in the name of the ‘free market’. They lined their own pockets. Rather than giving Russian ‘middle of the roaders’ an olive branch/assistance, they kicked them while they were down. And they engaged in nonsensical invasions of other nations.

      • 0 avatar
        redapple

        Authur D

        Well said.

        On another point. I was about ready to puke 3 weeks ago when I heard the 4th news story about how a 6 pack of canned beer will cost 6 cents more due to the stupid evil President.

        Exactly ZERO stories on 25% tariff on a US car sold in China VERSUS a 2% tariff on a Chinese car (Buick Envision, Volvos and other to come). If the propaganda system would do their jobs, we might have a chance.

        What i m saying is, the media is part of the problem. It s geared for imbeciles.

        • 0 avatar
          Big Al from Oz

          redapple,
          No the chicken tax on pickups and the flow on protection to large pickup based SUVs.

          You guys seem to tell half the story. Ah, but pickups are’Murican so they don’t count??

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @BAFO – How might the Chicken tax protect “anything” from a Chinese pickup?

            If you’re talking protection for from the “Big 3” fullsize pickups, geeze Japanese pickups are still hoping to make a dent someday!

            And since you’re talking Chinese pickups, non-tariff US “barriers” would kill the deal, meaning emissions, safety, but especially Lemon Laws.

            There’s only a 2.5% duty on import SUVs, as if anything “global” or Chinese compares to US fullsize SUVs, much less, fullsize pickups. A Chinese pickup would threaten anything but.

            Hint: The Tundra and Titan are just as “protected” from globals and it gets them nowhere.

            After Chinese automakers finish buying-back Lemon pickups, they’d be too far underwater.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            So the Chinese tack 25 percent on all vehicles and should you decide to build them in China to avoid it you really can’t…you go in 50% with a Chinese company and hand over your IP. But the US is the bad guy here because “Muh Chicken Tax”

            You can not like it (I really don’t but I also don’t see it as the sole reason US Pickups are so popular here as you do), but with respect to China it is appropriate since they do worse to our imports.

            And yes, those non tariff barriers (emissions and crash standards) would push the prices up.

            Ironically I think it is the Chinese market that will keep many of the vehicles those on this forum seem to love alive (big cars with long wheelbases). Much like the US market alone is big enough to support the fullsized pickup to the point that the F series is the best selling vehicle on the planet, the Chinese market is large enough to keep certain segments afloat even if the rest of the world doesn’t want them. If the US gets some of those from time to time to sell in small numbers thats cool. Similarly to how we got some of your own home market’s cars on occasion, but the Australian market wasn’t big enough to keep those cars alive.

            Currently, I would not buy a Chinese car for both political and quality reasons. But should those change I would consider it.

  • avatar

    “They all hate us any how. Let’s drop the big one now. Let’s drop the big one now.” – Randy Newman. (Yes, I know the point he was making. As per redapple’s suggestion I’m laffing it up while I can.)

    I truly believe that if one wants to see what the US will look like in the future, look at Great Britain. Not a question of if, but when. I have no confidence that our government in it’s current state can avoid the slide. Both sides of the “aisle” are to blame.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    As much as anyone I believe that the USA required (requires) a political shake-up.

    All too many federal politicians are either 1) the offspring of elected politicians, 2) the inheritors of enormous wealth.

    Their knowledge of ‘the common person’ is negligible.

    Then corporate funding and lobbying has become obscene. Corporations should not be protected by The Freedom of Speech.

    The economic changes of the switch from a ‘mechanical’ to an ‘electronic’ society have created a seismic shift in the workplace. This has not been adequately addressed.

    Far too much money has been consumed by the military and their hangers-on. Government funds spent on spent bullets, bombs and the fuel used to delivery weaponry is generally ‘wasted’. Would be much better used in healthcare, infrastructure and education ‘at home’.

    The major problem is that the elites are too fully entrenched to hand over the reins of power. And too many of the citizens are unaware of the true cause of their problems or who their true enemies/oppressors are.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    @Arthur Dailey – “The major problem is that the elites are too fully entrenched to hand over the reins of power. And too many of the citizens are unaware of the true cause of their problems or who their true enemies/oppressors are.”

    EXACTLY

    Easier to yell and stomp your feet and blame Mexicans, blacks, poor, immigrants (legal or illegal), Arabs, Muslims, leftists, liberals, intelligentsia, intellectuals, feminists, gays, lesbians, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.

    In the same breath people wonder where mass shooters come from. They blame the same list of people.

    “They” do not blame the ruling elites because “they” have been brainwashed to believe that if you pull yourself up by your boot straps and work hard enough, one day “they” will be successful.

  • avatar
    Robbie

    Xi sounds measured and sensible. In the past, mellow talk from Washington mollified the crazies of the world; these days, Beijing is doing that. China sadly has become the world leader. Post-Trump, we will need at least a decade to regain some respect in the world and to recover from Trump’s economic policies.


Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Jeff S: I had 2 cars that rusted–one on the bottom of the fire wall and another where the unibody was attached...
  • WildcatMatt: Dad picked up a used ’68 Beetle to weather OPEC II, one with the “AutoStick” so Mom...
  • salmonmigration: Is this a time traveler from the distant past?? The first-gen Tacoma that had that issue stopped...
  • jh26036: You miss the best part then, putting quality miles on a car you just bought. These big sedans eat up miles...
  • WildcatMatt: See! I knew Taco Bell had to be involved!

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Staff

  • Contributors

  • Timothy Cain, Canada
  • Matthew Guy, Canada
  • Ronnie Schreiber, United States
  • Bozi Tatarevic, United States
  • Chris Tonn, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States
  • Mark Baruth, United States
  • Moderators

  • Adam Tonge, United States
  • Corey Lewis, United States