As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Tag Archives: trade

Trump: U.S. Won’t Rejoin the TPP

President Trump said the United States will not rejoin the Trans-Pacific Partnership multi-country trade deal, sparing himself the outrage of voters who elected him to keep the United States out of globalist commitments.

Trump had reportedly been reconsidering his decision, among the first of his presidency, to withdraw the United States from the agreement. I’m willing to bet that thinking was driven at least in part by his newly installed National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow, who holds traditional Republican views on trade and multi-state deals.

Anyway, Trump heard from people, including probably himself, that kept him on track with his innate populism – and with the voter base he needs to be reelected.

Trump Considers Rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership

From the Washington Post:

President Trump ordered top administration officials Thursday to look at rejoining the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the sprawling trade pact he rejected three days after taking office.

The move would mark a stunning reversal for Trump, who sharply criticized the pact as a “disaster” and made opposition to global trade deals a centerpiece of his economic agenda as a candidate.

The Obama administration had inked the trade agreement, known as TPP, with 11 other countries, including Japan, Vietnam, Singapore, and Australia, to lower tariffs and counter China’s influence in the Pacific. An embrace of TPP would give Trump more leverage in his escalating trade feud with Beijing. It also would give U.S. farms, retailers and other businesses better access to foreign markets if China makes good on its recent threats of new tariffs on U.S. goods.

Damn right it would be a stunning reversal. This is exactly what Trump campaigned against: Multilateral trade deals; making U.S. law subservient to international structures; and the New World Order.

Best rethink this. Before you know it, he’ll have us back in the Paris climate change treaty.

I’m sure those within the administration who don’t share Trump’s nationalist agenda are using the China tariffs and the possible consequences for U.S. agriculture as leverage to get him back into the TPP. So now the White House is floating this to see how angry conservatives might get.

WSJ: Trump’s Tariffs Could “Really Hurt” China

Maybe President Trump knows what he’s doing.

If you listen to much of the press, Trump is recklessly getting the United States into a tit-for-tat trade war with China that hurts everyone. But from Trump’s point of view, as he tweeted this morning, the United States has already lost the trade war. Now, it’s time to play catchup.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the United States has significant leverage because of the damage Trump’s proposed tariffs could do to China:

Foreign firms in China are among the most productive of all firms there and are a critical conduit into the country for technology.

Those same companies will dial back investment if they believe routing Chinese goods into the U.S. is set to become progressively difficult. And China—struggling under a massive debt load created by its own inefficient state firms—needs their dynamism and know-how.

But companies attracting investment from outside mainland China have still been key job engines over the long run. Crucially, they have done so without the dangerous build-up of debt that’s characterized so much of China’s domestic industry . . .

So while U.S. leverage with China is weaker than a decade ago, there are still good reasons for China to offer concessions. Neither the U.S. or China has yet set a firm deadline for these tariffs to actually take effect—that means the next step is serious horse trading. The question is what the Trump administration will accept.

A few things are perhaps achievable. They include greater purchases of U.S. semiconductors by Beijing—a move reportedly under discussion; much looser joint venture or foreign ownership requirements, particularly in sectors like finance and health care where additional capital is sorely needed; and higher Chinese payments for U.S. intellectual property.

The article goes on to say we can’t “rapidly” scale down our trade deficit with China. But serious progress in combating China’s egregiously unfair trade practices seems to be on the way.

Trump Assesses $60 Billion in Tariffs on China

China has been stealing our intellectual property for years. Finally, a president is getting tough about it.

“This is the first of many,” Trump said as he signed some $50 billion worth of tariffs on Chinese goods coming into the United States.

Of course, reporters present tried to ask about whether he would testify before special counsel Mueller, which is all anybody in Washington thinks about. But for American business, this is an important moment, and for American voters it’s the keeping of a key campaign promise to get tough with China, which has been ripping us off for many years as it accrues to capital it needs to build a war machine that can challenge us in the Western Pacific and around the world.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Trump administration complains that the Chinese use intimidation and subterfuge to acquire U.S. technology, put U.S. firms in China at a disadvantage through unfair licensing deals and siphon away U.S. jobs. Mr. Trump sees confrontation as the way to get results, feeling that past administrations haven’t been tough enough, said senior White House officials.

China contends it has improved its protection of intellectual property and that it is moving fast to further liberalize its economy. It also is putting together a package of retaliatory measures against U.S. tariffs.

The $50 billion figure equals about 10% of U.S. imports from China. U.S. officials said the amount is roughly equal to its calculations of annual lost earnings by U.S. companies in China as a result of forced joint ventures and technology transfers.

Note: The live stream has ended, a video will be posted soon.

Trump Putting Together Massive China Tariff Package

The Chinese have been stealing our technology and cheating on trade for years, and we do nothing about it because businesses think it’s still worth it and past administrations don’t want to pick a fight.

President Trump was elected on a nationalist platform that includes standing up for the United States. We shouldn’t be such pussies and worry about how other countries will respond. They need us, and they will come to an accommodation that is better for the United States than the status quo.

Remember – Washington never gets this, but New York might – with Trump, everything is a negotiating tactic. Everything is an opening bid. He’s looking for a better deal, but Washington always things he is trying to roll over people. Whatever he proposes on China is not where he expects to end up.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Trump administration is putting together a package of anti-China measures, including tariffs on at least an annual $30 billion of Chinese imports, to pressure Beijing to end requirements that U.S. companies transfer technology to Chinese firms.

According to a White House official and people briefed on administration deliberations, the measures are the next part of an administration trade policy aimed at reducing the enormous U.S. trade deficit. President Donald Trump has said that he wants China to come up with a plan to slash its $375 billion merchandise trade surplus with the U.S. by $100 billion.

The measures, which are expected to be announced in the next week or two, arise from administration findings that China has violated U.S. intellectual property laws and has unfairly pressured U.S. companies to transfer technology. The administration, according to the individuals involved, estimates the damage to U.S. companies from forced technology transfer at $30 billion annually. The administration has been working for months on a report laying out the evidence for their allegations.

No final decisions about retaliation have yet been made, according to a White House spokeswoman.

Trump Keeps Promise to Confront China, Assess Steel and Aluminum Tariffs

This is why Americans – and yes conservatives, evangelicals, and what was once called the “moral majority – put President Trump in office. Despite his deep flaws, he is a man who is able to stand up to pressure, who despite all the press about him wanting to be liked doesn’t care what people think, and is willing to do what is right. To resist many of his own economic advisors, the Washington establishment, the lobbyists, and the press and do what he thinks is right for American workers. American people got this, even if elite opinion did not.

I remember when I was growing up, U.S. Steel, that was the ultimate company. And today, you have so many closed plants. And the NAFTA deal was a disaster for our country. The WTO has been a disaster for this country, for our country. In fact, the rise of China, economically, was — if you look at it — directly equal to the date of the opening of the World Trade Organization. It has been great for China and terrible for the United States, and great for other countries. But terrible for the United States.

So we’re talking about it, and two of the groups that I want to do some very fast action will probably have everything completed by next week. We’ll be imposing tariffs on steel imports, and tariffs on aluminum imports. And you’re going to see a lot of good things happen. You’re going to see expansions of the companies.

What’s been allowed to go on for decades is disgraceful. It’s disgraceful. And when it comes to a time when our country can’t make aluminum and steel — and somebody said it before, and I will tell you, you almost don’t have much of a country. Because without steel and aluminum, your country is not the same. And we need it.

We need it even for defense, if you think. I mean, we need it for defense. We need great steelmakers, great aluminum makers for defense.

So we’ll probably see you sometime next week. We’ll be signing it in. And you will have protection for the first time in a long while, and you’re going to regrow your industries. That’s all I’m asking. You have to regrow your industries.

Trump at Davos Takes Tough Line on Trade

President Trump today refused to back off his contention that trade needs to be “fair” as well as “free,” maintaining a campaign promise that he will take measures on trade designed to protect American workers from unfair overseas practices.

Trump spoke at the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where the concepts of globalism and unfettered free trade are central. In a sense, he went into the belly of the beast and gave it a bit of indigestion.

But Trump was also quite solicitous toward the group, commending them frequently and using the speech as a method of advertising that the United States is once again open for business.

From Trump’s speech:

We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others. We support free trade, but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal. Because, in the end, unfair trade undermines us all.

The United States will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices, including massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies, and pervasive state-led economic planning. These and other predatory behaviors are distorting the global markets and harming businesses and workers, not just in the U.S., but around the globe.

Just like we expect the leaders of other countries to protect their interests, as President of the United States, I will always protect the interests of our country, our companies, and our workers.

We will enforce our trade laws and restore integrity to our trading system. Only by insisting on fair and reciprocal trade can we create a system that works not just for the U.S. but for all nations.

As I have said, the United States is prepared to negotiate mutually beneficial, bilateral trade agreements with all countries. This will include the countries in TPP, which are very important. We have agreements with several of them already. We would consider negotiating with the rest, either individually, or perhaps as a group, if it is in the interests of all.

At APEC, Trump sticks to his populist trade message

From his remarks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Conference in Vietnam:

When the United States enters into a trading relationship with other countries or other peoples, we will, from now on, expect that our partners will faithfully follow the rules just like we do. We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides, and that private industry, not government planners, will direct investment.

Unfortunately, for too long and in too many places, the opposite has happened. For many years, the United States systematically opened our economy with few conditions. We lowered or ended tariffs, reduced trade barriers, and allowed foreign goods to flow freely into our country . . .

From this day forward, we will compete on a fair and equal basis. We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore. I am always going to put America first the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first. (Applause.)

The United States is prepared to work with each of the leaders in this room today to achieve mutually beneficial commerce that is in the interest of both your countries and mine. That is the message I am here to deliver.

I will make bilateral trade agreements with any Indo-Pacific nation that wants to be our partner and that will abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade. What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty, and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible.

Trump Begins Withdrawing the U.S. from TPP

So are we going to start seeing stories in the press about Trump keeping his promises? From the Examiner: President Trump signed a notice of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership Monday, kicking off the highly-anticipated process of withdrawing the U.S. from a trade deal that has become deeply unpopular among his supporters. Sitting… Continue Reading

Video || Hillary Abandons TPP for Political Gain

In one of the most naked, shameless political moves I’ve seen in some time, Hillary Clinton came out Thursday against President Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal she helped negotiate and promote. Here’s how she sounded just three years, ago, before she was running for president. The opportunism is so obvious, even NBC can see… Continue Reading

Obama Steps Up Trade Lobbying

Okay, maybe he spent the weekend partying, but now he’s back in action, and look out, because the hangover is gone! President Obama today is meeting with House and Senate Democrats he thinks he may be able to convince to desert their leadership and join with Republicans to pass fast track trade negotiating authority. “As… Continue Reading