Asian stock markets plunged on Friday after Donald Trump’s surprise threat of tariff hikes on additional Chinese imports.

In early trading, Tokyo’s main index tumbled 2.2% and Hong Kong’s benchmark lost 2%. Markets in Shanghai, Sydney and Seoul also fell.

The US president’s announcement of 10% tariffs on $300 billion of Chinese goods, due to take effect on September 1, surprised investors after the White House said Beijing promised to buy more farm goods.

Trade wars don’t work anyway. And while uncertainty is a great negotiating tactic it plays merry havoc with economies and markets.

Someone really should take Peter Navarro out back and – metaphorically of course – pound some economic sense into him.

12 thoughts on “Idiot”

  1. Trump is playing a long game and undoing the mistakes of soft negotiators going back to Clinton or Bush snr.

    If tariffs bring China to an enforceable comprehensive trade agreement, great; without one shrinking the Chinese economy, Chinese military expansion in the area becomes unaffordable much like Reagan’s squeeze on the USSR. Win, win.
    Worth looking at:

  2. Whether trade wars work rather depends on the war aim. I don’t believe Trump is trying to beat China at trade.

  3. Trade wars do work though, it just depends on what your war aims are.

    So it’s uncontroversial to point out that there are winners and losers in globalisation, right? Benefits the already-rich in the West and the poor in the Rest, while hollowing out the Western working and middle classes as they find themselves directly competing with Chinese coolies and Pajeet for their daily bread.

    There are potential winners and losers to trade wars too. Maybe Trump doesn’t want to continue the policy of his predecessors of facilitating China’s rise as a global superpower to supplant the United States. Maybe US corporations considering sacking their American workers and replacing them with Oriental slaves should fell the chill winds of fear, uncertainty and doubt.

    And an udder thing: what if Trump is actually right about his complaints over Chinee funny money, rampant IP theft, and non-tariff barriers to US sellers (while they merrily send vast quantities of plastic crap the other way with no such impediment).

    What is that, but an undeclared trade war? A Pearl Harbor of trade, if you will.

    And if so, what can he do? Complain like a pussy while the Chinese Communist Party laughs up its silk sleeves, because they know he won’t actually do anything about it? Send in gunboats? Do that “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees, look at these” thing?

    The bottom line is the US – as a mind-bogglingly rich continent-sized country stuffed full of natural resources, inventors and entrepreneurs – doesn’t need foreign trade, foreigners need American trade. That gives the Yanqui leverage.

  4. Its no good Steve, our host is a fully paid up member of the ‘Free trade is an unmitigated GOOD THING’ brigade, which he’ll be gibbering as the Chinese drive by having taken over, as the West has been totally hollowed out by being given cheap consumer goods until there’s nobody left capable of making anything, and they own everything anyway as we’ve sold it to them to keep the cheap tat flowing.

    Thats the argument of the Free traders – because ‘wealth creation’ in the West continues rise faster than the trade deficits, we can just sell the Chinese our ‘wealth’ indefinitely in return for cheap tat. Completely ignoring the fact that most of the ‘wealth’ we are creating is a Ponzi scheme of selling each other houses at increasingly high prices. So one day someone will notice that a 3 bed semi isn’t actually worth £2m, and overnight the West will be impoverished, because it won’t be able to afford the tat from China any more, and will be unable to make its own tat. All thanks to ‘free trade’……………

  5. Bloke In Westerville

    Timmy –

    Your insistence on seeing a political battle utilizing economic weapons as nothing more than misguided economic policy does not do you credit. This isn’t the first time either…

  6. The man behind Bricktop liked it too:

    I always wondered if Carrie Fisher had seen this, as she’d have enjoyed it for sure. We had a common acquaintance and I was working on getting the link forwarded to her before she went and fucked herself up for good. Sloppy tart.

    Nerd aside. Part of the Snatch Wars dialogue isn’t lifted from Snatch, it was from this sketch featuring an interaction with Ford’s East End gangster character and a Guardian reader:

  7. @Ljh August 2, 2019 at 8:49 am
    @Steve August 2, 2019 at 10:08 am

    +1 Trump is using his stick, better to do it now rather than hope China will eventually play nice before they’re world’s largest economy.

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