If you were wondering whether it’s possible that there will ultimately be a trade war with China, Steve Mnuchin wants you to know that the answer is “yes”, although that’s not the “objective.”
Earlier today, Larry Kudlow was at pains to explain what exactly Trump’s Thursday evening broadside portends for negotiations between Washington and Beijing and as it turns out, that question is meaningless because – surprise! – there are no negotiations.
That was consistent with what Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at a hastily convened press event on Friday evening (local time). To wit:
For a period of time, financial and economic officials from both sides haven’t had any negotiations on any economic or trade issues.
So no one is even trying to resolve this currently.
One of the problems here is that Trump has exactly no one who is capable of credibly calming markets – everyone on his team is a standing joke. Including Steve Mnuchin who said this on CNBC Friday afternoon:
I’m cautiously optimistic that we will be able to work this out. But there is the potential of a trade war.
Oh good! And do you know what else he said? He also said that Trump is in talks with the Post Office on Amazon in order to ensure there’s a “level playing field” for retail businesses.
As for whether this is in any way, shape or form related to Trump’s vendetta against Bezos and WaPo, Mnuchin said this:
Yeah, ok Steve.
Here’s the video in case you want to subject yourself to it: