After all, if the U.S. increases the amount of goods subject to tariff to $150 billion per last night’s threat, China cannot possibly match it — America only exports $130 billion worth of goods to China each year. #Winning!
That rather sarcastic take is from Bloomberg’s Cameron Crise and it underscores the notion that it is entirely possible Trump thinks that if he simply slaps more tariffs on Chinese imports than China can mathematically respond to, he’ll “win” by default:
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that’s the stupidest fucking thing you’ve ever heard and you’re thinking that if the President of the United States is actually basing his “strategy” on that then we’ve got bigger problems than a trade war.
President Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room.
Trump’s comments, the officials said, came in response to a briefing slide he was shown that charted the steady reduction of U.S. nuclear weapons since the late 1960s. Trump indicated he wanted a bigger stockpile, not the bottom position on that downward-sloping curve.
The July 20 meeting was described as a lengthy and sometimes tense review of worldwide U.S. forces and operations. It was soon after the meeting broke up that officials who remained behind heard Tillerson say that Trump is a “moron.”
So don’t you go telling me it isn’t at least possible that he saw the chart above (or some derivation thereof) and decided that if he just picked a number larger than $130 billion, he would be the “winner”, no questions asked.
“Let’s run through the numbers”:
Of course what will likely happen instead is that China will just devalue the yuan and plunge global markets into God only knows what kind of a tailspin. Or they could sell Treasuries. Whatever they decide to do, they’re certainly not backing down on the rhetoric.
We’ll leave you, for now, with the statement posted overnight on the Ministry of Commerce website:
Some media asked: According to reports, the U.S. president asked the U.S. Trade Representative Office to study whether to impose additional tariffs on China’s 100 billion export commodities . What’s your comment?
The spokesman of the Ministry of Commerce stated: We have taken note of the relevant US statement. On the issue of China-U.S. economic and trade issues, the Chinese position has been made very clear. We do not want to fight, but we are not afraid to fight trade war.
We declare to the United States that we will listen and observe what we do. If the United States disregards the opposition of the Chinese side and the international community and persists in unilateralism and trade protectionism, the Chinese side will dedicate itself to the end and will definitely fight back. It must adopt new comprehensive response measures, and at any cost, resolutely defend the interests of the country and the people. .
This Sino-U.S. economic and trade conflict is initiated by the U.S. side. It is essentially a provocation by U.S. unilateralism to global multilateralism and U.S. protectionism against global free trade. China will continue to expand reform and opening up, safeguard the multilateral trading system, and promote the liberalization and facilitation of global trade and investment.