Foreign Trade

Bad Messaging Mr. President!

from The Gray Area:

On Friday, China shocked markets around the world by announcing it was going to levy tariffs on American goods in response to Trump's tariffs on China. The Trade War intensifies.

President Trump responded the way we would expect him, or any President to, we will stand strong and raise your bet China! Now, your turn.

The Chinese were expected to ratchet up these negotiations for a few obvious reasons.

One, there is a special anniversary coming up on October 1, The National Day of the People's Republic of China, celebrated throughout mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. On this day, Xi is expected to be in a position to demonstrate his strong decisive leadership for the country. Being beaten up in a trade war with the US is not a good image.

Two, Hong Kong protests are giving him a black eye at a bad time. If he can't stop them, he has to ratchet up the trade war.

Three, there is an election coming up in the US in 15 months. If the Democrats win, the Chinese win the trade war. Xi knows this. On one hand, 15 more months is a long time for China to absorb the pain of this trade war. On the other hand, they have absorbed it for 3 years, so another 15 months is nothing.

There is only one opportunity for this trade war to be concluded before the 2020 US elections. If after October, Xi realizes he cannot stand the additional year of tariffs and Trump makes him a better deal so that this is done before 2020. Otherwise, expect this to continue. until January 2021.

But, the President went a little too far in his reaction and as a result the messaging is poor.

Mr. President, you can / do not order American companies to do anything!!! Period!!! American free enterprise is free! Government control of the means of production is for the Democrat Party, most recently, President Obama with Obamacare and now 2020 Democrat candidates with, well, everything.

Even if there is a precedent on the books for a President to do this, you don't make the announcement I "hereby order" American companies to find other suppliers than China.

And then follow it up with the question, Who is America's biggest enemy, Chairman Xi or Fed Chairman Powell! Really!?!

Most Americans support what you are doing to balance trade and Make America Great Again. And, the Fed Chair cold do a much better job. But, you are playing into your opponents hands (China & the Democrats) when you say things like that. Bad messaging, Mr. President.

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