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Trump trade war troubles

I have three things to say about this.

There’s a Chinese proverb: Sow melons, reap melons. Sow beans, reap beans.

In other words, expect tit for tat.

President Donald Trump — and by extension many of the nation’s farmers — is seeing that lesson in action after he launched a bevy of tariffs against China on Friday, prompting the People’s Republic to retaliate with its own tariffs on imports from the United States. Among those American goods are some key Texas exports, including cotton, corn and sorghum. Some of the Chinese goods targeted in Trump’s tariffs are vital parts for Texas’ agriculture industry, such as livestock equipment.

“No question, it’s going to hurt,” said Gene Hall, a spokesperson for the Texas Farm Bureau.

[…]

“You couldn’t pick a worse time for agriculture to be in a trade dispute,” said Hall, the Texas Farm Bureau spokesperson, pointing to a 50 percent decline in agricultural income since 2013. He said the farm bureau always supports negotiating trade disputes over gratuitous tariffs — but that many farmers hope the president’s actions will force China, which has historically acted in ways that have harmed Texas agriculture, to the negotiating table.

“There is some patience in the agricultural community for what the president’s doing, but there is some angst as well,” Hall said.

1. Clearly, the well of “Trump Supporters Continue To Support Trump Even Though He Keeps Doing Things They Don’t Like” stories has not yet run dry.

2. I’ve been keeping an eye on Trump’s approval rating among Republicans for signs that they may be less engaged than usual in November. While Democrats are super enthusiastic, Republicans have stuck with their man, which if nothing else has kept the bottom from falling out. I wonder sometimes if Trump’s high levels of approval among Republicans is in part a sign that the GOP has shrunk, so that the disapprovers are mostly not calling themselves Republicans any more, but I have no way to know that. I feel pretty confident saying that Dems will turn out in stronger numbers than usual this year. I have no idea yet where turnout will be on the R side. I’m still hoping for something like 2006, but there’s no real evidence of that at this time.

3. Gotta say, after all the harm that has been inflicted on so many people by Trump, the fact that his staunchest supporters are feeling the pain as well gives me no small measure of grim satisfaction. Maybe if they feel enough of it, we’ll finally be able to get the country back on the right track.

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41 Comments

  1. Christopher Busby says:

    True believers in a market based capitalist economy are horrified by Trump’s economic approach which rejects the global trends of the market. We are moving to a global economy which requires the need for international norms and cooperation. Trump has insisted on worshiping every two bit dictator and pissing on our allies, distrupting all our basic international understandings for decades. While ultimately there is always room for reform and improvement in terms of international negotiations, he blusters his way into the negotiating scene and embarrasses the hell out of our nation. All the while his team makes a rucus about how he’s doing it to put America First! The Chinese authorities meanwhile are smart enough to know which industries will most politically hurt Trump and are taking an economic hammer to them.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    Christopher,

    Trump’s supporters know that tariffs aren’t the end goal in all of this, tariffs are leverage to get better trade deals. When we have huge trade imbalances with other countries, including China, that tells you the US is taking it in the shorts. Trump supporters are willing to take the short term pain in order to get to the long term goal, fair trade. The new standard is, “is this good for the United States?

    Trump knows China and others are going to do some tit-for-tat moves, but in the end, China, and other countries, need our market MORE than we need their markets. Once we’ve gone through the gamesmanship for a while, new trade terms will be agreed on, and the punitive tariffs will fall by the wayside.

    As far as pissing off our allies, Trump has raised very valid concerns. Say you have a family member constantly mooching off of you. You’ve raised the issue quietly and gently in the past, but the behavior has not changed. Trump has just done what needed to be done.

    “Hey, ****heads, you need to start paying for your own ****!” Being polite and diplomatic hasn’t worked. Shouting and threats are the next step. Yes, you’re still family, but you need to change the bad behavior. Call it tough love.

    Germany can’t be bothered to pay up on their NATO obligations, but hey, no problem making a sweetheart side deal to buy natural gas from Russia, the very country NATO is designed to defend AGAINST. Are you saying Trump should NOT have called them out on that?

    The answer is clear……pay what you agreed to, and buy your gas from an ally(the US), not a political foe that can use threat of shutting in the pipeline to freeze your people in the Winter.

  3. Ross says:

    Bill, are you that clueless that you don’t know the history of gas sales from Russia to Germany? It’s been going on for decades, since 1984 or so. Reagan tried to stop the construction of pipelines, but Europe’s need for gas caused that effort to fail. Unless Germany can get gas cheaper elsewhere, they would be foolish to stop taking Russian gas.

    The trade deficits with Germany aren’t due to German tariffs, they are due to the US wanting to buy high quality products that Germans make. The only American car the Germans buy in any numbers is the Mustang. Want to sell more to Germany? Make something they want to buy.

    Germany is up to date with NATO payments. Trump’s complaining is because Germany isn’t spending 2% of GDP on defense. That’s a separate issue. Does Germany actually NEED to spend that much? Keep in mind that German law doesn’t allow them to get involved in foreign adventures, like the stupid crap in Iraq that blew up US defense spending. Can Germany even come close to spending 2% of GDP on defense without spending for the sake of spending?

    Trump isn’t using tough love, he’s using stupidity to try to browbeat long term allies. He’s totally unaware of the issues other leaders face, or doesn’t care, and is on track to destroy this country.

  4. Manny Barrera says:

    Bill is a troll, almost everything he has posted above is not true, he follows the rules of his master, lie, lie some more, and keep lying.

    As to NATO there is much than his simplistic definition https://money.cnn.com/2017/05/25/news/nato-funding-explained-trump/index.html

    As to the US can go at it along, there was a time that was true, it is no longer so. If one must listen to a Republican than one must read what Eisenhower had to say about that, he was the last good Republican.

    As to gas, guess what we buy some from Russia also, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-19/how-the-u-s-almost-bought-russian-natural-gas-quicktake-q-a

    Trolls like Bill like to throw misinformation out.

  5. Bill Daniels says:

    Ross,

    Does Germany NEED to spend 2%? Uh, yes, yes they do. They agreed to do it, are happy to have the umbrella of US protection and all those sweet, sweet jobs that come from having US military bases in their country.

    As to buying gas, I agree, Russia has been selling its gas for decades. Now, however, there’s a new game in town, the US, an ally, who can provide the gas without the threat of turning off the spigot in the Winter. I also agree with your assessment of the Iraq debacle. Bush and his cabal should have stood in Den Hague for war crimes over that.

    What’s the point of defending against a threat when you are actively trying to make the threat richer? In the same vein, Germany is spending lots of money importing and financing Muslims, another threat we are paying a lot of money to defend against. Are you saying Germany can’t spend more on their military because of social welfare spending, including supporting a First World lifestyle for the Muslim hordes? If so, I agree, and that’s not an acceptable reason for not paying 2%, the MINIMUM called for by the way.

    When your friends are screwing up, you need to call them out on it, and that’s what Trump is doing. They look down at us from their socialist utopia of free stuff, yet expect Americans to toil away working overtime to pay for their defense, so they don’t have to.

  6. Manny Barrera says:

    Didn’t take long for the troll that would be Bill to rear his ugly racist head;

    “Germany is spending lots of money importing and financing Muslims, another threat we are paying a lot of money to defend against”

  7. Ross says:

    Bill, your claim that the US can replace Germany’s gas imports from Russia is total bullshit. Germany currently imports about 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas per year from Russia. current US LNG export capacity is about half that. More is coming on stream, but the volumes are mostly accounted for in long term sales contracts. I also doubt that the US can deliver LNG to Germany at a price competitive with Russian gas. there’s also the minor issue that Germany doesn’t have any LNG import terminals, and there’s not enough spare capacity elsewhere in Europe to send large quantities of gas to Germany.

    What do you suggest Germany do with the predominantly Muslim refugees they’ve been shamed into accepting by the rest of the EU? Send them back to Syria? That’s not going to happen.

    I am still waiting for the swamp draining.

  8. Bill Daniels says:

    Ross,

    “If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball.”

    If you can build a deep sea pipeline, you can build LNG terminals.

    https://shipandbunker.com/news/emea/201648-germany-to-get-first-lng-terminal

    Are you saying that the US is not capable of the natural gas version of a Berlin Airlift? I think that not only are we capable, thanks to fracking (unrelated to Trump) and America’s energy dominance policy (absolutely because of Trump), we could have a dedicated shipping lane just for LNG tankers running to and from Europe. If Germany was so concerned about rock bottom energy prices, they wouldn’t be closing down their coal plants. They want the cleaner natural gas, and they claim to want security, so buying from the US meets both of those needs, vs. buying from Russia.

    What do I suggest that Russia do with the Muslims? Send them back where they came from, same as the rest of the EU. Europe’s culture is being destroyed right before our eyes. Hopefully Trump can collude with Russia to end the fighting in Syria, so those proud Syrian people can return home and rebuild their own country.

  9. Manny Barrera says:

    Trump’s early speeches, in which he “used vulgar comparisons” and “did not shy away from the cheapest allusions.” Trump’s language was never measured or careful, but “like something merely expulsed.” … Trump prepared his speeches. Seemingly spontaneous, they were in fact calculated. Full of base allegations and vile stereotypes, they were precisely designed to gain maximum attention from the media and maximum reaction from the crowds he addressed. When he declared that fines were of no use against those he called Mexicans criminals, his listeners interrupted him with chants of build the wall, lock her up, …

    When you allow rabbits like Trump and Bill a forum they use it to spread hate, the words above are from https://www.thenation.com/article/the-ways-to-destroy-democracy/

    I only changed Hitler to Trump and Jews to Mexicans

    Muslims are not our enemy, Trump and his kind are the enemy of this country. If they are our enemy why do we buy their oil?

  10. Manny Barrera says:

    If Muslims are our enemies why do we buy their oil?

  11. Flypusher says:

    “Trump’s supporters know that tariffs aren’t the end goal in all of this, tariffs are leverage to get better trade deals. When we have huge trade imbalances with other countries, including China, that tells you the US is taking it in the shorts. Trump supporters are willing to take the short term pain in order to get to the long term goal, fair trade. The new standard is, “is this good for the United States?”

    There is a valid point about China’s bad trade practices, especially the IP theft. There odds of making them stop would be so much better if the US were teamed up with other nations/ trading blocs to present a united front. Like the EU. And Canada. And Mexico. And South Korea. And Japan. But the bully would rather wage a multi-front trade war instead, as he thinks it makes him look tough.

    I also can’t help but notice that while Trump supporters are taking the hits, Trump enterprises doesn’t seem to be willing to do the same. Ivanka still has all those Chinese trademarks, for instance. Way to lead by example there.

    “Trump knows China and others are going to do some tit-for-tat moves, but in the end, China, and other countries, need our market MORE than we need their markets. Once we’ve gone through the gamesmanship for a while, new trade terms will be agreed on, and the punitive tariffs will fall by the wayside.”

    The big fly in the ointment there is that Trump keeps demonstrating that he is one of the most egregiously bad faith negotiators, ever. He bashes an ally in a televised interview, then denies that he said what he said the very next day. He flip flops on almost everything (but not the bigotry and xenophobia, which is sure great for dealing with other cultures). He has not dozens, not hundreds, but thousands of lawsuits stemming from his fraudulent and unethical business practices. You can have the biggest market in the world, but if your word is garbage, people are going to start concluding that dealing with you ain’t worth it.

    The soy farmers are going to be especially burned. The market has been glutted for a number of years, and places like Brazil are going to step in to fill the gap with China. They’ll get what they voted for, good and hard.

    “As far as pissing off our allies, Trump has raised very valid concerns. Say you have a family member constantly mooching off of you. You’ve raised the issue quietly and gently in the past, but the behavior has not changed. Trump has just done what needed to be done.”

    That statement isn’t just ignorant, but a major insult. The US has greatly benefitted for a stable and prosperous Western Europe. NATO isn’t the simple US gives-Europe takes dumbed down narrative that Don the con sells to the marks. You also ever so conveniently forget that only one member nation has ever invoked the obligation for other members to help it retaliate in the event of an attack. Care to remember which country that was?

  12. Jules says:

    “the US, an ally, who can provide the gas without the threat of turning off the spigot in the Winter.” LOL, no, the word of the US is now the word of Trump. Worthless.

  13. Flypusher says:

    That is a most excellent point that won’t be answered.

    $ tops security concern rhetoric. Security concern rhetoric tops freedom.

  14. Flypusher says:

    The German Foreign Minister just said that the US is no longer reliable. He’s 100% correct. We have an impulsive, narcissistic fool in power, and most of the checks and balances have failed to do their jobs. It’s going to be a long time before trust is fully restored, if it ever is.

  15. Bill Daniels says:

    “That statement isn’t just ignorant, but a major insult.”

    Upon joining NATO, each member pledged to spend a minimum of 2% of their GDP on their military. The insult is that many of those countries don’t spend what they agreed to spend, not that Trump publicly humiliated them for shirking their responsibilities. You know who doesn’t get called out? People who live up to their obligations.

    Way to shoot the messenger, Fly.

    “The German Foreign Minister just said that the US is no longer reliable. He’s 100% correct.”

    If you mean that the US won’t sit idly by and watch Germany replace its citizenry with violent Third World rejects, then yeah, we aren’t a reliable partner for that. When Octoberfest is finally banned because it conflicts with Sharia law, people like you will wonder what happened.

  16. Manny Barrera says:

    The rabbit like Trump above, can’t keep racism from his mind,

    “the US won’t sit idly by and watch Germany replace its citizenry with violent Third World rejects, then yeah, we aren’t a reliable partner for that. When Octoberfest is finally banned because it conflicts with Sharia law, people like you will wonder what happened.”

    Are we going to attack Germany Bill? How about France did you see their World Cup Champs? England are they on the attack list Bill?

    Who ever or what ever you are Bill you are a racist to the black core of what ever soul you may have.

    Prove that when members joined they were required to spend 2% of gross budget.

    https://www.nato.int/cps/ie/natohq/declassified_139339.htm

  17. Manny Barrera says:

    I forgot to add that Bill is a compulsive liar.

  18. sdfgh says:

    Manny,

    I realize I promised to stop trolling you, but, at least get your bullshit slurs correct. Islam isn’t a race, it’s a political system and religious cult all wrapped up in one. It has nothing to do with race. You can get blown up by a white Muslim just as easily as you can a brown one. Remember the Boston Marathon bombing? =-098765432

  19. sdfgh says:

    Manny,

    My computer went a little haywire, so hopefully this doesn’t get double posted.

    I realize I promised to stop trolling you, but, at least get your bs slurs correct. Islam isn’t a race, it’s a political system and religious cult all wrapped up in one. It has nothing to do with race. You can get blown up by a white Muslim just as easily as you can a brown one. Remember the Boston Marathon bombing?

    You are a true identity politics believer, meanwhile, the rest of the world just moves on without you.

  20. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny,

    My computer went a little haywire, so hopefully this doesn’t get double posted.

    I realize I promised to stop trolling you, but, at least get your bs slurs correct. Islam isn’t a race, it’s a political system and religious cult all wrapped up in one. It has nothing to do with race. You can get blown up by a white Muslim just as easily as you can a brown one. Remember the Boston Marathon bombing?

    You are a true identity politics believer, meanwhile, the rest of the world just moves on without you.

  21. Manny Barrera says:

    Bill your so full of manure you can’t smell yourself, you are a racist. Quote from your manure posting “Third World Rejects”.

    You are a Racist, Russian loving Republican, a piece of trash like the traitor that believes Putin over our intelligence agencies. I can’t forget a compulsive liar.

  22. Manny Barrera says:

    Start posting facts and keep your racists thoughts out of your arguments and post your heart desire away. If you can do that, I won’t call you the 3 Rs.

    I am waiting for you to prove that 2% requirement for NATO as a prerequisite to joining. If you would bother to research from wherever you get your daily lies from you would do a lot better. Do I make mistake sure, but I do try to research, I could not find where the 2% was required when NATO was created. You do know that England and France have nuclear bombs, right? https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/fact-sheet-who-has-nuclear-weapons-how-many-do-they-n548481

    Nuclear weapons are deterrents from invasion, Eisenhower used to that on the Chinese during the Korean War. Kennedy used that on the Russians, when the Cuban crises occurred Russia had no way to reach our country with nuclear weapons. That is why North Korea wants them, that part of the world has been in turmoil for thousands of years. Japan conquered Korea and stayed there for nearly 50 years. China, Russia, Mongols,

  23. Manny Barrera says:

    OH yes, expect your racist traitorous leader Trump to be indicted in 2021, money laundering for one. My two cents.

  24. Flypusher says:

    >>“That statement isn’t just ignorant, but a major insult.”

    “Upon joining NATO, each member pledged to spend a minimum of 2% of their GDP on their military. The insult is that many of those countries don’t spend what they agreed to spend, not that Trump publicly humiliated them for shirking their responsibilities. You know who doesn’t get called out? People who live up to their obligations.

    Way to shoot the messenger, Fly.”

    Way to dodge my question Bill. But since you won’t answer it, I will. The US is the only country that has asked other NATO member to spend blood and treasure on its behalf. Here’s the KIA #s of allied troops in Afghanistan:

    UK: 455
    Canada: 158
    Germany: 54
    France: 86

    You can also add 179 UK dead in Iraq. I’m not including the wounded in action #’s here, but those are even higher. What you think of those wars is irrelevant. Those people fought and DIED as part of their nations honoring their obligations, and it is disgraceful and profoundly ignorant for you to make the comparison to some dead-beat family member living rent-free. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, but all thinking people realize that shame is extinct in Trumpland, and memories are very short. Trump has never sacrificed anything for anyone, and has no respect for people who do.

    >>“The German Foreign Minister just said that the US is no longer reliable. He’s 100% correct.”
    “If you mean that the US won’t sit idly by and watch Germany replace its citizenry with violent Third World rejects, then yeah, we aren’t a reliable partner for that. When Octoberfest is finally banned because it conflicts with Sharia law, people like you will wonder what happened.”

    Bill yells “SQUIRELL!” and thinks that is justification for all Trump’s lies. His word is garbage and he’s an ignorant fool who lists the EU as an “enemy”, yet Putin and Russian are worthy competitors.

  25. Jules says:

    Trump is Putin’s puppet. His stupid corrupt puppet.

  26. Bill Daniels says:

    Jules,

    Our “intelligence community” has spent the last 2 years trying their best to **** Trump. Why do you think Trump would do ANYTHING to legitimize them? We have seen them lie to our faces repeatedly. Snowden’s revelations demonstrated that.

    The whole “investigation” is a cover-up of Hillary and Barack’s crimes, including spying on Team Trump.

    Trump would be an idiot if he gave any credence to their narrative. This is why the left and never Trumpers are in a panic. Trump was set up to “admit” there was Russian collusion. Trump not only did not take the bait, he turned around the narrative. Why didn’t the FBI look at the Democratic server? Why won’t they talk to Assange?

    The answer is, they know it was Seth Rich that leaked, and they know he was murdered for it. Not good for the old narrative. And now we find that $ 400M tax free went to Hillary from Russia, on top of the $145M they publicly gave the CF? I am laughing.

  27. Jules says:

    The FBI has a copy of the server, Trump has had this explained to him.

    Trump is an idiot, no matter what he does or does not give credence to.

    Please turn off the Hannity, who has retracted the Seth Rich story, btw.

  28. Flypusher says:

    No one lies more than Trump does. It’s laughable that you would declare him the winner in any credibility contest.

    Seth Rich conspiracy theories as a bonus bit of derp.

  29. Jules says:

    Lol, Trump is now walking back his comments. He didn’t mean why WOULD it be Russia, he meant why WOULDN’T it be Russia. Now even Bill knows Trump is an idiot.

  30. Flypusher says:

    So is flip-flop fuerher lying now or was he lying in front of Putin?

  31. Manny Barrera says:

    Bill you get more ridiculous with each new statement, as I keep reading some where, Are you off your medicine?

    Bill where does it say 2% to be a NATO member?

  32. Manny Barrera says:

    By the way Bill, Muslims are followers of Islam. Yes they come in all colors, technically you are correct it would not make you a racist, you would be a bigot, because it is based on the religion that they practice. But I don’t distinguish between a bigot from a racist.

  33. Jules says:

    The 400 million is rated pants on fire by politifact, Bill. Please find others sources for your facts.

  34. Flypusher says:

    Alternative facts.

  35. Bill Daniels says:

    I’m upset with today’s flip flop. Take a position and stand on it. This is EXACTLY the same thing Trump criticized Canada’s PM for. I’ll admit it, this isn’t a good day for Team Trump.

  36. Jules says:

    Oh Bill don’t be too upset. He’s still the same treasonous idiot he was yesterday.

  37. Flypusher says:

    The GOP suckups in Congress have their talking points now- it’s all the fault of the press for presuming to ask questions!

    Ladies and gentlemen- the party of personal responsibility!

  38. Flypusher says:

    He can always reverse himself.

    Again.

  39. Bill Daniels says:

    Jules,

    Here’s Jim Comey testifying under oath that they didn’t get access to the server, OR a mirror, that they just took Crowdstrike’s word for it.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SqIY8KvuoJo

  40. C.L. says:

    Used to be a stray, feral cat that hung out on my front porch after my next door neighbors made the mistake of feeding it. Cat had no desire to leave – every little meow or stroke of the hand by the neighbor kept the cat around. Cat had food, the occasional petting, plenty to drink. Didn’t matter what I did, Cat hung around. Stomp at it, yell, occasionally squirt some water at it. Cat didn’t give a shit. Was living it up, enjoying the attention – didn’t matter if it was good attention or bad attention, it was attention all the same. No reason to leave whatsoever. Then one day, after the neighbors went out of town for a week, the cat became disenchanted – no one to show it any love. No food or water. No occasional stroke of the hand across its back. No one to acknowledge the cats existence. Cat went on it’s way.

    Stop feeding Bill.

  41. Jules says:

    Comey testified that what they got was appropriate.