By ann summers
tehDumpster fire that is the Trump campaign is now trolling the LIVs in swing states with the usual xenophobia and GOP talking points. Trump’s disinformation campaign could even favor TPP because HRC is against it.
Recall how effective rMoney’s meme of Chinese currency manipulation worked in 2012. Even the RW and capitalist media is weighing in against Trump as Forbes, USNews, and NatReview wrote this week…
Donald Trump is rather doubling down on his rhetoric about China and trade. This might well be a good political tactic as there’s an incredible number of people who simply do not understand the subject. This is also extraordinarily bad economics and public policy but then political campaigns can be like that.
There’s also a certain uncertainty about whether he has quite understood the Brexit result – that wasn’t about people not wanting cheap imports of goods and services, rather not wanting imports of people. And if the people aren’t going to come then as Bastiat didn’t quite point out then the goods should…
Donald Trump continued blasting the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Tuesday, likening it in an afternoon speech to “rape.”
“It’s a rape of our country. It’s a harsh word, but that’s what it is—rape of our country,” Trump said at an evening rally in St Clairsville, Ohio.
Sure, we’ve all got to make certain allowances for political rhetoric but no, allowing people to sell us cheap goods really is nothing at all like the vile crime of rape. The most important part of the definition of rape being without consent. And if Americans are voluntarily lining up to purchase lovely cheap things made in other parts of the world we can hardly claim that there is that absence of consent, can we?
And then there’s this allegation of illegality:
Criticising the current US trade policies that has wiped out American manufacturing, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has threatened to take punitive actions against China’s illegal trade activities while promising to herald a US economic resurgence if elected.
“If China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets, I will use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes, including the application of tariffs…,” Trump said in his remarks on economy in the Monessen township of Pennsylvania…
There is also the rather larger underlying problem here, Trump is simply wrong about the very basics of trade. Imports are what make us richer so complaining about our being made richer by lots of cheap imports is simply ridiculous. But then large parts of the population (and this is true everywhere, it’s not just an American thing) don’t get this and so what is a politician on the stump supposed to do? Tell the electorate they’re all wrong or try to gain their votes by agreeing with them?
it may be that tRump is an even stupider “business” POTUS candidate than GWB.
I’m going to instruct my Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator, which should have been done years ago,” Trump said. “Any country that devalues their currency in order to take unfair advantage of the United States, and that includes many countries, will be met with sharply. And that includes tariffs and taxes.”
But Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei fired back later in the week – an uncharacteristic move for Beijing given the country’s general avoidance of the U.S. presidential election cycle up to this point.
“Trade and economic cooperation between China and the U.S. is what keeps the bilateral relationship steady and moves it forward. The essence of it is mutual benefit and win-win results,” he said.
“It is hoped that relevant people in the U.S. can objectively and rationally view China-U.S. trade relations, do more to enhance mutual trust and cooperation and jointly maintain the sound and steady development of bilateral economic and trade ties.”
In reality, anxiety about Beijing’s artificial currency devaluation has subsided over the past year because Beijing has been pushing as hard as it can in the opposite direction, having spent half a trillion dollars since last August trying to prop up the renminbi rather than trying to drive it down. China has to buy imports, too, and like any other modern industrial economy, it relies on foreign-sourced materials and inputs for critical parts of its production, including exports. China, and the world, would be better off in the long term with a floating renminbi, but the markets have in fact done a reasonably good job disciplining Beijing in this matter.
NAFTA, the trade agreement Trump promises to gut, has in fact had a modest positive effect on U.S. employment and wages. Chinese currency policy — and Chinese trade policy at large — is a minor factor when it comes to what Trump says is his main interest, which is employment and wages in the United States. Study after study has shown that automation is a larger and more significant factor in factory employment than is the price of tea in China. That is why promises to bring back lost factory jobs are doomed to fail: Factory jobs have in the main been lost not because of foreign competition but because our factories have become more efficient and need fewer workers. The same thing happened with agriculture an age ago, and it will happen with other industries in the future.