U.S. Delays and Modifies “Next Step” Tariffs on Chinese Products…

Early on Tuesday United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer announced the modification of “next step” tariffs on Chinese products.  [See Here] “Products in this group include, for example, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing.”

President Trump responded to the delay/modification when questioned in New Jersey.  President Trump noted a “very productive” phone call between Lighthizer and Vice-Premier Liu He of China:

[Transcript Segment] – […] Q Why did you make the decision on the tariffs, to delay the implementation of the tariffs?

THE PRESIDENT: Only to help, I think, a lot of different groups of people. And we had a very good talk yesterday with China — a very, very productive call. I think they want to do something. I think they’d like to do something dramatic. I was not sure whether or not they wanted to wait until a Democrat has a chance to get in. Hopefully that’s not going to happen because the economy would go to hell in a handbasket very fast.

But they really would like to make a deal. The call itself was very productive. I’m not sure if it was the tariffs or the call, but the call was very productive. Again, they’ve said this many times; they’ve said they’re going to buy farm products. So far, they’ve disappointed me with the truth. They haven’t been truthful, or, let’s say, they’ve certainly delayed the decision. But it’s their intention to buy a lot of farm product.

And we did — we had a very good call with China. I mean, they would really like to do — as you know, they have a problem in Hong Kong, but they would like very much to do something.

Q Would you consider moving the tariffs, even? Delaying them even further, past December 15?

THE PRESIDENT: No, we’re doing this for Christmas season, just in case some of the tariffs would have an impact on U.S. customers, which, so far, they’ve had virtually none. The only impact has been that we’ve collected almost $60 billion from China — compliments of China. But just in case they might have an impact on people, what we’ve done is we’ve delayed it so that they won’t be relevant for the Christmas shopping season.

Q Mr. President, are you more optimistic now that there’s a chance of getting a deal between China on trade?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I’ve always been optimistic. My only question is whether or not they were willing to wait and take the chance on winning the election and deal with somebody who’s weak and ineffective and doesn’t know what he’s doing or she’s doing, like they’ve had in the past.

This should have been done 25 years ago. It should have been done 10 years ago or 5 years ago. This should have been done a long time ago. This should have been done by Biden and Obama. China is taking out $500 billion a year, and much more than that, if you include the theft of intellectual property. What I’m doing now should have been done many years ago.  (link)

At the 30,000 ft level, the decision to postpone and modify looks political from the perspective of timing.  Additionally the use of the term “next step tariffs” by USTR Lighthizer implies a sense of inevitability to a pre-determined process of increasing tariffs.

It would appear that President Trump has made a move based on a statement by Liu He about China making good on a prior promise to purchase significant agricultural products.  Whether or not Vice-Premier Liu He is being misled (or used) by Beijing’s strong-arm and duplicitous Commerce Minister Zhong Shan is yet to be determined.

Minister Zhong, who previously worked under Xi when the president was at the helm of Zhejiang province, is viewed as a hardliner who has strictly toed the party line.  Zhong was moved into primary trade negotiation position when China reengaged with the U.S. team.

My hunch is President Trump has delayed the Sept. 1st tariffs to see if Liu He will deliver on the agriculture promise, or if Zhon Shan is manipulating a lie to gain breathing room. While the latter seems more likely; it would make sense for President Trump to see of a multi-billion Ag purchase will take place.  The benefit to the U.S. would mean a pending  farm subsidy wouldn’t be needed; and based on the timing of the phone contact and message from China, this scenario appears to be the most likely background.

In essence President Trump appears to be looking to save U.S. money by avoiding a subsidy; and simultaneously benefit from the optic of the upcoming trade discussions with China in Washington DC in early September.

Pushing the full tariff decision to December 15th, puts a window of activity between now and the “next step” toward China.

Within that window President Trump will be traveling to Biarritz, France, (August 24th through 26th) for the G7 [U.S., U.K, Germany, France, Italy, Japan and Canada +EU weasels)] where it is now anticipated an interim U.S-U.K trade deal will be announced.  [Maybe some unspoken five-eyes ‘spygate’ leverage for wheel grease]

Also within that window, the IG report on FISA abuse and ‘spygate’ (Sept?).

Also within that window, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be coming to the White House for an official state visit, and state dinner, in September.  A key strategic trade ally, geopolitical foil against China, and ASEAN member. [Maybe more five-eyes ‘spygate’ wheel-greasing leverage]

Also within that window the Canadian election will take place on October 21st; which, depending on outcome, could radically change the time-frame for the USMCA ratification.

It still seems more likely than not that President Trump (Team USA) and Shinzo Abe (Team Japan) have hammered out the U.S-Japan trade agreement.

Most forget, but team USA and team Japan met for weeks of negotiations before Trump’s state visit to Japan, and the G20 in Osaka soon thereafter.

Everyone suspected a trade announcement, but curiously there was no mention.  Instead, everyone immediately became distracted by President Trump’s visit to the DPRK and meeting with Kim Jong-un at the DMZ.

I suspect there was a purposeful intent (dual purpose) in the DPRK distraction; and I suspect the U.S-Japan trade announcement is being purposefully delayed based on the ongoing issues with China and the tentacles that extend globally and financially.

If my suspicions are accurate, President Trump is positioning the U.K. trade deal to be the ultimate leverage to force the EU into negotiations…. socialism is hit hard.  Then, if/when the Canadian election concludes, the USMCA ratification will be a primary focus…. Then comes an announcement of the U.S. and Japan deal…. then comes the hammer on China (and/or possibly now including Hong Kong)…. and communism is hit hard.

With the foundation of the USMCA, UK and Japan providing the overwhelming financial momentum, both parasitic wealth-sucking book-ends: China and the EU, are hit in a sequence of trade actions (tariffs) that could radically alter the global supply chain.

Just a hunch.

It all seems rather Trumpian.

No-one else could ever possibly pull this off.

No-one else would even try.

 

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This entry was posted in ASEAN, Big Government, Brexit, China, Communist, Decepticons, Dem Hypocrisy, Donald Trump, Economy, European Union, France, G7, Hong Kong, Japan, Japan State Visit 2019, media bias, NAFTA, President Trump, Trade Deal, Uncategorized, US dept of agriculture, US Treasury, USA, USMCA. Bookmark the permalink.

146 Responses to U.S. Delays and Modifies “Next Step” Tariffs on Chinese Products…

    • Mick says:

      Companies have been fleeing China long before President Trump came down the escalator. For the simple reason of raising wages, and energy costs. If you add logistic costs, as well as the increase in on time delivery inventories you can see that it makes economic sense. This trend has been a long time in the making, and China has been taking steps to reverse course with the Belt, and Road initiative. Tariffs, are only speeding up the process, and China will say whatever they have to slow it back down. However they are also increasing the speed of the silk road, and the string of pearls.

      Liked by 3 people

      • WSB says:

        I sat next to a lovely gentleman on a Cathay flight in 1997, coming back from HK on a business trip.

        He was traveling with with his mother. She was in the back.

        In a casket.

        He had her exhumed, as he was moving from HK to Seattle. He did not trust the new Chinese government even with her body.

        Sad.

        Like

  1. Mick says:

    China does not need US agricultural products, and will not buy them as long as this is true. They have already sourced them from other countries. The offer is nothing more than a stalling tactic to sell off excess manufacturing inventory, and to give them time to expand other markets.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jeans2nd says:

      Mick – And what happens when those other countries run out of product? From where do those countries obtain their shortfall?

      Think, man, think. China does not need our agriculture products? Has China”s population suddenly shrank? Chinese tastes have changed after thousands of years? Who was China’s largest supplier? How much did the other countries plant? You sure the other countries had enough to supply all China’s needs? How much acreage is available in those other countries for planting more product? How fast does that product grow? Or do those other countries have magic beans?

      Did you realize our growing season has been postponed and shortened this year due to spring flooding? What does that do to our crop yields? Will China’s market be open at our new harvest time?
      Check with a farmer. Consult an economist. Ask about supply chains. You’ve much to learn.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Mick says:

        I am no expert but I do study the markets, and what I do know is that France is by far China’s largest imported food source. And if you are following the news of late China is strengthening that bond. As for their other imports the US market share will not be missed.

        Now as for demand, China imports less than 10 percent of it’s food needs, and the government is buying farms all over the globe to own the means of production, to go along with it’s Belt, and Road initiative. As well as pouring tens of billions into the Black Sea area, and South America to increase the clearing of agricultural viable lands.

        Now for China’s apatite, it has changed over the years, and not for the better. China is suffering with an ever increasing obesity problem, with 1 in 4 being overweight. This too the Chinese government has taken steps to reverse with the national social credit score program. The people will be eating less, and healthier or they will suffer the wrath of their communist regime.

        Side note but connected. Due to the massive destruction of pigs in China, duck farmers, are becoming wealthy overnight.

        Perhaps you are the one who has much to learn.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Matthew LeBlanc says:

          Wealthy duck farmers “aren’t sustainable” as the younger generation likes to say.

          Like

        • yucki says:

          @Mick
          That sounds like talking-points from the PRC Chamber of Commerce.
          Or sourced from a Confucius Center free seminar series.
          – Challenge/Crisis equals Opportunity!
          – – – Pig-Ebola? Good for our fat kids!
          – – – BRI is the answer to everything!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. completelytrue says:

    Politics overcame his protectionist instincts.
    It’s that simple.

    Like

    • willthesuevi says:

      completelydisagree

      Liked by 3 people

      • zorrorides says:

        Will, I forgot to ask you yesterday… You mentioned the big frack jobs in CO-NM oil fields might reach out to 300 feet. I’ve been curious about that subject for a while. Does this mean 300 feet on each side, (600 feet total reach) or 300 feet from edge to edge? I’ve been trying to understand the spacing units approved by our OK Corp Comm for horizontal wells. Much of that land was drilled only into the Pennsylvanian.

        Like

  3. willthesuevi says:

    300′ from wellbore so 600′ total. I got this info from an engineer with HES (Big Red). Couple of the outfits, (that started development and decided to sell out and go to TX to play), ran tracer dye for science. The 300′ from wellbore came from the dye tests combined with reservoir studies within those production companies. This is located in NW NM.

    Note that this is in a tight sand. Everyone here loves to call it a shale play but most oil completions are in the sand. The shale was the source rock. Further north the shale is sandwiched between three sands.

    One comment on spacing these days. I have noticed lately the spacing units are not really being determined from solid geology and geophysical science but more a mish mash of financial voodoo wrapped in a thin layer of pseudo-science. Not sure if that happens in OK but I have noticed the trend here.

    Once again, my opinion. Good Luck.

    Like

  4. willthesuevi says:

    Zorro, I loved the oilfield when I was young as well. I started (unbelievably) working in the field as a roustabout/welders helper at age 12 in the summers and working in shops after school during the school year. 3rd Generation.

    Tough life but man did we get a lot done and that was fun! Things we couldn’t do today. I remember at 17 as a swamper, hanging off the side of a a rigup truck, standing on the running boards eating a sandwich during a short rig move. Hauling a** down a rough oilfield road. Climb in the cab? Nobody had time for that shlt.

    In my state back then you could get the equivalent of today’s CDL, at 17. I was running an old Peterbuilt with a Cat and 5 speed with a 4 speed brownie box, hauling over weight and over width at 17. Different times to be sure.

    I know this is long but it is an older thread so maybe Sundance wont care. You will enjoy this story. My now retired partner was a fledgling engineer with a major company with a Regional office in Denver. Every year each division had to give the President and board a presentation.

    You know the drill – what they did the past year and what they are going to do this coming year, stuff.

    My buddy had just moved from the Production Dept. to the Reservoir Dept. They had to give their reserves analysis for the present, and then estimate next years additional reserves.

    You know reservoir voodoo. Everyone in the dept. had vastly different numbers and they could not agree what should be in the report. The dept Supr. had everyone write their estimate on a small piece of paper and he put it in a hat. Someone drew and they had their number, for the entire Rocky Mtn. District.

    The presentation was done and Q&A started. The President asked how that number was derived and the Dept head said, “well Sir, we just pulled ‘it out of a hat”. Laughter ensued and they went on to the next question.

    The best part was after the entire office gave their talk, it was time for the President to speak. He looks out the window of the office hi-rise in downtown Denver and says to everyone there, “I think all you people could make more money for this company looking for lost wallets down there on 16th Street.”

    Someday, I will tell you the wild boom stories of hitchhiking hippies on I-80 in 1970’s Wyoming. Hands were scarce. Kidnapped, taken to a drilling rig camp job, work for a week, given a paycheck and taken back to the highway. I knew one guy who just stayed working and retired from the patch.

    Wild, fun industry, and people had thick skin.

    Heading out. Take care and good luck with your project!

    Like

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