Winning? - Granite Grok


Reformatted, emphasis mine:

In its third round of tariff cuts this year, China announced that 700 more goods will have tariffs cut. Bloomberg reports:

China announced another round of tariff cuts, lowering import taxes on more than 700 goods from Jan. 1 as part of its efforts to open up the economy and lower costs for domestic consumers.

…The underlying reality – that President Trump recognized unlike his predecessors – is that because of its trade surplus, China has far more to lose than the US from a trade war. The comparatively simple reality should have fortified the US in taking a harder line toward China, and yet it never did until Trump.  Instead, the US has allowed itself to de-industrialize on a massive scale.

Tariffs for the sake of tariffs aren’t the most rational of decisions. However, warfare takes many forms — something that most people don’t get. They only perceive the old fashioned Great Nation-State style of Westphalian warfare as being “legit”): Cold war, proxy wars, power projections, surgical SpecForces strikes, public relations (e.g., breaking the will to fight), Cyberwar, and lawfare. Each spills “blood” of one type or another. But make no mistake, these actions taken by nations or groups (like militant Islam or political ideologies – like Progressives against traditional American values) are precisely that. Forms of war in which there are winners and losers.

Economic wars, like the one we’re in right now with China, is a perfect example. What’s the win in this case?  Trump himself has made it clear “America First” – and I have no problem with an American President putting American interests, especially economic power (because without that, there is no military power long term – see the Soviet Union if you doubt me).  And I do believe that China has been waging such on us for decades. Using tariffs to fight an economic war (instead of just for the sake of protectionism) may work out well.

Doubt me?  Look at that first line: third. The ChiComs are not stupid people – they fully understand what is at risk here and right now, with a declining and aging population, they are in trouble.  They are a polyglot nation as much as the old Soviet Union and the old “troubles” require a lot of attention and money from Bejing to quiet down.

They’ve also stirred up a lot of bad blood (just starting to emerge via their “single belt and road” economic policy with Third World nations – like in Ecuador –  in which China promises “loans for infrastructure improvement” and those countries are effectively turned into satrapies because of massive debt (often via lots of bribery in those countries).

Again, third.  Which means a first and a second. And given their lowering of their economic output (right now, down to around 6.6%), EVEN with the nonsense of their economic reporting (which means the slowdown may be even much WORSE), that’s not good given that the Chinese middle class expects things to continue to improve – and it can’t with those numbers.

Trump shutting off trade is akin to U.S. frackers flooding the oil market and disrupting the foreign policies of the Middle Eastern countries used to throwing around their petrodollars (oil is back down to the mid $40s level (as of 10 am this morning) from recent (REALLY recent) highs in the mid $60s). The US can’t be “oil blackmailed” right now as we are a net energy exporter for the first time in a lot of decades).

(H/T: American Thinker)