Patterico's Pontifications

7/26/2018

Trump’s “Deal” with the EU: What Did It Actually Achieve?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:08 am



President Donald J. Trump on Twitter:

So: what was actually achieved here? Haley Byrd talked to free trade advocate Scott Lincicome, who says the answer is “not much”:

After a joint meeting on Wednesday, President Donald Trump and European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker announced that they had reached a deal. in order to pursue a deal.

In a broad statement, the two leaders said they hoped to advance a new phase of collaboration, friendship, and strong trade ties in the relationship between the United States and the European Union. The rest of the statement offered glimpses at a purported desire for free trade, but was vague and left many questions unanswered.

“On the bright side, there is a clear de-escalation of rhetoric and that’s good, but the devil will be in the details,” Scott Lincicome, a trade lawyer and adjunct scholar at the libertarian Cato Institute, says. “And this provides almost no details. Meanwhile, all the tariffs implemented so far remain in force.”

During a phone interview, Lincicome walked through the joint statement and laid out what—if anything—of substance had been achieved by the meeting.

Lincicome’s comments on the details (as summarized by Byrd) include phrases like “while appearing ambitious, is actually quite narrow” and “largely aspirational and lacking in detail.” Also included are phrases like “We already knew that” and “They’re just talking” and “That’s, again, things they’ve always wanted to do.”

It’s a good thing everything’s fixed! Just don’t tell GM, because they’re not convinced:

General Motors Co. has become the highest-profile American company to fall victim to Donald Trump’s trade wars by cutting its profit forecast for this year on surging prices for steel and aluminum.

Adjusted earnings will drop to about $6 a share, down from a previous projection for as much as $6.50 a share, the Detroit-based company said Wednesday. Raw material costs probably will be a $1 billion headwind — roughly double GM’s previous expectation. The carmaker’s shares are on course for their steepest one-day plunge in more than seven years.

The hit to GM’s profit underscores the risk that Donald Trump’s policies pose to automakers. While the U.S. president is moving to weaken fuel economy mandates, his tariffs on steel and aluminum — and potentially on imported cars — is undercutting what was shaping up to be a near-record year for an iconic American company that weeks ago was riding high on a $2.25 billion investment in its autonomous-driving unit.

How bad is it? The tariffs have more than outweighed the tax cut for GM and other American automakers:

As a friend says by email: “I can see the campaign ads in Michigan and the midwest now: ‘Barack Obama saved GM; Donald Trump is sabotaging it.'”

Your job, as a card-carrying member of the tribe, is to defend this idiocy with whatever pathetic argument you can scrape up. For God’s sake — whatever you do — don’t think for yourself.

P.S. Thank God all those national security concerns that ostensibly justified these tariffs have been resolved. What were they, again?

[Cross-posted at The Jury Talks Back.]

77 Responses to “Trump’s “Deal” with the EU: What Did It Actually Achieve?”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (cff84e)

  2. You mean when they still had to declare bankruptcy and they used the autoczar to shut down prosperous dealerships

    narciso (d1f714)

  3. You mean when they still had to declare bankruptcy and they used the autoczar to shut down prosperous dealerships

    Yeah. The thing that everyone who now supports Trump said was an indefensible bailout, but which they would support if Trump did it. That thing.

    Patterico (cff84e)

  4. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were working on a trade deal with Europe that would lower tariffs. Oh wait, there was TTIP, it literally did everything Trump is wishing for, but he killed it. He can rename it so Obama can’t possibly get credit.

    Maybe get back into TPP as a hedge on China.

    I know that Trump is illiterate on Trade and Economics, but he’s fully buying into the Democratic Socialist Berny-bro policies.

    Colonel Klink (3f140b)

  5. Wouldn’t it be nice if we were working on a trade deal with Europe that would lower tariffs. Oh wait, there was TTIP, it literally did everything Trump is wishing for, but he killed it. He can rename it so Obama can’t possibly get credit.

    Yup.

    Patterico (cff84e)

  6. Now we need to hear from the people who claim tariffs are a good thing in and of themselves, explaining how it’s good that Trump is working for fewer tariffs.

    Patterico (cff84e)

  7. Tarriffs are a good thing in and of themselves, they restrict cash flow to trusted sectors of the economy and make consumers feel better and less apathetic when their cash isn’t just going to support some Chinese monopoly.

    Entrenched monopolies like GM that have made it their business model to spend their money on centralizing, monopolizing, and cartelizing EVERYTHING hate them. They need to look into cutting some management deadweight.

    Steppe Nomad (7cf2fa)

  8. Here’s one…Trump is proving that tariffs are horrible, it can ruin the global economy, see by adding massive tariffs he’s proven they’re terrible. So he’s a strong leader, powerful, proving that a free market is better. He’s proven it, no one new it before, he’s a stable genius.

    That kind of hurt my brain.

    Colonel Klink (caf570)

  9. Hah…haha…hahhhaahahah…gulp….hahahahahhhahah

    That was even funnier than mine, great stuff, keep it up.

    Colonel Klink (caf570)

  10. They are a tool like any other, just don’t yell smooth hawley at me, as you ponder why manufacturing is all but go d from the Los Angeles area, you think that didn’t have an impact of family stability on the crime issue.

    narciso (d1f714)

  11. Across the Universe teh Trumpiverse

    Tweets are flowing out like endless schiff into a 5 pound bag,
    They slither while they tease, they slip away across the Trumpiverse
    Fits of sorrow, waves of rage are pounding on my open mind,
    Depressing and distressing me.
    My workare dun here
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind,
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind

    Signaling of virtues dance before me like a million eyes,
    That call me on and on across the Trumpiverse,
    Thoughts meander like some breaking wind inside a letter box they
    squeak and rumble as they make their way
    Across the Trumpiverse
    My workare dun here
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind

    Sounds of laughter gales of mirth are ringing
    Through my open ears inciting and confounding me
    Limitless unceasing smirks which dance around me like a million dwarves,
    they spur me on and on
    Across the Trumpiverse
    My workare dun here
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind
    Nothing’s gonna change my mind

    Colonel Haiku (207293)

  12. You keep saying Smooth Hawley, you know that’s not a thing right, its actual name, Smoot Hawley, SMOOT.

    If you’re trying to use the talking points, at least copy it correctly.

    Colonel Klink (caf570)

  13. I didn’t know all the details were settled yet, so it’s a little early to judge.

    There is other speculation that getting a deal settled with the EU will force China, Mexico, Canada to be more competitive. The idea being first to cut a deal gets the best deal.

    Steveg (7232db)

  14. That, is not how international trade relations work.

    Colonel Klink (8aa4d7)

  15. Like Chait mentioned, Trump averted a trade problem that he caused in the first place, and came up with an “agreement” that was as vague and non-obligatory as the Singapore Communique.

    Paul Montagu (57bb34)

  16. They need to look into cutting some management deadweight.
    And how exactly does protectionism fix that? It’s been awhile since I took college econ, but usually there is more management deadweight in protected industries, where competitors’ imports are heavily tariffed.

    Paul Montagu (57bb34)

  17. Traitor Trump new plan: NADA.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  18. Patterico, I think you’re missing the point here.

    A few of the things you seem to value as ends in themselves are economic growth and freedom, intellectual consistency, and adherence to principles. Please let me know if I’m mistaken here.

    Trump supporters don’t seem to value these things as much. They seem to value fairness, respect, and the retributive justice. I say ‘seem’ because that’s what I see.

    They seem to feel that people aren’t being fair to them. They are not being respected and that fairness needs to be restored. The people who were being unfair need to be punished. They seem to believe trump when he tells them that this applies to every other country on earth.
    Tariffs are means to an end. They will punish the people that were being unfair and balance things out.
    If the end results are a fairer system through the elimination of tariffs that’s good.
    If the end results are a fairer system through more tariffs that’s good also.
    In both cases the other party was punished through the tariffs and forced to respect our strength.
    I’m not saying these are true things, but it seems to explain the things that I’m seeing.

    Time123 (441f53)

  19. I’d suggest that nobody whining here about Trump trade polices has any actual knowledge of trade polices, nor do they know a great deal about business negotiating tactics. But by all means, crow about how dumb Trump is and how smart you all are.

    Sheesh.

    Look, Trump is not playing 3 dimensional chess here. He’s playing used car salesman. It ain’t pretty, but people use these tactics in business all the time for one reason – they work.

    “We agreed today, first of all, to work together toward zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods,” Trump said.

    Is there anything in that statement that anyone here disagrees with?

    Juncker declared he “had the intention to make a deal today and we made a deal today.”

    How is that not a win? EU agreed to import more US soybeans and liquid natural gas. How is that not a win? Juncker said both sides agreed to “hold off on other tariffs” while talks proceed. How is that not a win?

    The goal is clear. And there is momentum toward success. The EU might decide to try a bog things down. But I doubt Trump will stand for it – he’ll blow up the talks if they delay. Part of his tweeting and behavior is making them think he’ll do just that. Threats only work when the other side thinks you’ll follow through. Wanna bet they now believe Trump will follow through? Why did the world walk all over Obama? because they never believed he’d do a damn thing to stop them. And they were right.

    The EU is important to the U.S. But the U.S. is a LOT more important to the E.U – culturally, economically, and militarily. We have plenty of leverage to get this deal done to the benefit of all parties.

    This is not a complicated strategy. It isn’t nuanced or sophisticated. Why can’t you follow it?

    George Orwell's Ghost (ba96d1)

  20. nicely said Mr. Ghost i learned a lot from your comment

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  21. EU agreed to import more US soybeans and liquid natural gas.

    Nyet, comrade.

    They ‘agreed’ to NADA: to discuss discussing it.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  22. as for the argument, well it’s the multinationals fault, just sit back and think of england’ that is perilously close to the shpiel ned beatty gave peter finch toward the tail end of network,

    narciso (d1f714)

  23. What haepneds is the Eu is following up on soemthing that Trump said to Macron at the G-7 meeting and that they rebuffed an attempt by China to work together because they have got very imortant issues with China themselves.

    Trump also maybe wanbts to make adeal because this is not working out so well. The EU agreed to buy soybeans.

    Sammy Finkelman (02a146)

  24. it’s like those pointless arms control rituals that they insisted meant something in the 70s, and scheer and Talbott were aghast Reagan wouldn’t go along,

    narciso (d1f714)

  25. “This is not a complicated strategy. It isn’t nuanced or sophisticated. Why can’t you follow it?”

    Well, because modern economics are not simple, they are nuanced and sophisticated.

    The words Trump spoke yesterday lead to literally the exact same goal as the TTIP that was being negotiated when he was inbound.

    So he strutted around, peacocked, and managed to get back to slightly behind the position at the end of the last administration.

    I’ve seen no evidence Trump is good at bizness, lots of bankruptcies, and near bankruptcies. If he’d just invested his daddy’s money at the 8%, under the return rate of the S&P, he’d have $8Billion today, at least 4 times what he’s worth. If you average it to the S&P, you’d have almost $20Billion. He’s a reality TV star, and that’s worked out well for him, the real estate business, not so much.

    Colonel Klink (d7d77e)

  26. here’s a chart of the countries america imports alumininurms from

    it looks like ~415B are from the EU

    if they have spare capacity for making more alurminurms (they do) then they’ll start taking market share away from the dirty chinesers, who already sell their almurminarms at a loss (dirty dumpers)

    and just before this deal was announced the stupid sluts at coca-cola announced huge price increases lol giggle lol snort

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  27. Traitor Trump admits to buying crappy steel for building project in Iowa stemwinder.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  28. @26. No deposit. No return, Mr. Feet.

    DCSCA (797bc0)

  29. ot, doesn’t that 25% drop in facebook seems ridiculous,

    narciso (d1f714)

  30. #14

    Colonel Kink
    Credentials on international trade relations in the Trump era please?

    I’m no expert, but in any negotiation being last to the table, last to make an agreement is usually beneficial if you have something no one else has and everyone else wants. Otherwise you can get left out. Soybeans are one example of something three big players have a lot of. USA at 32% of worlds supply, Brazil at 31% and maybe China at 18%. If the US can, for example, account for the sale of all of its 32% before Brazil, the US will set thresholds that presumably show a profit for US farmers at production that meets demand. Brazil’s position on pricing and production should be tied to those of the US whether Brazil likes it or not rather than having the price and production set by Brazil.

    What if a simple agreement now is just a “most favored nation” agreement on soybeans and LNG?
    That is a definite first foot in the door win in my book although I again would readily agree that I’m uncredentialled on the subject and on the actual terms of the EU “deal”

    What I am incredulous of is wise sages writing articles criticizing a deal without knowing all the details.

    Get back to me with the critique in a month after the ink is all dry

    steveg (a9dcab)

  31. ballpark figure people seem to accept is 25 percent of the allurminars we import get turned into automotive industry products such as cars and automobiles

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  32. ot, doesn’t that 25% drop in facebook seems ridiculous,

    did you see this Mr. narciso?

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  33. so ball part figure, facebook is still worth about 450 billion dollars, which is in itself an extreme figure, for an app,

    narciso (d1f714)

  34. It’s just a matter of faith. Some people have faith that if you leave everybody to their own devices order will arise from chaos, that people responding to whatever other people are doing creates a feedback loop where regularity and predictability spontaneously emerge in a society. Others don’t believe that nonsense, they believe that order must be created – which necessitates an orderer, a director, a ruler. Top Men, in other words. Here we see that the People’s faith in Top Men is not shaken, there’s just a disagreement about who the Top Men should be. You see, the great mass of humanity is nothing more than a flock of sheep to be directed hither and yon by the shepherd and you must trust the shepherd to keep you safe from predators, see to it that you are fed and watered, kept fat and happy and carefree. And never, ever ask the shepherd why his breath sometimes smells like mutton.

    Jerryskids (cfad51)

  35. And never, ever ask the shepherd why his breath sometimes smells like mutton.

    this is just good manners

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  36. What a bunch of sh!t. Americans are a strong, good and decent people. We are the ones who make America strong, good and decent. Trump’s ilk are nothing more than parasites, like the ticks in a sheep’s ear.

    nk (dbc370)

  37. Congratulations, Jerry you are more incoherent than pikachu.
    When I was in college i was confident that fallows and Von wulferen was all wrong, that the little general was just blowing smoking a quarter century I’m not so sure.

    narciso (d1f714)

  38. The Economist:

    The two sides agreed to work together towards “zero tariffs, zero non-tariff barriers and zero subsidies on non-auto industrial goods.” Trade barriers in services, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, medical products and soyabeans are on the chopping block, too. Pundits were quick to point out that Mr Trump had, in fact, secured talks to negotiate something that looks remarkably similar to the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, an accord put on ice when he became president. Such a deal might be possible, but it is a lot more remote than Mr Trump’s jubilation suggests.

    In other words, instead of just agreeing to join TPP in the first place, Trump himself created a trade war in order to achieve the goals set forth in the TPP. It’s as if he never read that agreement in the first place or actually took counsel from experts, but instead just listened to the protectionist voice inside his head.

    Paul Montagu (57bb34)

  39. Which pundit makes that claim in the body of the piece, Mr. Montagu, first you take a known journolister like chait seriously now you take rhe economist vague effusion seriously.

    Narciso (e0402c)

  40. It’s funny who these staunch conservatives read and find truthy enough to then share with others, narciso.

    Colonel Haiku (207293)

  41. Say, wasn’t Chait teh fool who almost had his eye put out by a pecker and then took to the shower and Twitter to share it with the world?

    Colonel Haiku (207293)

  42. #6
    Wilbur Ross addresses some of your concerns here:
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/press-gaggle-secretary-commerce-wilbur-ross-en-route-dubuque-ia-072618/

    #4
    Ross says TTIP remains in place for now

    Ross says tariffs are targeted to weak spots in competitors economies that will hurt. Otherwise competitors like the EU put 10% on our exports while we hit them with 2.5%. Ross would like them to work that 10% tariff down to zero, but the EU hasn’t budged until the US threatened to hit them where it hurt the worst.
    That’s how I read it anyway.
    I’m sure the neverTrumpers will develop a negative take quicker than snot.

    Oh, and the ink isn’t dry, Ross talks a lot about talks going forward on specifics into August. But sure, go ahead and make bold assertions about the dogs breakfast it is, then critique the breakfast, the dogs method of eating it… before it even hits the bowl

    steveg (a9dcab)

  43. Right now the dog for sure gets soybeans and LNG. He’ll have to wait to see if he gets aluminum.
    I’ll try to keep reporting on what the breakfast looks like as August approaches. The suspense will be palpable.
    Will the dog get autos and trucks in the bowl after August is done?
    When will the dog get his breakfast? August? September?
    Will it be breakfast or more like a late brunch?

    This promises to be as interesting as Geraldo’s Capone vault

    steveg (a9dcab)

  44. “Oh Wilbur”

    mg (9e54f8)

  45. Mr. Ed was conservative.

    mg (9e54f8)

  46. With all due respect, and acknowledging that as a Trump supporter I am too stupid to understand all the nuances of the great minds who stand boldly against Trump (like Maxine, Chuck, Nancy, and Marco), I really don’t see how a treaty that was not even negotiated, yet alone signed OR ratified by Congress was killed by Trump when the negotiations were suspended in 2016. Last time I checked 2016 is before 2017 in the timeline in this dimension, so how do you lay this at Trump’s feet, especially given that negotiations have resumed?

    I also find it disingenuous to pretend that the only goal of TTIP is to eliminate tariffs. In fact, the treaty also involves such things as climate change, the ability of the EU to block any imports that don’t conform to their laws dealing with geographic indicators and other means used to block, for the most part, agricultural products. So the EU is pushing the US to eliminate any remaining tariffs on imports, while allowing (and codifying the validity of) other means to protect markets that the EU currently employs. If the goal were to reduce tariffs, there would be no need for a 30 chapter treaty. It would be one page – “All signatories agree to reduce all tariffs by x% per year over the next y years until all tariffs are 0%”. See? Done.

    The fact is that, much like the war with radical Islam, we have been in a trade war for decades, but our feckless leaders were willing to simply suffer attack after attack without retaliation because those dinner parties invitations to the “in crowd parties” are more precious than protecting America’s interest.

    Josh (983b3a)

  47. Trump’s ilk are nothing more than parasites, like the ticks in a sheep’s ear.

    Coming from a lawyer, that is quite rich. Though leeches would be more appropriate.

    Skorcher (5b282a)

  48. 46. Trump has stumbled into doing some good, but for all the wrong reasons. As long as it is government policy in places like China to engage in theft and de facto slave labor, we’ll never really solve the problems that lead businesses to do business overseas. And contra everything that the Trump humping Schlichterites try to tell me, I just don’t think Trump gets it.

    Gryph (08c844)

  49. 18 how can you be for economic growth and freedom and support the status quo? A decade of sub 2% growth was one of the major issues that got Trump elected. 3% to 4% growth will be one of the major reasons he gets reelected.

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  50. 25 “Well, because modern economics are not simple, they are nuanced and sophisticated.”

    Question is when are they ever right?

    Nate Ogden (223c65)

  51. Which pundit makes that claim in the body of the piece, Mr. Montagu, first you take a known journolister like chait seriously now you take rhe economist vague effusion seriously.

    When your only argument is ad hominem, narciso, then you’ve really got no argument, because you’re avoiding the facts underlying. It is basically true that Trump started a trade war with the EU and then agreed to talk about an agreement, which has about the same heft as the Singapore Communique. It is also true that there is a mechanism for lowering “unfair” trade barriers in the form of TPP, and Trump outright rejected it.

    Paul Montagu (57bb34)

  52. which pundit, not some random iowa farmer, as steveg points out, the ttip is in abeyance but not cancelled,

    narciso (d1f714)

  53. I am shocked, SHOCKED to find out that US business PR departments will lie, plant friendly media stories, advocate holding to harebrained ideologies practiced by no one, and echo Obama’s ‘shutdown theater’ when it fits their own interests:

    https://twitter.com/TheLastRefuge2/status/1022892940497223681

    Of particular interest to our free-trade holdouts:

    “TheLastRefuge
    ‏ @TheLastRefuge2
    29m29 minutes ago

    8. Additionally, financial media are trying to downplay the exceptional results by saying business bought material in advance of tariffs. This is FALSE. This is not even remotely true.”


    TheLastRefuge
    ‏ @TheLastRefuge2
    28m28 minutes ago

    9. Net domestic inventories DROPPED by $6 billion. [Page 22, Table 3a, Line 40] There was no inventory buildup. Exactly the opposite is true. Inventories are lower/depleted…. this means future growth is forecast; ie. replenishment needed.”

    Pat the Free Trader, sadly, still has wrecker allies in the Republican party who want to be the head poopers on any icky ‘wage growth’ that may result from this in the form of Kevin Yoder:

    https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/07/25/gop-committee-revives-obamas-catch-and-release-asylum-rules/

    Steppe Nomad (7ee4e0)

  54. No, what Wilbur Ross said in the linked article, and on video, was he is open to restarting TTIP negotiations, which the US abandoned in Jan. of 2017. The other parties have continued to craft TTIP, just without the US.

    So Wilbur, I love his name, I’m getting a new beagle today, and will be Wilbur…I digress. Wilbur is essentially saying that after the US has taken a 18 month break for the president to vent for a bit, we’re not going to go back to the thing that was cancelled because…I’ve no idea, Wilbur probably doesn’t either since he also believes in modern economics. But just like Trump torpedo’d it the first time without reason, he could do it again, today, and undo it tomorrow.

    That’s why most countries will not go out of their way to negotiate with us, agreements exist today, the US is the largest market in the world, and the president is not a reliable partner. Since he’s talked big for 18 months and had zero trade agreements, and with the house potentially flipping in November, and Trump being both primary’d and less likely to win in 2020, they should delay until a rational actor is available to partner with them.

    All of Trump’s economic team, same for flaming liberal Navarro, is against his tariff policies, and that’s the signal our global partners see reflected.

    Colonel Klink (8352dc)

  55. BTW I hate this keyboard on the new Mac Pro’s it is awful, so much so that I think it’s going back and a new Lenovo is in the works.

    Colonel Klink (8352dc)

  56. Colonel Monocle:
    No

    The transcript says:
    SECRETARY ROSS: Okay. Well, we haven’t walked away from T-TIP. We deliberately did not cancel the T-TIP negotiations when President Trump was elected. We did cancel TPP, and that was meant to be a deliberate signal to the European Union that we wanted to negotiate with them.

    On the tariffs you say none of his advisors like:
    ROSS: So going forward, the direction is pushing towards zero. That’s really where the President’s trade policies have always been heading. But to get there, we had to take a route of trying to make it more painful for the other parties to continue bad practices than to drop them. And that’s why he put up tariffs to put pressure on. And it seems to be starting to work.I think if we hadn’t done the steel and aluminum tariffs, and if we hadn’t had the threat of automotive tariffs, we never would have gotten to the point where we are now. Ever since the President came into office, he’s told the EU he was willing to negotiate. It’s only now that they’ve been willing to come around.

    steveg (a9dcab)

  57. the ttip is in abeyance but not cancelled

    In his own words, via executive order, Trump withdrew from TTP as a signatory, to “permanently withdraw the United States from TPP negotiations”. These words, like “withdraw” and “permanently”, they mean things. Of course, Trump could reenter if he had half a brain.

    Paul Montagu (57bb34)

  58. I meant TTP, not TTIP, although Trump withdrew from that as well.

    Paul Montagu (57bb34)

  59. Globalist writes in link you gave:

    “In 2017, Trump rejected the TTIP deal that would have abolished almost all tariffs between the United States and the EU.”

    Ross tried to educate people yesterday:
    SECRETARY ROSS: Okay. Well, we haven’t walked away from T-TIP. We deliberately did not cancel the T-TIP negotiations when President Trump was elected. We did cancel TPP…

    The misunderstanding is in using words like withdrew, and canceled in the context of the entire T-TIP negotiation. Ross is saying that while the deal that was on the table was not taken by the US, but they have continued negotiations.

    steveg (a9dcab)

  60. I can’t believe I’m quoting the Globalist:
    “Still, the United States indeed imports more goods from the EU than it sells in Europe. But that is only half the truth. The U.S. goods deficit is offset by a small surplus in services and a big surplus in income (largely from the Netherlands where some U.S. companies seem to pool their EU-wide profits).

    I think Trump has made it very clear that he wants to lower taxes on overseas profits of US companies to the point where they will bring more of that money here to reinvest, rather than sitting and earning interest in the Netherlands

    steveg (a9dcab)

  61. Republicans used to understand the nature of trade deficits, as well explained by Mr. Williamson, until the Ghost of Pat Buchanan took over Trump’s brain.

    Paul Montagu (1ff0e3)

  62. republicans used to understand well-crafted cheese plates too

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  63. i’m so lonely

    happyfeet (28a91b)

  64. #61 (Montagu) — Trump’s brain has been focused on tariffs and trade deficits all his media life. It’s the foolish consistency that’s the hobgoblin of his little mind.

    Appalled (96665e)

  65. Williamson, who wants to let small town die, do they have to emigrate to the big city, where they have little chance.

    narciso (d1f714)

  66. Funny thing — Trump can be very tough on trade, and then turns into a total wimp:

    https://foreignpolicy.com/2018/07/25/congress-caves-to-trump-in-fight-over-chinas-zte/

    It’s always an item to wonder about when Trump goes from bombastic to quiet in no time. This is one of those hmmmmms.

    Appalled (96665e)

  67. Ignorant about how supply chains work, appalled, not surprised meanwhile the second fleet is open for business.

    narciso (d1f714)

  68. I thought the enron taskforce did him in:
    https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/07/29/enron-connected-billionaire-bail-bob-menendez-jersey-senate-race/

    But they did burn Arthur Anderson to the ground, guess who carved up part if it HSBC.

    narciso (d1f714)

  69. 67 (narc) —

    I’d answer you, if I knew what you were trying to say. If you are saying, rely on the military to enforce claims against information theft, rather than our on economic power, I would note that Trump has, in his career, very much gone the opposite way. (He prefers tariffs to sanctions). If you are saying ZTE is getting a bum rap for something one of their suppliers did — OK, please explain….

    Appalled (96665e)

  70. “Ruth Baader-Meinhoff is sucking down kale shooters and promising 5 more years…”

    LOL

    Colonel Haiku (096d35)

  71. Channeling Chandler: Could this quote be any more authoritarian?

    Banner: Shut up and get with the program.

    Tillman (d34303)

  72. *Bannon, not Banner.

    Tillman (d34303)


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