Trade wars are better than real wars

Via Instapundit, but look who it’s from:

Salvatore Babones is an adjunct scholar at the Centre for Independent Studies in Sydney, Australia, and an associate professor at the University of Sydney. He is also the author of The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism, and the Tyranny of Experts, available now from Amazon.

This is what it’s about: Trump Doubles Down On The China Trade War.

President Donald Trump is threatening another round of China tariffs, this time 10 percent on the remaining $300 billion in Chinese goods that are not yet subject to punitive tariffs. The new tariffs should go into effect on September 1, barring a change of heart on the part of the president or some real action on the part of the Chinese.

Trump’s aggressive push on tariffs has thrown the country’s expert class into a tizzy, with pundits predicting a severe shock to the American economy, blaming the trade war for every blip in stock prices, and warning of the potential for runaway inflation as consumers pay the price for Trump’s tariffs.

Meanwhile the economy is employing record numbers of people, inflation is running well below the Fed’s target rate, and stock markets are slightly up since the beginning of the “trade war” in April. The data simply refuses to satisfy the pundits’ appetite for economic carnage….

Everyone in the trade war debate seems to be forgetting that America had a deal: back in April, before the trade war turned from cold to hot, the United States and China reached abroad agreement on “forced technology transfer and cyber theft, intellectual property rights, services, currency, agriculture and non-tariff barriers to trade.” China apparently agreed to the deal, but refused to agree to any enforcement mechanisms. That’s what happens when China’s leaders try to “save face”: they agree to a deal that is, in reality, no deal at all.

Trump’s tariffs are intended to bring China back to the negotiating table. If he fails, then China will suffer. That’s not in China’s national interest, but China is run by a self-appointed clique that routinely puts its own interests ahead of the country’s interests. What Trump should pursue is the American national interest, and that means doubling down on the trade war. If 1989 was the historical moment to squeeze the Soviet Union, then 2019 is the historical moment to squeeze China. Trump is right not to let that moment pass without a deal.

A trade war is better than a real war, but it’s real enough and just maybe we’re winning.

PLUS THIS: Also from Instapundit.

LARRY KUDLOW: The Chinese Economy Is Crumbling Under Weight Of Tariffs.

Related: “Chinese companies circulating at least $200b of IOUs as real payments dry up. The Chinese property developers are going to detonate.” 228

 

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