Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Stock Markets and the History Chart of the End of the World (With Presidential Cycles) - 28th Aug 20
2.Google, Apple, Amazon, Facebook... AI Tech Stocks Buying Levels and Valuations Q3 2020 - 31st Aug 20
3.The Inflation Mega-trend is Going Hyper! - 11th Sep 20
4.Is this the End of Capitalism? - 13th Sep 20
5.What's Driving Gold, Silver and What's Next? - 3rd Sep 20
6.QE4EVER! - 9th Sep 20
7.Gold Price Trend Forecast Analysis - Part1 - 7th Sep 20
8.The Fed May “Cause” The Next Stock Market Crash - 3rd Sep 20
9.Bitcoin Price Crash - You Will be Suprised What Happens Next - 7th Sep 20
10.NVIDIA Stock Price Soars on RTX 3000 Cornering the GPU Market for next 2 years! - 3rd Sep 20
Last 7 days
Custom Build PC 2021 - Ryzen 5950x, RTX 3080, 64gb DDR4 Specs - Scan Computers 3SX Order Day 11 - 17th Jan 21
UK Car MOT Covid-19 Lockdown Extension 2021 - 17th Jan 21
Why Nvidia Is My “Slam Dunk” Stock Investment for the Decade - 16th Jan 21
Three Financial Markets Price Drivers in a Globalized World - 16th Jan 21
Sheffield Turns Coronavirus Tide, Covid-19 Infections Half Rest of England, implies Fast Pandemic Recovery - 16th Jan 21
Covid and Democrat Blue Wave Beats Gold - 15th Jan 21
On Regime Change, Reputations, the Markets, and Gold and Silver - 15th Jan 21
US Coronavirus Pandemic Final Catastrophe 2021 - 15th Jan 21
The World’s Next Great Onshore Oil Discovery Could Be Here - 15th Jan 21
UK Coronavirus Final Pandemic Catastrophe 2021 - 14th Jan 21
Here's Why Blind Contrarianism Investing Failed in 2020 - 14th Jan 21
US Yield Curve Relentlessly Steepens, Whilst Gold Price Builds a Handle - 14th Jan 21
NEW UK MOT Extensions or has my Car Plate Been Cloned? - 14th Jan 21
How to Save Money While Decorating Your First House - 14th Jan 21
Car Number Plate Cloned Detective Work - PY16 JXV - 14th Jan 21
Big Oil Missed This, Now It Could Be Worth Billions - 14th Jan 21
Are you a Forex trader who needs a bank account? We have the solution! - 14th Jan 21
Finetero Review – Accurate and Efficient Stock Trading Services? - 14th Jan 21
Gold Price Big Picture Trend Forecast 2021 - 13th Jan 21
Are Covid Lockdowns Bullish or Bearish for Stocks? FTSE 100 in Focus - 13th Jan 21
CONgress "Insurrection" Is Just the Latest False Flag Event from the Globalists - 13th Jan 21
Reflation Trade Heating Up - 13th Jan 21
The Most Important Oil Find Of The Next Decade Could Be Here - 13th Jan 21
Work From Home £10,000 Office Tour – Workspace + Desk Setup 2021 Top Tips - 12th Jan 21
Collect a Bitcoin Dividend Without Owning the King of Cryptos - 12th Jan 21
The BAN Hotlist trade setups show incredible success at the start of 2021, learn how you can too! - 12th Jan 21
Stocks, Bitcoin, Gold – How Much Are They Worth? - 12th Jan 21
SPX Short-term Top Imminent - 12th Jan 21
Is This The Most Exciting Oil Play Of 2021? - 12th Jan 21
Why 2021 Will Be the Year Self-Driving Cars Go Mainstream - 11th Jan 21
Gold Began 2021 With a Bang, Only to Plunge - 11th Jan 21
How to Test Your GPU Temperatures - Running Too Hot - GTX 1650 - Overclockers UK - 11th Jan 21
Life Lesson - The Early Bird Catches the Worm - 11th Jan 21
Precious Metals rally early in 2021 - 11th Jan 21
The Most Exciting Oil Stock For 2021 - 11th Jan 21
Financial Market Forecasts 2021: Navigation in Uncharted Waters - 10th Jan 21
An Urgent Message to All Conservatives, Right-Wingers and Patriots - 10th Jan 21
Despite Signs to the Contrary, Gold Price at or Near Top - 10th Jan 21 -
Ultimate Guide On The 6 Basic Types Of Index Funds - 10th Jan 21
Getting Vaccinated at TESCO - Covid-19 Vaccinations at UK Supermarket Pharmacies and Chemists - 10th Jan 21
Cheers for the 2021 Stock Market and These "Great Expectations" - 9th Jan 21
How to Plan Your Child With Better Education - 9th Jan 21
How To Find The Best Casino - 9th Jan 21
Gold Is Still a Bargain Buy - 8th Jan 20
Gold Price Set to Soar as Hyperinflation Looms - 8th Jan 21
Have Big Dreams? Here's How to Pay for Them - 8th Jan 21
Will the Fed Support Gold Prices in 2021? - 8th Jan 21
Stocks trading strategies for beginners - 8th Jan 21
Who is Buying and Selling Stocks in 2021 - 8th Jan 21
Clap for NHS Heroes 2021 as Incompetent Government Loses Control of Virus Again! - 8th Jan 21
Ultimate Gaming and Home Working PC System Build 2021 - 5950X, RTX 3080, Asus MB - Scan Computers UK - 7th Jan 21
Inflation the bug-bear looking forward through 2021 - 7th Jan 21
ESG ETF Investing Flows Drive Clean Energy to Fresh Highs - 7th Jan 21
5 Financial Market Surprises in 2021 - 7th Jan 21
Time to ‘Reset’ Your Investment Portfolio in 2021? - 7th Jan 21
Bitcoin Price Collapses almost 20% at the start 2021 - 7th Jan 21
Fed Taper Nervous Breakdown - 6th Jan 21
What Will the U.S. Dollar Ring in for 2021? - 6th Jan 21
Stock market frenzy- Ride the bandwagon but be sure to take along some gold coins - 6th Jan 21
Overclockers UK Custom Build Gaming System Review Heat Test and Final Conclusion - 6th Jan 21
Precious Metals Resuming Bull Market, Gold, Silver, GDX Trend Forecasts 2021 - 5th Jan 21
Trump’s Iran-COVID-Gate Anniversary  - 5th Jan 21
2021 May Be A Good Year For The Cannabis / Marijuana Sector - 5th Jan 21
Stock Market Approaching an Important Target - 5th Jan 21
Consumer Prices Are Not Reflecting Higher Inflation; Neither Is The CRB - 5th Jan 21
NEW UK Coronavirus PANIC FULL Lockdown Imminent, All Schools to Close! GCSE Exams Cancelled! - 4th Jan 21
The Year the World Fell Down the Rabbit Hole - 4th Jan 21
A Year Like No Other for Precious Metals… and Everything Else - 4th Jan 21
The Stocks Bull Market is Only Half Completed - 4th Jan 21
An In- Depth Look At Gold Price Trend - 4th Jan 21
Building America Back After a Dark Covid Winter - 4th Jan 21
America's Dark Covid Winter Ahead - 4th Jan 21
Buy a Landrover Discovery Sport in 2021? 3 Year Driving Review - 3rd Jan 21
Stock Market Major Peak in Early April 2021 - 3rd Jan 21
Travel and Holidays 2021 - Flight Knight Cabin Bag Review - 3rd Jan 21
�� Happy New Year 2021 Fireworks and Drone Light Show from London and Sheffied - BBC�� - 2nd Jan 2
The Next IMMINENT Global Catastrophe After Coronavirus - 1st Jan 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

FIRST ACCESS to Nadeem Walayat’s Analysis and Trend Forecasts

Trumping World Trade

Economics / Protectionism Jan 23, 2017 - 11:20 AM GMT

By: Dan_Steinbock

Economics

After the inauguration, President Trump has begun to reset the White House trade policies. But the consequences of “America First” stance in world trade are wrought with threats.

Recently, President Xi Jinping gave a strong speech about the need for more inclusive globalization at Davos. World trade is a case in point.


In 2015, world export volumes reached a plateau. World trade is no longer growing. Any major protectionist initiative has potential to make a bad situation a lot worse.

Trump’s trade appointments and tariff plans

In the early 2010s, the Obama administration touted the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which excluded China. On his inauguration day, Trump announced US withdrawal from the TPP and promised to renegotiate NAFTA; if Mexico and Canada would refuse a negotiation, he would have US withdraw also from NAFTA.

Trump has promised to renegotiate or reject other US international commitments. And he has threatened to use 35-45% import tariffs, while his team has floated 10% tariffs. The goal is to force some countries, particularly Mexico and China, to change their trade practices, which he has vowed to challenge with “cease and desist” letters and greater pressure for intellectual property rights (IPRs).

Trump's appointments suggest potential for serious trade friction. He selected Peter Navarro, the author of sensationalist China-bashing books (The Coming China Wars, 2005; Death by China, 2011; and What China’s Militarism Means for the World, 2015), to head the new National Trade Council (NTC), which will oversee industrial policy in the White House.

Navarro's anti-China buddy Dan DiMicco, former CEO of largest US steel company Nucor and vocal free trade critic, became Trump's trade advisor and former Reagan administration trade hawk Robert Lighthizer, his US Trade Representative.

The three will work with Secretary of Commerce, billionaire Wilbur Ross, who made a fortune by offshoring American jobs and as bankruptcy expert. He calls China "the world's most protectionist country."

Targeting US deficit

Targeting the US deficit Trump has also named Japan as one of the deficit contributors, which Japan’s Finance Minister Taro Aso has considered inappropriate. In terms of trade imbalances, “China is No 1,” Aso says.

In protectionist initiatives, the blame is in the eye of the beholder because one country's deficit is another's surplus. Trump’s trade warriors will begin by singling out nations that have large trade surplus with the US. That makes big trading economies obvious targets. In 2015, the list was topped by China ($367 billion), Japan ($69) and Mexico ($61 billion), and Germany ($60 billion)

However, they are likely to ignore the size of these surpluses on a per capita basis. If we take into account the population size, Germany ($720) is the deficit leader followed by Japan ($543), Mexico ($488), but China ($262) is far behind.

Now, if the Trump administration really is serious about targeting deficit leaders, it should probably consider a trade war with Ireland. After all, US has a deficit of $30 billion with Ireland, which translates to $6,380 in per capita terms - that's 9 times the German and 24 times the Chinese figure, respectively.

In reality, trade deficits are likely to serve as pretexts for protectionism – even if such policies penalize the rest of the world.

Regional trade deficits, nationalist tariffs

Trump's goals may well be dictated by realpolitik. Deficit criticism serves largely as an effort to undermine European unity (hence his anti-Merkel tirade), the rise of China and Mexico, and Japanese reforms. In such a win-lose world, "America First" is not possible through cooperation or even competition, but only by winning and harming perceived adversaries.

And yet, historically, US trade deficits did not start with China, or any other single country. Rather, they are regional and have prevailed for more than 41 years with Asia – first with Japan, then with newly-industrialized Asian tigers and recently with China and emerging Asia.

A single-minded focus on trade deficits ignores the fact that global economic cooperation is not just about trade in goods, but about trade in services and high-technology. It also includes investment, which Trump would like to attract from the very same countries that he risks alienating with his trade policy.

And it includes migration flows, which Trump would like to restrict dramatically, which would hurt US long-term growth, reduce remittances to poorer nations and boost anti-US resentment particularly in the Middle East.

Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act Déjà vu

Trump’s stated protectionism does have a historical precedent. In 1930, the US Congress passed the notorious Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, which sharply raised the cost of foreign imports.

While the Tariff Act seemed to work initially, it soon caused other nations to retaliate. As rounds of tit-for-tat retaliation contributed to the Great Depression, the way was soon paved for another world war.

Trumping world trade is a bad idea, but its timing is even worse.

Dr. Dan Steinbock is an internationally recognised expert of the nascent multipolar world. He is the CEO of Difference Group and has served as Research Director at the India, China and America Institute (USA) and visiting fellow at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies (China) and the EU Centre (Singapore). For more, see www.differencegroup.net   

© 2017 Copyright Dan Steinbock - All Rights Reserved

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.


© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules