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Category: Protectionism

The analysis published under this category are as follows.

Economics

Monday, May 16, 2022

Sanctions, trade wars worsen US inflation / Economics / Protectionism

By: Dan_Steinbock

The Fed’s aggressive and belated rate hikes will escalate economic challenges in the US and elsewhere, thanks to ill-advised sanctions and trade wars.

Recently, the Federal Reserve lifted its benchmark interest rate by half a percentage point, to a range of 0.75%-1%, following a smaller rise in March. It was the Fed’s biggest increase in 22 years.

Last fall, Jerome Powell, the Fed chairman, still characterized rising prices as "transitionary" which would not leave “a permanent mark in the form of higher inflation.”

So, when inflation began to climb rapidly after mid-year 2021, the Fed ignored it until it soared.             
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Economics

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Global Economic Recovery 2021 and the Dark Legacies of Smoot-Hawley / Economics / Protectionism

By: Dan_Steinbock

In 2021, China’s economic momentum will drive global economic prospects. But new trade wars could derail global recovery, again.

In the 1st quarter of the ongoing year, China’s GDP rose to a record 18.3% year-on-year. Despite the base effect, due to the pandemic plunge a year ago, the performance reflects strong momentum. In April, China’s economy continued to boom, with strong exports and rising business confidence supporting the recovery.

U.S. economic growth accelerated in the 1st quarter, thanks to a rush of consumer spending. The GDP expanded at a 6.4% annualized rate; the second-largest since 2003. But it missed the estimates by 0.3 percent. Moreover, it was fueled by two rounds of huge stimulus payments, ultra-low interest rates and historical debt-taking.
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Politics

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

Trump’s China Agreement Is a Fake Deal / Politics / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

We have a trade deal! Should we pop the champagne corks?

If so, we better hurry. The Trump administration wants to slam 100% tariffs on French champagne—retaliation for France’s new digital services tax. This trade war has more than one battlefield.

But China is the biggest, and last week the Trump administration said it had reached a “Phase 1” agreement with China. The president postponed a new round of tariffs that would have taken effect Dec. 15.
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Economics

Thursday, October 31, 2019

How Trump Tariff Trade Wars Worsen US Trade Deficit / Economics / Protectionism

By: Dan_Steinbock

Since 2018, Trump's trade wars have made US trade deficit only worse, while hurting the poorest economies the most and penalizing global prospects.

According to the new IMF outlook, global growth is forecast at 3.0% for 2019. That’s the lowest since the global crisis of 2008-9. The decline is largely due to the US tariff wars, which have contributed to the projected slowdown in the US and China.

Due to the global slowdown, world growth prospects now hover at levels where they were last amid the darkest moments of 2008/9.

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Economics

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Trade Wars: Facts And Fallacies / Economics / Protectionism

By: Steve_H_Hanke

U.S. President Donald Trump, alongside many others, has a straightforward view on international trade, particularly the U.S. external balance. They believe an external deficit is a malady caused by foreigners who manipulate exchange rates, impose tariff and non-tariff barriers, steal intellectual property, and engage in unfair trade practices. The president and his followers feel the U.S. is victimized by foreigners, as reflected in the country’s negative external balance.

This mercantilist view of international trade and external accounts is wrongheaded. The negative external balance in the U.S. is not a “problem,” nor is it caused by foreigners engaging in nefarious activities. The U.S.’s negative external balance, which the country has registered every year since 1975, is “made in the USA”—a result of its savings deficiency.

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Economics

Friday, October 04, 2019

Confidence Drives the Economy and Trump’s Trade War Is Killing It / Economics / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

Economic growth isn’t random.

It comes from individual decisions to buy, sell, or do nothing. We all make dozens every day.

Corporate CEOs and CFOs make bigger decisions, like whether thousands of people get hired or a factory gets built.

That means, the economy generally does better when business leaders see growth opportunities, and worse when they don’t.

Right now, the latter is happening. We know why, too: President Trump’s erratic trade policies make long-term planning difficult, to say the least.

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Politics

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

US China Trade War - Trump, You’ve Got It All Wrong! / Politics / Protectionism

By: John_Mauldin

I’m going to start with a story.

There is a drug produced in China that works well on strokes and numerous other less devastating medical issues.

It is derived from pig pancreases or human urine. It isn’t approved in the US due to justifiable regulatory issues, but it is used in Europe as well as China.

A small biotechnological firm in the US has the technology to synthesize this drug without using pancreases or urine. This would be safer and cheaper. 

The Chinese company agreed to pay the US company $4.5 million upon the meeting of certain guidelines and then to purchase the drug from the company at a fraction of its Chinese production cost. 

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Politics

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Trump’s Trade War Is Over and Nobody Won / Politics / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

 “You break it, you own it.”

Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell cited this Pottery Barn rule back in 2002. He was advising President George W. Bush of the consequences should an Iraq invasion go badly.

In fact, Pottery Barn has no such rule. You can go in their stores and handle the merchandise all you wish. They see occasional breakage as a cost of doing business.

But Powell still chose a good metaphor. Presidents aren’t just shopping for knickknacks when they make economic and foreign policy decisions. They have real, sometimes deadly consequences.

Bush should have listened more closely.
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Economics

Wednesday, July 03, 2019

New US-Sino Trade Truce: Tougher Talks, More Economic Damage / Economics / Protectionism

By: Dan_Steinbock

During the G20 summit, China and US agreed to re-start the trade talks. As the US trade war is slowing China’s growth, the collateral damage is now spreading in the US economy, while undermining global prospects.

Despite the White House’s efforts to lobby other countries against Huawei, President Trump also said that US companies can supply the technology giant, which the US, Department of Commerce blacklisted last month.

After Osaka, the negotiators face challenging obstacles, despite still another temporary timeout. Deep bilateral disagreements prevail about major structural issues.

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Economics

Monday, June 24, 2019

Trump’s Trade War Is Paralyzing Business / Economics / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

Last week the Business Roundtable, an organization of large company leaders, released its quarterly CEO Economic Outlook Index.

The index tracks what executives expect for sales, capital spending, and hiring over the next six months.

The good news is the index has been above its historic average for 10 consecutive quarters. The bad news is, it fell the last five of those quarters.

CEO optimism peaked in Q1 2018, following a climb that began in Q4 2016. Now in Q2 2019, much of the confidence is gone.

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Politics

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Trump Clueless On Trade Tariffs / Politics / Protectionism

By: Steve_H_Hanke

President Trump doesn’t like U.S. trade deficits. He also doesn’t like migrants flowing into the U.S. from south of the border. His tariffs and tariff threats are slowing trade and world economic growth. And this will, in turn, increase the migrant flows into the United States. After all, as foreign economic activity slows, and more foreigners are either thrown out of work or find their incomes drying up, they will be motivated to migrate. Trump remains clueless as to why tariffs fuel migration.

But, that’s not Trump’s only international trade blind spot. He and his cabinet think that U.S. trade deficits are a problem, and that they are caused by foreign countries that manipulate their currencies and engage in unfair trade practices. These ideas are wrongheaded.

These misguided ideas have plagued other administrations—even those lead by free-market presidents, like Ronald Reagan. Indeed, I spent many days, while at Reagan’s Council of Economic Advisers, trying to defend the President’s free-trade ideas. But, at the end of the day, the free-trader faction, which was led by the likes of Reagan himself, lost the war. The protectionists who harbored exactly the same wrongheaded ideas as Trump rolled us.

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Economics

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Longer the US Sino-Tariff Wars Go On, the Harder It Will Be to Undo the Damage / Economics / Protectionism

By: Dan_Steinbock

Compared to pre-2008 crisis levels, world economic growth has plummeted by half and is at risk of a long-term, hard-to-reverse stagnation. Returning to global integration and multilateral reconciliation could dramatically change the scenario

Since spring 2017, the US-led tariff wars have effectively undermined the global recovery. In the past years, global economy has navigated across several scenarios. Now it is approaching the edge.

I have been following four generic scenarios on the prospects of global economic growth since the U.S. 2016 election. The first two scenarios represent variants of “recoupling." In these cases, global integration prevails, despite tensions. In the next two scenarios, global integration will fail, either in part and regionally or fully and globally.
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Economics

Friday, June 07, 2019

US China Trade War Will Start a Recession, or Worse… / Economics / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

The logic of Donald Trump’s multi-front trade war, if there is any, is increasingly obscure.

The tangled mix of policies isn’t accomplishing its stated goals and seems unlikely to ever do so. Meanwhile, it hurts the Americans it should supposedly help.

Regardless, it’s happening, and it has consequences… none of them good.

The president’s latest move to impose escalating tariffs on imports from Mexico is the trade equivalent of “going nuclear.”

Judging by his tweets, Trump thinks it will solve multiple problems: trade, drugs, immigration, and crime.

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Economics

Monday, June 03, 2019

How China Wins Trade War / Economics / Protectionism

By: Richard_Mills

The trade feud between the US and China has deteriorated into trench warfare, with tariffs used as bayonets to bludgeon the other’s economy into submission. China’s Huawei has been blacklisted and US firms ordered to stop doing business with the telecom giant, further souring the bilateral relationship. For Part 1 of this series read:

US is winning trade war with China...for now

Recent decisions made by the Trump and Xi administrations to either pile on more tariffs or increase the rate on existing ones, mean there is virtually no more tariff leverage either side can exert on the other, to extract the concessions needed for a deal.

The United States earlier this month raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%, effective June 1; China retaliated with $60 billion worth of 25% tariffs on American products. The Trump administration is reportedly “very strongly” considering tariffs on the remaining $325 billion of Chinese imports.

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Politics

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Trump's futile quest for a renminbi Plaza Accord  / Politics / Protectionism

By: Dan_Steinbock

Recent US media reports claim China may depreciate its renminbi to cope with shrinking exports. Yet, economic realities are precisely the reverse. Worse, trade wars are about to hit American consumers.

Recently, the White House lifted tariffs to 25% from 10% on $200 billion of Chinese goods, while targeting another $300 billion worth of Chinese imports for potential punitive tariffs.

As was to be expected, the renminbi depreciated from 6.7 to more than 6.9 against the US dollar, mainly on renewed trade tensions.

China retaliated by imposing duties on $60 billion of US goods, starting June 1. China could have retaliated hard, but opted for a mild response that highlights the importance of talks.
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Economics

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Trump Trade War Is Widening, Not Ending / Economics / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

Almost every day brings comforting news on the trade front. They’re talking! Someone went to Beijing! Someone else is optimistic!

The problem is, that’s just talk. The longer it goes on, the more tariffs damage the economy.

Let’s call tariffs what they are: import taxes. Maybe then the people who oppose all other taxes will stop thinking tariffs are somehow helpful.

There are better and less harmful ways to achieve our goals. But what you or I think doesn’t really matter.

President Trump likes tariffs, and current law lets him use a “national security” pretext to impose them.

So they will continue until he changes his mind, and there’s no sign he will.

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Economics

Sunday, April 14, 2019

From US-Sino Talks to New Trade Wars, Weakening Global Economic Prospects / Economics / Protectionism

By: Dan_Steinbock

Recently, IMF cut global growth forecasts. As US-Sino trade talks will give way to next trade wars, new tariff wars will not resolve US deficits but will further impair global economic prospects.

Ever since the US-Sino trade talks began almost four months ago, the United States has pushed for a broad commitment focusing on China’s economic practices, including participation of U.S. firms in certain industries and protection of U.S. intellectual property rights (IPRs).

In a recent CNBC interview, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin claimed that the countries had “pretty much agreed” on an enforcement mechanism for a trade deal. After his meeting with the Chinese delegation last week, President Trump stated that negotiators may need four more weeks to package the deal.

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Stock-Markets

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Trump’s Trade War Is Nowhere Near Over / Stock-Markets / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

If you follow daily market action, you can tell investors don’t like tariffs or other trade restrictions.

Stock prices rise when it looks like US and Chinese negotiators are making progress. They fall when President Trump makes new threats or negotiations fall apart.

We’ve seen it dozens of times in the last year.

Lately, we see more celebrating. People seem to think some sort of trade war resolution is near—or at least an extension of last December’s truce.
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Politics

Friday, February 08, 2019

Science Says Protectionism Won’t Work / Politics / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

The simmering trade war is still... well, simmering. Markets rise and fall with each new rumor.

That’s an important change. It took months for investors to realize this wasn’t just another Trump threat. In fact, trade policies he thinks unfair have long been one of his sore spots. Now he can do something about them, and he’s surrounded himself with hardline advisors.

Unfortunately, victory is not at hand. More like the opposite:

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Economics

Saturday, December 29, 2018

How Trump’s Trade Policies Actually Damage the Economy / Economics / Protectionism

By: Patrick_Watson

We have a temporary truce in the trade war.

No one is quite sure if it will last, especially financial markets. After a short-lived rally, they saw little to celebrate in the latest Trump-Xi meeting. 

The US and China have serious disputes. And I think tariffs are the wrong tool to solve them. So I’m not optimistic this break will accomplish much either. We’ll see.

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