Closing Thought–17May19

We are in a war of words and deeds…a trade war….with China….Our Beloved Supreme Leader went on the Tube and soothed the ruffled feathers on Wall Street and the markets calmed down a bit…..but how about the rest of us unwashed masses that do not depend on Wall Street for our wealth?

Me? I do not shop on 5th Avenue so I want to know how I will fare with Trump’s mash up with China…..

Walmart warned on Thursday that higher tariffs on imports from China will mean higher prices, the AP reports. The comments came after the nation’s largest retailer reported its best sale performance at its established US namesake stores for the fiscal first quarter in nine years. It marked 19 straight quarters of same-store sales gains. “We’re monitoring the tariff discussions and are hopeful that an agreement can be reached,” said Chief Financial Officer Brett Biggs. But he told reporters, “Increased tariffs will lead to increased prices for our customers.” Walmart declined to comment on what type of price hikes shoppers could expect and which products would get the biggest increases.

The specter of higher prices was also echoed by Macy’s CEO Jeff Gennette. He told investors Wednesday that if a fourth round of tariffs takes effect, that could mean higher retail prices for both store label and national brands. Target, JC Penney, and other major retailers will be reporting results in the next few days and should shed more light on the issue. Walmart, Macy’s and other major retailers have been left largely unscathed by the first several rounds of tariffs since they focused more on industrial and agricultural products. But that changed last week when the Trump administration slapped 25% tariffs on imports like furniture. The administration wants to extend the 25% tariffs to practically all Chinese imports not already hit with levies including toys, shirts, household goods and sneakers.

While Wall Street smiles the rest of us get raped……well our wallets to be exact……not what I signed on for…..

You?

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Tariffs…..Tariffs…..We All Fall Down

Of all the shiny objects that Trump and his lackeys throw out for the news to digest…tariffs is the biggest one for his supporters and our economy…….

I heard a report that advisers in the Whote House aren scrambling to explain the markets to this president…..

Seriously?

A “really smart person” and a graduate of the Wharton School of Business (the second most prestigious school of business) needs someone to explain the economics?  Did he sleep through that class at Wharton?

Let me help his supporters for they are wrapping themselves around a LIE.

How simple can I go?

A tariff is a TAX……how’s that for simple?

A tariff is a tax on goods coming into or leaving a country. That tax might be an ad valorem tax, which is a fixed percentage of the product’s price from time to time, or a specific tax that stays the same no matter what happens to the product’s price. Either way, the aim of import tariffs is to stop cheap goods from coming into the country from overseas and stealing market share of domestic producers. In this sense, tariffs are a form of protectionism, imposed to save industries that are especially vulnerable to competition from overseas.

I have tried to make it simple for people to understand tariffs and their results……

https://lobotero.com/2019/05/10/as-tariffs-come-and-go/

I am not so sure that Trump economic policies were the result of Trump economics……tariffs are proof for me…..they will bring the “surging” economy to a screeching halt.

Stupid is as stupid does!

A couple of idiotic statements from this group of mental midgets……

As the US-China trade war continues to rage, President Trump is not only defending the hugely disruptive effect it is having on the global economy, but promising that the “great patriot farmers” of America would reap the rewards when the US ultimately won the trade war.

Trump promised that the US government would compensate farmers for any losses they suffer from the tariffs, and suggested China would pay for that compensation in the form of the higher tariffs they are paying for the US allowing them “to do business with us.”

Trump’s promises to the farmers are likely driven by the political reality of the situation. Farmers heavily backed Trump’s election, and the trade war has heavily hurt their exports to China, as retaliatory sanctions have left them increasingly noncompetitive on the market.

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) was a lot more comfortable with US farmers suffering in the trade war. Cotton insisted the hardship for them was “minimal,” and that China would suffer more than America would, suggesting that made it worth it.

Cotton further said that the hardships borne by American farmers was nothing compared to the sacrifices made by US soldiers in various wars overseas.

(antiwar.com)

Very smart?  MY ASS!

Trump’s lie that this is just a squabble with China seem to have soothed the feathers of Wall Street……markets are a bit more stable…..

Maybe he is smart….smart enough to know that a LIE will tamp down any opposition to Trump’s mash up with China.

The Free Trade Con

As Americans we pretend that we are down with the concept of Free Trade…..but in reality there are very few voters who know what the term means and we voted a dim wit into the presidency with the promise of more “Free Trade”…….

First let us define “Free Trade”…… Free trade is a policy to eliminate discrimination against imports and exports. Buyers and sellers from different economies may voluntarily trade without a government applying tariffs, quotas, subsidies or prohibitions on goods and services. Free trade is the opposite of trade protectionism or economic isolationism. (Trump shot that concept in the ass!)

Politically, a free-trade policy may be the absence of any trade policies, so a government doesn’t need to take specific action to promote free trade. This hands-off stance is referred to as “laissez-faire trade” or trade liberalization. Governments with free-trade agreements do not necessarily abandon all control of import and export taxation. In modern international trade, few free trade agreements (FTAs) result in completely free trade.

If you have a hard ti me with this concept we can get more simple……

From the start of these “Trade Agreements” like Clinton’s NAFTA and then it went on from there….I had to write about them as well….

https://lobotero.com/2016/12/09/what-about-nafta/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/03/nafta-vs-usmca/

The promise of a better trade economy from the dolt in the White House has done little to expand the concept of “Free Trade”…..and the GOP can NO longer claim to be the party for Free Trade as long as they enable the policies of this president…..

The whole idea of a “new” NAFTA is a con and the American people need to be aware of this con…..

Approval of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA 2.0 also known USMCA) will do little to reverse the problems of the NAFTA trade agreement of 1994. Nothing in the proposed replacement agreement will prevent job outsourcing, nor is there any part of the agreement that would reverse our current agricultural trade deficit. So what’s the deal with the “Motorcade for Trade” tour?

The 2018 Census of Agriculture documents the occurrence of a clear shift in farm size. Small and medium sized farms are exiting production while the number and overall size of larger farms continues to increase. We are told growth is inevitable in any business if they wish to succeed, because growth goes hand in hand with efficiency and profit.

Farmers are told they must become more efficient and adopt economies of scale and that rationale is often accepted since farm prices are seemingly always on the decline and less income per unit of production means more units of production are required if one wants to survive. This same logic is applied to most jobs: factory workers must produce more, teachers must teach larger classes, etc.—all for the same low wage.

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/04/17/dont-fall-hype-free-trade-agreements

Voters need to know that a con job is a con job and this BS is at beast “snake oil” for the mindless.

Trade War Consequences

Trump has declared a trade war on China (among others) and outcome is benefiting a country that he has used in the past…..Mexico.

Remember Mexico…that country that would pay for his damn silly border wall? They will not!

But since he has seen fit to declare this trade war Mexico will benefit the most.

The Trump Administration’s trade war with China has turned out to be a windfall for another country the president frequently berates: Mexico.

Consider Fuling Global Inc., a Chinese maker of plastic utensils that developed a lucrative business making paper cups and straws for U.S. restaurants. But President Trump upended all that with tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports, including paper products. So the company found an alternative, opening a $4 million factory in Monterrey, Mexico, that will soon begin shipping millions of paper straws across the border.

“We had to look for other ways to do business,’” said Fuling Chief Financial Officer Gilbert Lee. The move means the Wenling, China-based company will avoid the tariffs and make up for pricier Mexican labor with lower shipping costs. “Mexico is a very logical and advantageous location for us.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-03-27/who-is-winning-trump-s-trade-war-with-china-so-far-it-s-mexico

We keep waiting for the return of our manufacturing jobs (that will never return but we were promised) to all that cash that would return from offshore (to be fair some of the cash has come home but not enough)….

Trump’s trade war is not helping Americans in the least…..but Mexico will make out like the bandits they are accused of being (that is sarcasm not a pronouncement).

Siphon Off The Cash

Closing Thought–14Jan19

Well we watch the tube and the volatility of the markets….wild swings in losses and gains…..it is not normal.

And then there are the trade policies of our president…..his view of his tariffs are not anything like the views from financial pundits…..the news is not good from the tariffs…….out soy bean farmers think they are screwed even after the silly tariffs are removed….

With that said and reported……what about other sectors of our economy?

The financial magazine Forbes reports…..

President Trump likes to say that China and other countries are pouring money into the U.S. with the tariffs he has imposed. However, the countries that are sending goods to us aren’t paying the tariffs . The companies that import goods are paying them , which means U.S. companies need to raise prices (therefore a tax on consumers), lower their margins and have less profit (which also lowers the amount of taxes they pay to the government) or even go out of business.

The U.S. Treasury Department releases a monthly report, which provides how much in customs duties are received by the government (December’s is delayed due to the shutdown. so I have estimated that month’s result). Trump is correct that the payments have escalated in recent months. While they took a jump in the second half of fiscal 2018 (September) from the first half, they have almost doubled in the December quarter compared to the first half of fiscal 2018 before the additional tariffs were imposed.

First half of fiscal 2018: $3.1 billion per month

Second half of fiscal 2018: $3.8 billion per month

First quarter of fiscal 2019: $6.0 billion per month

Increase of 95% from the first half

Delta between $6.0 and $3.1 billion is $2.9 billion  The $2.9 billion monthly increase in customs duties over a full year is $35 billion, which is either passed on to consumers in higher prices or eats into company profits. This can potentially drive a company out of business such as a South Carolina TV manufacturer laying off 126 employees or a Missouri nail manufacturer laying off 200 of its 500 employees.

None of this “news” tracks with the bullsh*t fed to us by the “warrior from Wharton”……..(I still say this person did not get his degree legally…Daddy bought it for him)……these policies are doing NOTHING to make America Great again….NOTHING!

How About That Farmer’s Bailout?

In one statement…..It is Crap!

The Dear Supreme Leader has decided, in the past, that what the US needs is a good trade war to make everything okay for the future…..his trade wars and tariffs have hit our farmers the worst but not to worry the president has a plan to stop the bleeding of our farmers….a bailout!

SO now that it is in place how is it doing?  Are our framers making out okay?

American farmers are struggling to find storage for crops that would usually be sold overseas, with some being forced to leave produce rotting in fields as a last resort, as the trade conflict between the US and China continues.

Farmers in some US states are being forced into plowing their crops under — effectively burying them under soil in fields — as there is not enough room to store them in storage facilities, and they are unable to sell their products thanks to Chinese tariffs, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-china-trade-war-soybeans-left-rotting-thanks-to-lack-of-storage-2018-11

And the bailout?

Well $6 billion has been promised to our farmers to ease their pain and so far $838 million have been doled out….so things are better right?

Well let’s be honest……the plight of the American farmer still sucks!

President Donald Trump’s $12 billion bailout of farmers who had been hurt by his trade wars has been a massive bust politically — and a New York Times report has found that very little of it has gone to the struggling farmers who need it most.

According to the Times, the bailout program “has done little to cushion the blow” of the president’s trade wars, “with red tape and long waiting periods resulting in few payouts so far.”

In fact, the Times estimates, just $838 million of the $6 billion worth of bailout funds that have been authorized so far has been paid out.

https://www.alternet.org/trumps-12-billion-bailout-farmers-hurt-his-trade-wars-has-been-massive-bust-nyt

Will the pain continue for the American farmer or will these tariff thingys do what they were promised to do?

My guess is the promises will not be met…..something that is a reoccurring trait of Trumpism.

NAFTA Vs USMCA

In 2016 Trump and I had something in common…..we both disliked NAFTA….the only difference was he could do something about it and I could only bitch about it.

US, Canada and Mexico have come to an agreement on trade and NAFTA…..

Canada and the United States reached a deal Sunday night for Canada to stay in a free trade pact with the US and Mexico. In a joint statement late Sunday, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the agreement “will strengthen the middle class, and create good, well-paying jobs and new opportunities for the nearly half billion people who call North America home.” The new deal, reached just before a midnight deadline imposed by the US, will be called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. It replaces the 24-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement, which President Trump had called a job-killing disaster.

The agreement reached Sunday gives US farmers greater access to the Canadian dairy market. But it keeps a NAFTA dispute-resolution process that the US wanted to jettison and offers Canada protection if Trump goes ahead with plans to impose tariffs on cars, trucks, and auto parts imported into the United States, the AP reports. “It’s a good day for Canada,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said as he left his office. Canada, the United States’ No. 2 trading partner, was left out when the US and Mexico reached an agreement last month to revamp NAFTA. US-Canada talks bogged down earlier this month, and most trade analysts expected the Sept. 30 deadline to come and go without Canada being reinstated.

Of course Trump’s new replacement for NAFTA has a nice ring to it……USMCA

America’s free trade pact with Mexico and Canada may be alive, but the same can’t be said for the NAFTA moniker. Once the new deal was arrived at Sunday night its new name was announced: the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement, or USMCA. President Trump weighed in on the name during a Monday press conference, saying, “It has a good ring to it.” It’s also “a great deal,” he said per USA Today, one that should “pass easily, really easily … in theory there should be no trouble.” Congress needs to approve the agreement, and it needs to be ratified in Mexico and Canada as well. As for how one should say the name, Trump didn’t read it as a word a la NAFTA but spelled the letters out: U-S-M-C-A.

CNBC reports that while much of the deal echoes that of NAFTA, there are pivots in terms of how the dairy and auto industries are handled: US dairy producers’ access to Canadian markets will increase, while Mexico and Canada scored a win in terms of an exemption on passenger vehicles, pickups, and auto parts from potential tariffs. CNBC has much more, including details on changes that will could up the price of cars made in Mexico, which could push more of these jobs north of the border.

NYTimes op-ed states that USMCA is worse than NAFTA…….

North American business leaders are breathing a sigh of relief after Canada agreed, at the 11th hour, to join the revised North American Free Trade Agreement between the United States and Mexico. But before they break out the Champagne, they should look at the details.

Although the revised deal brings much-needed modernization in areas such as e-commerce and intellectual property, the media spotlight on Canada has obscured a bigger problem for the region: Under the new terms, North American trade is headed off the rails and, perhaps along with it, political stability south of the border.

But leave it to the master of business, the grad from the Wharton School, to negotiate a deal that has LESS trade in it……

The United States, Canada, and Mexico have completed their renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Being nothing, if not creative, negotiators named this revamp the “United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement on Trade,” or USMCA for short. While the namers get an F for imagination and creativity, they receive an A for self-evaluation skills, as they aptly removed the term “free trade” from the title. The USMCA does not advance free trade in the world.

There are more than a few labor and manufacturing provisions in this bill that will, no doubt, lead to higher prices for American consumers. There is a sourcing requirement, which mandates that 75 percent of automobile parts be produced in North America, otherwise that automobile cannot enter duty-free. Not only are the costs of auto parts already rising due to President Trump’s trade dispute with China, they will now rise even further due to the requirement that manufacturers use more expensive domestic parts that could have been imported more cheaply.

https://www.realclearmarkets.com/articles/2018/10/02/leave_it_to_trump_to_negotiate_a_deal_that_leads_to_less_trade_103433.html

Is that a technique known only to those that study at Wharton?

How to cut a deal where there is less trade than the previous deal.