The Wall Street Journal Would Like You to Know Some Things about the China Trade Deal That Ain’t Happenin’

one or the other

Wall Street Journal, Trump Administration Goes Ahead with New Tariffs on Chinese Products: U.S. duties of 15% on tools, apparel items, some footwear and many electronics are expected to hit consumers

One thing the Journal would like you to know is that the tariffs Trump has imposed will cost every American household between $600 and $1000 this year.

They would also like you to know that the leaders of the People’s Republic

  • have concluded they are not going to get a trade deal
  • see no incentive to help Trump out of the hole he has dug, and
  • are waiting back for the pain suffered by American farmers and other businesses to have its natural political effect.

In addition,

Chinese retaliatory measures also went into effect on Sunday, with more to come on Dec. 15. The biggest categories of American exports to be hit with extra tariffs Sunday include $3.2 billion in annual soybean shipments, $2.55 billion in crude oil and $1.16 billion in pharmaceuticals, according to Panjiva Research.

Also, paraphrasing slightly, the Journal would like to inform you that the Chinese are prepared to go through the motions of a negotiation, but any deal they might accept would be a really good deal for China.

A Retraction, or Maybe a Qualification

Previously, I have opined that Trump’s best course of action would be to give China what they want, and then—lying through his teeth, as is his wont—claim to have achieved a great victory.

But I now think that things have gone too far. I believe Trump is damned if he does take a China-friendly deal, and damned if he doesn’t. Because if he backs down now, all the farmers who have lost their Chinese markets will remain fucked, and all the businesses with disrupted supply chains will remain screwed.

They probably will not like the fact that they have been well and truly swived, for nothing whatsoever.

Any more than the Aardvarks like the fact that we are paying $600-1000 this year so that Trump can stroke he ego.