Overnight the Commerce Department escalated its trade war with China when it implemented the latest clampdown on a glut of steel imports, when it announced that corrosion-resistant steel from China will face final U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties of up to 450%. China's Commerce Ministry said it was extremely dissatisfied at what it called the "irrational" move by the United States, which it said would harm cooperation between the two countries. "China will take all necessary steps to strive for fair treatment and to protect the companies' rights," it said, without elaborating.
China is livid: as a result of record Chinese steel dumping, the US unleashed what is nothing short of a nuclear bomb in its rapidly escalating trade war with China, by imposing duties of 522% on cold-rolled steel used in automobiles and other manufacturing. In doing so it has effectively rendered Chinese exports to the US unsustainable and will force even more excess Chinese production to remain landlocked within China's borders, making the domestic glut that much worse.
"Don't play around with us, we can jump walls, we can swim rivers, we can defend ourselves.... We're coming back to the era of the ugly American. The gringo was hated all around the world, and this guy pretty soon he got the title. He is the ugly American, he is the hated gringo, because he's attacking all of us, he's offending all of us. Imagine, I mean that could take us to a war. Not to a trade war."
- Mexican president, Vicente Fox
"The major issues that both parties and their candidates agree upon include: the central bank’s monetary policy; welfarism; federal government involvement in education and medicine; the drug war; privacy abuse; preemptive war; foreign interventionism; and the US as the policeman of the world with increased spending for the military. The 2016 election won’t make any difference in any of these areas. The American people continue to be deceived into believing elections are serious affairs that affect our future. The Deep State will remain in charge regardless of the outcome and few will even be aware of the invisible fist that rules over us."
If Sanders and his revolution are sent packing in Philadelphia, and Trump is robbed in Cleveland of a nomination Americans believe he won, political disillusionment, and political realignment, may be at hand.
- Stocks up as investors look to end bruising week on a high (Reuters)
- Treasuries Set for Two-Week Gain; Greenspan Warns of Global Risk (BBG)
- Yellen, alongside Fed alum, says rate hikes on track (Reuters)
- Oil Prices Lifted by Fed Comments on U.S. Economy (WSJ)
- China says G20 summit should be about economics, not politics (Reuters)
- Cameron Accused of Hypocrisy for Stake in Father's Offshore Fund (BBG)
In the aftermath of dramatic tarfiffs imposed on China's steel exports in December, we asked how long until it responds with it own protectionist response: a necessary and sufficient condition for fully symmetric trade wars. It did so earlier today when, accused of flooding world markets with cheap steel, it imposed its own anti-dumping duties as high as 46.3% on electric steel products imported from Japan, South Korea and the European Union, the Ministry of Commerce said on Friday.
It’s actually pretty easy. At an apt moment very soon, Trump should offer Governor Kasich the VP slot and Senator Cruz the vacant Supreme Court seat. Such a grand bargain would not only clear the primary field and quash any backroom hijacking of the nomination by the Washington GOP establishment; it would also permit each man to play his highest and best role at this great inflection point in the nation’s history.
The country’s social mood is apparently ripe and it finally seems actually possible for a perceived outsider to win by challenging the established order. Our main regret is that it wasn’t yet ripe at the time Ron Paul tried his hand at winning the nomination. Everything Trump is saying and doing should probably be seen in the context of his strategy. It’s quite Machiavellian actually. The alleged lack of discernible policy stances, the occasional contradictions and often hair-raising statements are all in pursuit of the same goal: to win the nomination. Other than that, we mainly enjoy the growing discomfort of assorted cronies and professional politicians.
"We cannot 'make America great again' by turning our backs on the values that made us the world’s greatest nation in the first place. I love our country too much to play a role in electing a candidate who would weaken our unity and darken our future -- and so I will not enter the race for president of the United States."
Given the vicious downward spiral of competitive devaluation that is washing around the world's economic bathtub, it appears - just as we saw during The Great Depression - that currency wars have given way to mal-investment-fueled protectionism as US launches the first missile in the trade wars with a massive 266% tariff on imports of cold-rolled steel. “There’ll be a short-term benefit,“ said John Packard of Steel Market Update. ”However, in the long run, the U.S. mills are always going to want more tariffs, and it’s questionable how much more [protection] they can get."
"I spend most of my time, while looking at current prices, thinking about and trying to live six months to one year in the future.... What I can see now is that US growth is slowing, and that the market is likely to price in reduced monetary tightening." ... but... " The future for me is now more uncertain than at any time I can remember"
The meaning of Trumpism is that Americans want to rid themselves of the burden of empire. Trump’s rise augurs a seismic shift in the foreign policy debate in this country, marking the end of the interventionist consensus that dominates both parties. And it certainly means the final defeat and humiliation of the neoconservatives, who are busy spewing vitriol at him and his 'plebeian' supporters. And that alone is worth whatever price we have to pay for the triumph of Trump. For the neocons are the very core of the War Party: their demise as a politically effective force inside the GOP is an event that every person who wants a more peaceful world has been longing for and should celebrate.
China Proposes A Fix For Its Crashing Housing Market: "Transplant" 100 Million Farmers Into Its CitiesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/24/2015 08:46 -0400
There is just one very big problem with this "solution"...