Trump "Overrules" Cabinet, Prepares To Unleash Global Trade War

Tyler Durden's picture

While one of Trump's recurring campaign promises was that he would "punish" China and other key US trade counterparties if elected, for taking advantage of free-trade by imposing steep tariffs and duties on foreign imports to "level the playing field", the President's stance changed drastically after the election, U-turning following his amicable meeting with China's president Xi Jinping in March, but mostly as a result of pressure by his ex-Goldman advisors to keep existing trade arrangements in place and not "rock the boat."

Now, all that may be about to fall apart.

According to Axios, behind the constant media scandals, "one of the most consequential and contentious internal debates of his presidency unfolded during a tense meeting Monday in the Roosevelt Room of the White House" where with "more than 20 top officials present, including Trump and Vice President Pence, the president and a small band of America First advisers made it clear they're hell-bent on imposing tariffs — potentially in the 20% range — on steel, and likely other imports."

In other words, Trump - true to his campaign promises - is set to launch a global trade wars after all, one where then main country impacted would be China, however the collateral damage would extend to Canada, Mexico, Japan, Germany and the UK.

And what may be even more striking is that Trump overruled his cabinet, as "the sentiment in the room was 22 against and 3 in favor — but since one of the three is named Donald Trump, it was case closed." Axios adds that while "no decision has been made, the President is leaning towards imposing tariffs, despite opposition from nearly all his Cabinet."

Needless to say, if Trump follows through, the outcome would have a profound effect on U.S. economic and foreign policy; Trump will formalize his decision in the coming days.

What is also notable, is that this is the first time  - so far off the record - in which Trump has openly defied his Wall Street establishment advisors, while siding with the Bannon "populist" front:

In a plan pushed by Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and backed by chief strategist Steve Bannon (not present at the meeting), trade policy director Peter Navarro and senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, the United States would impose tariffs on China and other big exporters of steel. Neither Mike Pence nor Jared Kushner weighed in either way.


Everyone else in the room, more than 75% of those present, were adamantly opposed, arguing it was bad economics and bad global politics. At one point, Trump was told his almost entire cabinet thought this was a bad idea. But everyone left the room believing the country is headed toward a major trade confrontation.

As Axios adds, the reason why Trump defied the guidance of his Wall Street-derived advisors is Trump's base "which drives more and more decisions, as his popularity sinks — likes the idea, and will love the fight."

This, more than anything, should send shivers down Wall Street's spine, because for all his bluster and outrageous media outbursts, Trump had largely been in Wall Street's pocket so far.

Not anymore, and with Trump's base hell bent on punishing the 1% (which includes Wall Street), if Trump indeed launches global trade war, his future decisions will become increasingly market unfriendly.

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shovelhead's picture


Your first grade 'poopyhead' posts really elevate the tone here.

Talk about retards...

BigCumulusClouds's picture

America used to be able to thrive on tariffs and excise taxes. And it did so without an income tax. Trump needs to work on the latter first.

Farqued Up's picture

Last I checked, the Caymans only have duties and sales taxes as revenue sources.

opport.knocks's picture

Also check the expenditure side of their ledger ;-)

gespiri's picture

YESSSS!!!!!  It's about time that this is done.  Other countries have been bleeding the US economy for decades now and only the rich have benefited from this.  As a result, the manufacturing sector went overseas and the US economy became service-based.

What many people don't know is that many countries WOULD LOVE TO DO BUSINESS IN THE USA since it represents the biggest single market economy. The country, if forced, is also self reliant: it has gas/energy, agriculture, water, and people.....essential to maintain and grow an economy internally.  


Savvy's picture

Other countries have been bleeding the US economy for decades


Yes, that giant sucking sound is all the fault of China, Mexico, Canada... It was American co.s that outsourced and Americans who bought the cheap shit China sent. You have no one to blame but yourselves.

gespiri's picture

You are absolutely right, Mr. Perot!  All of us who benefited from cheap goods from other countries are also to blame.

However, much of the blame goes to these lying politicians who make these trade laws and treaties.  You and can only play the game while they invent the rules.

ludwigvmises's picture

Why only steel? We need to have this on EVERYTHING. 100% of all products and services that go into our country need to be taxed. 30%, 50%, 100%. America first! Let China and Germany goto hell I don't care. Trump hopefully has the balls to push this through against all opposition.

therevolutionwas's picture

you forgot the sarcasm note, von Misis

cstu7011's picture

I'd be happy with 20% import tax... and 2% max sales tax on US made goods!

First he needs to cut taxes...


Rothbardian in Cleveland's picture

Who the hell starts any serious post with a declaration of being happy about being taxed?  Maybe I answered my own question and simply  missed the satire.

ludwigvmises's picture

No satire in this. Trump wants (I hope he does, can't really ever know with him!) to tax imports. I don't want a tax on everything, just on foreign goods/services and no taxes on American made goods/services. That would allow our workers and manufacturing industry to recover. Let them slap +100% taxes on machines/cars/tech from Germany or medical equipment/electronics from Japan -- so we start buying goods actually made by our OWN workers and factories instead of bleeding our manufacturing base even more. Taxing foreigners is the best tax you can have, its like free money. It makes our own country stronger.

Rothbardian in Cleveland's picture

You might want to swap our your vonMises avatar for say a Paul Krugman one.

desirdavenir's picture

sarcasm off.

I would have agreed with that 10 years ago. Protect the economy from competition while it builds up. Train workers, build inter-corporation business ties, focus on long term economic growth, and once in order, go back to the big pond (global economy).

But it doesn't work except with a high degree of orchestration by the state or existing power structures (e.g., China, S. Korea, Japan). In decadent economies (like France or the US) this only promote cronyism, as the state officials will be ready to hand money or political support (for protectionism on given items) in exchange of employment promises by the existing companies. What you ask amounts to asking for a small dose of crack, just to feel better before going to work. It can be conceived in theory, but it rarely happens in reality.

As a side remark, that's why Euro has been good for France, as we slowly realize that. Wealth comes from optimizing the production, and only a global market can ensure that production is optimized at every step (education, health care, work time,...) instead of being diverted in a public or private bureaucracy.

ludwigvmises's picture

Thanks, you make good points, I haven't thought about the level of nepotism/cronyism we have in the US as a major factor hampening competition and growth.

man of Wool's picture

What a fucking dumb coment. 

So you put 100% duty on imports. Inflation goes through the roof.

China and Germany don't need American market.  

What does America first mean?

whatsupdoc's picture


If it happens I suspect that quite a few industries that have gone overseas will be forced to come back.  In a sense it is a game of bluff for all those globalists who have bled the country dry to either choose to stay out or to go back in.  All those large companies will need to relocate back into the US.  All those products that are cheap to manufacture but expensive to buy will have the massive profit margins reduced dramatically.

You need to do such an action to force the issue.

Its all about leadership and balls.

On the other hand, all those industries that have been using American products (I'm thinking semiconductors especially) will need to beef up their manufacturing of them which might be harder than you think.  If a number of viable alternatives to an American product do come to the surface, then the American ones will not be needed.  Also, the American industry willl be encouraged to start providing a whole bunch of products that are sourced in America rather than relying on foreign sources which hurts in the short term but can be overcome eventually.

I think eventually the thinking is that a reduction in the size of government and its scope is the best thing for any citizen of any country and if they could have an unmanipulated currency it would be all good.


PT's picture

man of Wool:  Where do your rich customers come from?

Expat's picture

War is good for the economy, but it's so expensive to travel far to do it.  Trump should declare war on selective states.  Pick the most worthless ones.  Start with the poorest and work your way up.  Arkansas is going bye-bye.   Then he can impose massive tariffs on California and demand that Hollywood movies be shot in Mar-A-Largo instead of in Canada, as they are now.  After that, he can demand 25% tax on anyone with a foreign or jewy sounding name like Steinbrenner, Zuckerberg, Blankfein, Chao, DeVos, or Drumpf.  When that stops working, he can simply enslave anyone not named Trump.

This fucking guy is a fucking genius.  The rest of the world is fucking jealous of our Donald.  You should hear them saying things like, "I wish Trump were here, in this country, in this room, right now."  Of course, I didn't mention they are mostly polishing knives and guns as they say that...but those are the words so it's not fake news.

God bless America...I wonder if he weeps for America like he weeps for child abuse victims?  LOL

Cordeezy's picture

But Wait! Did you see where he said a reporter had a nice smile?  Oh my god!!!  yeah, that is crazy impeach him!!!  (scarcasm)


Arnold's picture

I must say that noticing the guests at Mar A Lago have had facial reconstructive surgery was a bit locker room.

shovelhead's picture

Poke a wasp nest, expect to get stung.

Very simple.

Moe Howard's picture

I understand he got two scoops when everyone else had one scoop.

No class bastard. lol

Let it Go's picture

Over the last several years the "stop globalization" movement has gained support in developed countries across the world. The subject of globalization is made up of many threads interwoven in a complex way, the discussion can include several issues such as, but not limited to, immigration and free trade.

Media has spun globalization as being good for everyone, however, other issues and social concerns also feed into the mix, things like global warming, nationalism, inequality, even population growth, jobs, and the kind of communities we want. The article below explores this complex issue and questions who is right.

unklemunky's picture

Free trade and fair trade are two different things. China is feeling the pressure from India for the same reasons. The entire world has sucked America dry under the ruse of fairness. Cheap money, easy credit and no jobs. The world has unloaded their debt on America by watered currencies and one way trade barriers while corporations have moved the to cheaper locations and sold their crap back to America.....on credit. Say what you want, but the US taxpayer has been looted and our economy gutted by all of the monetary tinkering and rigging. So, fuck the rest of the world. There is not one damned thing we need from you that we don't have within our shores. I hope Walmart takes it in the Ass.

nevertheless's picture

All you say is true, but the idea that Chump will get in the way of globalists is ludicrous. 


I mean the idea that the media is reporting, at behest of the Trump admin that they are all against this and he is for it, is obvious propaganda. 


Trump is a Zionist Isreal firster, as noted by the fact that we still have no illegal immigration enforcement and we are still increasing our presence in the Middle East. 



cstu7011's picture

My thoughts exactly!! Bravo!

Rothbardian in Cleveland's picture

At least Walmart is attempting to fight back against Bezos.  You know....competition (gasp!).  There is no perfect companies any longer.  But at least we should encourage competion via free markets that ultimately benefits consumers.  Setting out to destroy does just that.  Destroying markets, companies (and their employees), countries (and their citizens).  


Death, destruction, anger...those aren't the answers.  Freedom and non-aggression priciples are.

archie bird's picture

I'm from Missouri. SHOW ME!  I don't think he has the testicular fortitude to follow through. can you say peer pressure?

Catahoula's picture

Axios liberal fake news bullshit. His popularity is not sinking. That's more msm bullshit too. Fake polls, fake news, fake fucks under every rock

Expat's picture

Because if you believe something hard enough, it becomes real.  Everybody!  Clap your hands if you believe in Trumpies!  Clap harder!  The popularity polls are slipping!  Clap! Clap! Clap! (with apologies to JM Barrie).

In any case, why the fuck do you care about his popularity?  I thought the whole point was that everyone but Trumpeteers was supposed to hate the Donald because that means he is doing good things for America!  I am certainly sure that Wall Street and the 1% were pretty fucking thrilled with the Donald up until today.

MuffDiver69's picture

FOX had a poll only 13% want him to keep tweeting...Yeah right...Fuck all these Fake News bullshit...Not one MSM channel isn't complete bullshit...

nevertheless's picture

what, you like his childish contrived tweets, you need to learn to think beyond a tweet, nitwit.


your a zionist anyway...

nevertheless's picture

Oh shut up, are you for real, Trump has done nothing about illegal immigration or getting out of useless wars, YES his popularity is shrinking. Just because Chumps like you will never question you dear leader, those of us with morals and a love for this country do. 

ludwigvmises's picture

Im from Arizona, we have TONS of illegals here still and nothing is happening. My brother in law is with the Maricopa Sheriff's department and from what he says the influx of illegals has gotten worse rather than less. And there's just lots of frustration and a sense of giving up among the different departments on how to handle the flood. Trump talks a lot about getting rid of illegals but nothing, absolutely nothing is actually happening. Trump is a showman, he likes to be applauded and patted on the back. Doing actual work that helps LE to get rid of this scum he has no interest in. 

aliens is here's picture

Do you think things are going to change over night after 8 years of Obama? You want him to round up the illegal fks using the Army?

Aristofani's picture

I agree, there are still a few tRumptards around.

gespiri's picture

Say whatever you want about China, Russia, and Iran.  Read whatever you can.

Iran and Russia have been under international economic sanctions for X number of years but why are their economies thriving?  Because they are self-sufficient, self-reliant and never neglected their domestic manufacturing and consumption. China also made a move into this direction 2 years ago in anticipation of a global slowdown (read it up).

cstu7011's picture

We've been sold a bunch off zionist bullshit on Iran especially. Iranians are very properous indeed! Women are well educated and conservative. And they sit on abundant resources...

No doubt an Izrahell prime target... the greedy, murderous f*ucks


gespiri's picture

Correct. Some of the NICEST PEOPLE I KNOW, BOTH MEN AND WOMEN, ARE IRANIANS.  They, like us and 98% of the people in this world, only want to have a good, peaceful, prosperous life for their family.  Why the 98% can't band together and eliminate the 2% is a mystery....

opport.knocks's picture

Agree on Iranians.

A; Because the 2% are psychopaths who will do whateveri it takes to win. The 98% are cucks and pussies (yes, I resemble that remark)

MuffDiver69's picture

If people were paying attention he is using a National Security clause on certain imports that China in particular dumps into...Nothing more then self defense...Anyone else think not having certain industries vital to everyday life not produced in our country is smart considering War is always in the future....Certain parts for our massive electrical grid are made only in South Korea and it takes months to get here....Fact of the matter is certain vital products must be made in this country...We have been sold a bill of goods on Free Trade and go back read the Founders words on this situation. It is the reason for Tariffs...

shimmy's picture

Can't wait! Will be awesome to see the negative impact this brings to that banana republic and then having Trump blame everyone else for something he he usually does. 

At least pumpkin boy is apparebtly actually going to finally do something as president other than going on twitter whining about media idiots and the libtard media should have something of substance to talk about. Who am I kidding...they'll still stick to going on about the russia idiocy. 

Aristofani's picture

According to a new Pew poll of public attitudes in 37 countries, the USA is now viewed favorably by less than 50 percent of the global population for the first time. Committing genocide against the indigenous inhabitants of America, enslaving millions of people, nuking two cities, killing three million people in Vietnam, overthrowing regimes around the world, polluting the global atmosphere and engaging in the most heinous forms of torture didn’t do it. Nope. It took tRump.

az_patriot's picture

I see the liberal rewrite of much of history is coming along nicely.

Aristofani's picture

nothing "liberal" about the TRUTH, patriotard!

Ace006's picture

You're right. They're mutually exclusive.

Ace006's picture

**  genocide against the indigenous inhabitants of America,  **

Enough with the lefty bullshit, please. The IIAs were happy to kill, rob  and enslave each other.

Too bad if they got sick.  Europe got the Black Death thanks to the Mongols. White Europeans don't piss and moan about it for @#$& ever.

Bai Suzhen's picture

I don't blame "China."  Blame mostly lies with a globalist mentality that stripped productivity away from America and sent it overseas, along with regulations and taxes that made American workers too expensive.  Fiscal and Monetary shenanigans are also to blame.  And the welfare thing that rewards non-productive behavior.  And attempting to "democratize," but actually destroying, countries whose name ends in "stan." And foreign aid to Israel.  And fat Americans who can't walk, but like to ride around on electric scooters buying cheap stuff at Wal Mart with their EBT card.  And students who are so in over their head with debt over a useless degree that they'll never amount to anything.  In fact, there's so much in-house blame to go around, that blaming it on "China" is just a distraction. 

That said, China has got to take the first hit.  Let them worry about their own internal consumption instead of concentrating on exports, for a while.  Chinese billionaires who made $$ on exports and manufacturing should inflate property in Shangai and HK, instead of California and Canada.  And so on and so forth... 

Internationalists aren't going to like the imposition of tariffs, but who cares what those parasites like?  Hope this is not more "fake news."  Hope Trump is coming around, and working to do what he said he was going to do during the campaign.