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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cstu7011's picture

First he has to lower income tax to 15% to prepare the populace. Then I'm all for it! Shop American or better yet shop LOCAL!!!!

EVEN BETTER... locally made goods should be capped at 2% sales tax!



Rothbardian in Cleveland's picture

First he should lower income tax to zero and then he should enable a completely free market.

GoldLion's picture

It's a bluff. Smart.

NickPeeMe's picture

TRump Smart? Where? LOL

nevertheless's picture

Liked your comment, but Chump is not stupid, he is a traitor, just like Obama. 


Obama was a coward, Trump is not, he is a greedy Zionist, who will do anything that furthers his and his families position. 


Trump is an Israel firster, this stuff is just food for fools who buy anything that supports the myth of Trump as "fighting for America". 

izzee's picture

"This, more than anything, should send shivers down Wall Street's spine"

look know what happens now. Crash-O-Ram. Trump's Fault...sorry Mr and Mrs 401K, but you voted for him. and he no longer listens to US.

The Boys from Goldman.

hooligan2009's picture

so there is a libtard mole in the cabinet? where does axios get the information to report this shit

"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."

there has been no policy formulated or released on trade, nor has there been an official vote count of the cabinet on "work in progress".

anyway, reciprocal tariffs are not hostile - they are reciprocal. if the US, say, doubles the tariffs on imports that are imposed by a country on exports, that may be construed as a "trade war".

reciprocal tariffs are only that - tit for tat, resulting in no unfair advantage.

again, there is no context for trade negotiations - this is a way to martial tactics that can be used as leverage to remove tariffs on US exports.

wtf is axios anyway?

nevertheless's picture

Correct, well said, and that is the point, this is just propaganda.


There is no mole, this is a script, one which Trump is a part of, to make him look like he is fighting the good fight, but in the end it means nothing. 


anonymous means fake, and if it is good for the American people, it WILL NOT HAPPEN! Chump is an Israel firster, not American. 

Robert Trip's picture

Who makes this shit up?

Nothing but bullshit "reporting" from all sides.

ilovetexas's picture

what trade war? it's just 20% tarriff, which is nothing.

Mimir's picture

Depends ! Someone would maybe respond with a 20% tariff on US electronic final products

Ricki13th's picture

If Trump launches a trade war, US will be finished as a country. We don't have enough production to sustain our country unlike China, etc.

short screwed's picture

Hmmm I wonder why we don't have enough "production" anymore. I remember a time not that long ago when we did. Could it be all these shitty trade deals we entered into?

Savvy's picture

The world will always want what the US produces. Movies, ap.s, social media... but the world doesn't need it. If Trump shut down the MIC, brought back all the troops from MENA, spent those trillions on infrastructure (jobs) the world would be a much better place. He'd gain global respect. But he was allowed to become potus to serve globalists not Americans.

nevertheless's picture

This is just fake news from the war propagandists. 


Chump is just playing a role, now he is just acting, putting out a message that is supposed to give him credit for going against the grain....


To be sure, if it hurts his Zionist Jewish business friends, it will not happen. 


Chump is Isreal firster, and all aspects of "our" governemnt and the media will back him up in this canard that he is "fighting for America".


He will NEVER CLOSE THE BORDERS (enforce immigration law) or get out of the Middle East, Israel's top two priorities. 

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Walmart has a lot of American made stuff. 


Towels, bird feeders, garden implements as a few examples. 

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

wisdom of the idiot:

"full trade war would weaken the US businesses that work on a "global franchise", I'd say"

look it might make a lot more competition possible as nations need their own co's to counter the bad american brands..more competition is good ?? NO??

today the generic drug industry is now OFF saving meds made(with little to no oversight) in India for us market..what could go wrong??

high paid jobs in generic drugs long gone from us shores..nothing to see here..keep exporting industry and we get getto baltimore's everywhere..

wisdom of crime against american middle what ends?

fukem all in DC- traitors to the USA and it's people


nevertheless's picture

"fukem all in DC- traitors to the USA and it's people", exactly, and Trump is currently to main traitor.


That fucker does not give a rats ass about Americans, if he does something, it is just propaganda to distract form his deviation from what he said on the campaign trail. 

sudzee's picture

8% move higher in the last month as oil moved lower and largest trading partner tarrifs on just about everything the C$ looks a very interesting short.

short screwed's picture

I remember when they sold all these trade deals to us in the 90's. They wheeled out every ex President from both parties in support. It was a bipartisan effort to convince the American public(which should have been a warning sign). Ross Perot argued against it vehemently and was labeled a lunatic by the establishment. It would create so many jobs after all. We would import all the low tech product that were too expensive to make in the US , but it would open up world markets for our high tech goods. They left out one thing though. They never mentioned that factories would be shuttered here and production moved overseas as well. That's great that Ford now sells millions of cars in China, but if they're built using Chinese labor, how much does it benefit the American worker. It was just a ploy to enrich the multinational corporations and get around western labor and environmental laws, and no doubt our "leaders" got rich in the process.

It's probably too late to reverse coarse and get out without inflicting more damage to the economy (short term at least) but I will applaud Trump for trying. I'm not sure how much leverage the US holds anymore, but it should be fascinating entertainment. These are epic times

Heartfully's picture

The US has gotten screwed for long enough. Ironic, but as the US/Anglo screwed over the world financially, the world was screwing us back tradewise.

Make no mistake, the world will look different when its over. Lets start trying globalists for treason.

nevertheless's picture

Lets be accurate, American Anglos did not screw anyone over, America was built by hard work and ingenuity. It is the Zionist Jews who have used financial chicanery to "screw over the world", as they have Americans. 


Central banks, period.

hootowl's picture

ZOG should be divested of its ill-gotten gains and evicted from the corridirs of power.....especially the WH.

null's picture

Okay, let's do it!
But I think you got a bad acronym ... it is ZBG. A stretch to call babysitting an occupation but whatever is fine, your fantasy.

Thom Paine's picture

Rasmussen approval rating of 45%

Remove those from hard blue states like Ca, NY etc...Remove never trumpers who didn't vote Trump last time.

Trumps approval rating is just fine, and plenty to keep him in power.

ToSoft4Truth's picture

A 25% Amazon tax on foreign made products sold on the Internet is a great start.  Hey, if you can afford a $2,000 TV, you can afford to add the 25% tax.  Same with diabetic test strips, if you need 'em, you'll pay. 


Criss-Cross - Not only will a 25% tax fix the foreigners, it'll fix Bezos and his little Internet shop too!


Not sure how to get GM to bring back Buick from China....  50% tax? 

nevertheless's picture

very true, but anyone who thinks Chump is doign anything but playing a role is blind to how out of control "our" government is.


this is just a rouse, a little distraction to make him look like an outsider, all the while he ignores the big promises from his campaign for President. 


You know border enforcement is DOWN under Chump, and involvement in the Middle East is UP! Yet this shit is all the lying media will cover, and sadly too many buy int it. 


Mark Twain said: "if you don't read the newspaper your uninformed, if you read the newspaper your mis-informed." Those words are as true today as them. 

nevertheless's picture

What a joke, and even worse that some on here buy right into it (to be sure, a number on here are paid trolls, but the rest of you are pathetic for buying this crap). 


How this is not obviously a lie, a manipulative tool to make Chump look like he is "fighting the establishment", should be beyond anyone with a brain.


Time and again this traitor plays the "anti-establishment" role, all the while he ignores illegal immigration and hypes wars in the Middle East. 


Just more kabuki theater for the fools that still believe his shit. Obama had idiots follow him too, I am hoping the "right" is a little smarter. 



Fred123's picture

We need another 3rd world educated negroid like 0bama to get this country going again. Fuck people, what has the supposed 'smartest people in America' working in D.C. done for Americans in the past 20 years??? Let Trump roll. He is bold. Boldness is what made this country what it was pre-1960. Let's do it again.

Ace006's picture

Good point. If having stupid people in charge is bad news just wait and see what educated, intelligent people can do. The Western world has been betrayed by its Lovely People.

NickPeeMe's picture

If you are tuning into your favorite "News" outlet everyday and getting the same repetitive stories over and over and over again. That is a hallmark of propaganda, it makes no difference if the stories agree with your world view or not it is more than likely propaganda. Rather it is Russiagate, The stock markets Daily crash, or the death panels of Socialized Medicine it is Propaganda. Donald Trump represents Donald Trump and the billionaire class he is a member of, nothing more nothing less. Every move he makes is about the Donald getting Richer and paying less taxes. You retards can go on pretending he represents you but he is just another Hillary Clinton without a filter to clean the bullshit that comes out of his mouth. THAT IS IT. GET OVER IT YOU LOST just like everybody else. Elections in this country are all about Americans losing. 

beijing expat's picture

Free trade has been a catastrophe for the working and middle class. Anyone who can do basic math knows that it is not sustainable.

The real question is; do you want the market to assert reality on your terms, or just let the chips fall where they may?

NoWayJose's picture

What has happened is that after a few headline announcements about saving American jobs, companies are reneging on those and moving anyway. The Ford factory in Mexico was halted, but instead they go to China.

The 'cabinet' may say it is a bad idea - but they have NO ANSWER on any alternatives to stop the job losses.

hoytmonger's picture

They have alternatives, they just don't want to enact them. They'd have to reduce government spending, something Trump doesn't want to do, and they'll have to reduce taxes, which Trump pays lip service to. Then there's the necessity to reduce regulations and end corporate welfare, which won't happen. So there are alternatives to protectionism, they're just not in the state's best interest.

desirdavenir's picture

Free trade means the best organized countries win. The only plus of protectionnism is to maintain an obsolete organization by shielding it from competition. In other words, protectionism = crony capitalism. From the US .1% point of vue, it is certainly better to keep a system that channels all extra wealth produced to them than lose it and have to produce an actual added value. 

Thom Paine's picture

bullshit.  Free trade means Global non domiciled corporations get to rape everybody at discount prices.

We should allow unfettered immigration, as keeping people out, arteficially increases labor costs right???

In fact we should let 5 billion in to stop the shielding from protectionism.

There is never enough to go around, somebody has to lose for you to enjoy a higher standard of living, unless you want communism, and lets all have an equal share of this small pie.

hoytmonger's picture

Free trade means unregulated trade... you know, FREE.


No such system has ever existed. the closest thing was the early days of the internet.

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

The pie at the head of the table barely sheds crumbs. The biggest dog eats pie...that's why it is big, and why the other dogs can't reach anything but crumbs on the floor.

ThanksIwillHaveAnother's picture

The morons are the ones that think we have free trade.  Show me where trade is not managed heavily by government?   When we have Fake Everything, shake it up with some economic bombs.

majormike2010's picture

Considering the source of this article is AXIOS, I would tend to disbelieve its authenticity.

Money_for_Nothing's picture

Trump is giving the big banks time to get on the right side of trades. His advisers are there to be his megaphone. Trump has trapped them. What they going to do? Resign? (stock price tanks if they resign)

Trump is screwing China with North Korea. Trump may invite in Russia for a three way.

highwaytoserfdom's picture

more #Fakenews from Policito guys trying to do the GE CNBS stick 




in the summer of 2016, it secured $10 million in a round of financing led by Lerer Hippeau Ventures. Backers include NBC News, Emerson Collective, Greycroft Partners, and David and Katherine Bradley, owners of Atlantic Media.[2]

Axios' initial launch partners are JP Morgan & Chase Co., PhRma, Boeing, BP, Bank of America, Koch Industries, S&P Global, United Health Group, Walmart, PepsiCo and Cooley LLP. [3]


nevertheless's picture

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


anyone who buys this crap needs to have their heads examined. 


More and more paid troll are on line pushing the company line: Trump is anti establishment, Trump is an American firster...But this is a perfect example of propaganda, Chump does not actually do anything, but gets credit for just saying it...unbelievable. 

PleasedToMeatYou's picture

"Trump - true to his campaign promises - is set to launch a global trade wars after all"


For all his many faults, Trump is the first executive elected in a looooong time who is willing to acknowledge that a Trade War has been waged against us for a long time, and that so we have been getting our asses kicked with unsustainable trade deficits.  Trump may just be willing to fight back.  Finally! 

Now, if only we could get him to bring all of our fantastic, absolutely fantastic troops back home and stop fomenting and fighting other people's civil wars, we might have something going here. 

nevertheless's picture

You should be smarter than that, Trump is great at acknowledging issues, but his follow through leaves much to be desired.


Chump is a divider, a manipulator, an actor and an Isreal firster. He is NO leader, he is a traitor. 


America's two greatest challenges are Zionists two greatest goals, war in the Middle East and open borders. IN both areas Trump has shown his true loyalties, war is up and illegal apprehensions are down!


I don't listen to what they say, but watch what they do!

hootowl's picture

Trump has to wage total war against ZOG and the FED and the MIC and defund and dismantle the 17 intelligence agencies of the Deep State and the drug-running military/intelligence hierarchy.


He will need a new/trustworthy security cadre.  The cureently corrupted SS is NOT to be trusted.  They protected an illegal alien POTUS usurper for the past 8 years.......and 9-11 perpetrators for nearly 8 years before that.

Thom Paine's picture

Unfortunately it is too late now. The cat got let out of the bad a long time ago, and systems too intertwined to unravel.

UmbilicalMosqueSweeper's picture

Snap! The arrival of Mandrake the Magician presages the unravelling of all knots.

the_narrator's picture

America's Juan Peron?  Living in a country with high tarrifs is totally miserable.