It appears Goldman and the Globalist gang in The White House may have less power and influence than assumed in the absence of Steve Bannon. In what could be one of the most comprehensive (and easily traced) leaks from within Trump's administration, Axios reports details of a small Oval Office meeting with Trump raging at senior staff as they push back against his hawkish trade war position.
Seemingly frustrated at his senior staff's efforts to wage economic war against China, Trump lashed out at his new Chief of Staff General Kelly:
"John, you haven't been in a trade discussion before, so I want to share with you my views. For the last six months, this same group of geniuses comes in here all the time and I tell them...
'Tariffs. I want tariffs.' And what do they do? They bring me IP. I can't put a tariff on IP."
Axios, who confirm this account by sources with knowledge of the meeting and undisputed by the White House, explain in great detail, that Gary Cohn, a globalist who opposes tariffs and the protectionist trade measures pushed by the nationalist Bannonites, had his shoulders slumped and was clearly appalled by the situation.
"China is laughing at us,... Laughing."
"John, I want you to know, this is my view. I want tariffs. And I want someone to bring me some tariffs."
With seeming intimate knowledge of the transcript and actions within the meeting, Axios then describes how senior trade advisor Peter Navarro tried to rescue the situation, only to be rebuked by the president..."I don't even know what I'm looking at here."
However, it is Axios' quoted conclusion of the meeting that raises the most eyebrows about just where the power and influence really remains in The White house...
"John, let me tell you why they didn't bring me any tariffs," he said.
"I know there are some people in the room right now that are upset. I know there are some globalists in the room right now. And they don't want them, John, they don't want the tariffs. But I'm telling you, I want tariffs."
Finally, here's the non-denial that the White House gave to Axios:
"The president has been very clear about his agenda as it relates to trade. Discussions pertaining to specific tariffs and trade deals are ongoing and have already resulted in many positive developments."
It seems President Trump is more prone to ignore the Goldman-sponsored Globalist status quo seekers, and is still following Bannon's strategy to maintain hegemony...
“We’re at economic war with China,” he added. “It’s in all their literature. They’re not shy about saying what they’re doing. One of us is going to be a hegemon in 25 or 30 years and it’s gonna be them if we go down this path.”
Bannon said he might consider a deal in which China got North Korea to freeze its nuclear buildup with verifiable inspections and the United States removed its troops from the peninsula, but such a deal seemed remote. Given that China is not likely to do much more on North Korea, and that the logic of mutually assured destruction was its own source of restraint, Bannon saw no reason not to proceed with tough trade sanctions against China.
“To me,” Bannon said, “the economic war with China is everything. And we have to be maniacally focused on that. If we continue to lose it, we're five years away, I think, ten years at the most, of hitting an inflection point from which we'll never be able to recover.”
As we noted earlier, China has already implied its response to any 'economic war' actions would likely lead to "unloading dollar assets."