Trump Confirms 330PM Tariffs Meeting, Hints At Carve-Outs

US equity markets stalled out this morning - after rallying on headlines that suggested today's tariff meeting was postponed - following a tweet from President Trump seemingly confirming the meeting will happen:

"Looking forward to 3:30 P.M. meeting today at the White House."

Trump then seemed to hint at carve-outs (flexibility)...

"We have to protect & build our Steel and Aluminum Industries while at the same time showing great flexibility and cooperation toward those that are real friends  and treat us fairly on both trade and the military."

And the reaction was negative...




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FrankDrakman gatorengineer Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:11 Permalink

Geezus, are you stupid? This is exactly what Trump explained in the "Art of the Deal" - ask BIG, and then make compromises.

However, that paradigm doesn't work unless your opposition thinks your BIG ask is real. If Trump had gone into this with "Yeah, we'll have tariffs for everybody (wink-wink, nudge-nudge)", no one would have taken him seriously. Instead, he goes into Berserker-tweet mode, has a bunch of brain-dead idiots like you thinking he's lost it, and everyone falls all over themselves condemning him and what he's proposed.

This afternoon, he'll announce exemptions for Canada and Mexico, everyone will sigh with relief (except the trade cheats, like China and the EU), and he'll get his tariffs.

If he hadn't done this with virtually everything he's asked for, I'd forgive you, but the pattern is unmistakable. Look at the Muslim travel ban - ya, he didn't get the complete ban. But traffic from those countries was down 70%, which means it took a huge load off Immigration people so they could afford to vet each person from those countries more closely. Not perfect, but better than what we had.

The wall - yes, he didn't get what he asked for. But, prototypes are being built, and a version is being installed at Calexico. Mexico may never pay for it, but already illegal immigration is down substantially.

Same thing with deporting the illegals.. many have already chosen to 'self-deport', which is cheaper and faster for the US than legal deportations. At the same time, this has given a boost to black male employment. Have you noticed there have been no Ferguson's under Trump? Black men who are working are much less likely to get involved in crime. Did Trump get everything he wanted? No. Is it better than when he started? Yes.

The pattern is obvious, if you can avoid being distracted by MSM mania.

In reply to by gatorengineer

DocBerg gatorengineer Thu, 03/08/2018 - 11:42 Permalink

It is pathetically easy to lose the know how to do essential things like make steel.  My Dad just finished reading the Arsenal of Democracy, which is a book about how Ford ramped up production to new heights during the Second World War.  Then, there was the production of the M1 carbine totaling more than 5 million units, and if they were laid muzzle to butt plate would stretch across the entire country.  There is no way that we could do these things now.  We no longer have the productive capacity, and the essential knowledge has also been exported to Asia.  Having an industrial base is essential for prosperity, but that all gets drowned out by the free trade zealots. 

In reply to by gatorengineer

east of eden TheSilentMajority Thu, 03/08/2018 - 08:16 Permalink

Simple. Greed. When you can install the illusion of wealth based on worthless fiat money, then everybody will rush to get a piece of the action through, debt.

You did. You're done. At least for the short to medium term. And it is going to get much, much worse before it gets better.

What it is all going to rest on now is whether or not you are stupid enough to start another civil war between yourselves. If you do, I can guarantee you that it will truly be the end of the residual of the 'old south'.

In reply to by TheSilentMajority

curbjob east of eden Thu, 03/08/2018 - 08:36 Permalink

"What it is all going to rest on now is whether or not you are stupid enough to start another civil war between yourselves. "

Civil unrest. Absolutely 

Civil war.  Extremely unlikely.  It is the youth that fight wars and there isn't a significant difference in the ideology of America's youth from region to region.

We are witnessing a changing of the guard. Within a decade the reigns of power will be dominated by Gen X'ers, politically and corporately (is there still a distinction?).

Of course, the old guard never leaves without some kicking and screaming. 

In reply to by east of eden

east of eden curbjob Thu, 03/08/2018 - 08:59 Permalink

'and there isn't a significant difference in the ideology of America's youth from region to region'.

Sorry. But I disagree. Southerner's have nothing in common with Californians (for instance), especially since California sees the future in terms of high tech, high value added, low body count industry, while say Texas or Georgia see the future as a return to the past, with heavy industry, manufacturing etc coming back.

I read the comments on most stories, every day, and unfortunately, the propensity for some people to still reach for their gun before anything has even been discussed is alive and well. That alone shows how vastly divided you are.

And as for Gen X'er's, I think you are betting far too much on them. They are very small cohort that has largely been known for their anti-social behaviours. They certainly are not the type of people that you need running a multi-polar, multi-ethnic country. Unless of course your real 'intention' is to conduct a guerrilla campaign of ethnic cleansing.

In reply to by curbjob

curbjob east of eden Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:56 Permalink

Well that's all very nice, however on a long enough time line ...

Take a look at the board rooms of Fortune 500 companies or the occupants of Congress  ... within a decade most of those people will be gone and, while you may not like what's coming, it's unavoidable. 

Same sex marriage becoming the law of the land marked this change in the same way Roe v. Wade marked the last turning and, instead of this administration representing a sea change, it actually signals more of a last gasp.

The signs are all around us.


In reply to by east of eden

east of eden Sages wife Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:08 Permalink

Ha! Yeah. What could go wrong indeed.

Really, if the people in Washington were serious about getting your spending under control, and it is a spending problem, not solely an income problem, then you might have a chance.

Frankly, the first thing I would do is declare insolvency (not bankruptcy) and then put the country on a strict budget and debt REDUCTION plan, that could not be overturned by ANY congress, until the debt-to-gdp figures were reduced substantially. You might be able to get away with an insolvency declaration if the debt holders at least knew that they would get their capital back (but no interest).

 It would be hard, for sure, but less hard than the alternative.

In reply to by Sages wife

FrankDrakman east of eden Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:22 Permalink

Tell me how any president, let alone Trump, would accomplish this. You seem to think the President is a dictator, but the US system is set up precisely to avoid this. Congress would have to approve any plan, and the Supremes would then have to rule on its constitutionality (as any plan " that could not be overturned by ANY congress " would require an amendment to the Constitution).

You and the sage wife are living in a dream world. And it's "full faith AND credit", not "full faith in credit", although I admit the latter is an accurate, if unintentionally humorous, description of today's situation.

In reply to by east of eden

east of eden FrankDrakman Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:30 Permalink

Well, so what are you going to do then? Just continue on, adding a minimum of 2.5 Trillion a year to the fiscal deficit, until, what? Until it all blows up and you really do have to declare bankruptcy? And by the way, I do not have a 'sage wife', and I am not an American, but I am intensely interested in your 'survival' as a going concern, and also as a peaceful and productive nation, once again.

The Fed, and the government are cornered, just as many people predicted when all the debt expansion and money printing began.

It would take decades for you to recover the industry that has been dismantled, and that requires capital. Capital that is currently being directed to debt, not investment. So what chance do you have if you won't consider alternatives?

As for Congress and the Constitution, I am quite certain that it allows a President to take unilateral action in times of national distress, and boy do you have national distress.

One of the worst conditions in life is being 'frozen' into inaction. 

In reply to by FrankDrakman

swmnguy Thu, 03/08/2018 - 08:03 Permalink

Who knows what this guy is talking about.  Over the past week or so he's taken almost every conceivable position on tariffs.

The long and the short of it is, manufacturing jobs aren't coming back to the US in a big way until the US worker can live on the equivalent of the $5,000 a year Chinese and Mexican workers live on.

All the rest is domestic partisan electoral posturing.

DillyDilly D.T.Barnum Thu, 03/08/2018 - 08:11 Permalink



The US imports 9% of it's steel from Mexico and less than 1% from China (while the US is the 4th largest steel exporter in the world, Mexico is 14th, only about 1/4th of the US).


You're talking about manufacturing jobs, and this action is more about the trade deficit... 1st things 1st...


You gotta start rattling the globalist cage a little, you know, beat the grass to startle the snakes...

In reply to by D.T.Barnum

east of eden Sages wife Thu, 03/08/2018 - 09:13 Permalink

Not sure if your comment was meant as sarcasm or not, however, consider this.

In 2017, we sold you 5.1 Billion US in steel, but, your own production (ex-imports) was 80 Billion US, and of that, you exported 2 Billion US of your own steel back to us. Add in another 80 Billion US of steel imports from the rest of the world and Canada's 3 Billion net exports to you, in steel, amount to 1.875% of your total consumption, hardly a case for tariffs.

If anything, you should be encouraging more steel production from Canada. Not only is our ore much higher quality, produced at a lower cost, but you get the advantage of locality. And, of course, you get a 30% discount. What could be better than that?


In reply to by Sages wife