First Donald Trump told flyover America that China was largely to blame for the decline of American manufacturing. (September 26, 2016)
Then, flyover America elected Donald Trump. Then, Donald Trump made Peter Navarro trade czar.
(December 19, 2016)
In January Trump took the first baby steps towards what has since morphed into an all-out trade war by slapping tariffs on residential washing machines.
Steve Mnuchin made things worse by jawboning the dollar lower in Davos less than 48 hours later ( and don’t forgot those boots.)
February Navarro and Wilbur Ross saw an opportunity to parlay Trump’s consternation at the exit of Hope Hicks
into the announcement of steel and aluminum tariffs.
That announcement prompted Cohn’s resignation.
Wilbur Ross showed up on CNBC with a can of Campbell’s soup he said he bought at a local gas station in Florida.
Larry Kudlow replaced Cohn, reviving hopes that Trump would call off the trade war.
Read more here: | https://dealbreaker.com/2018/03/jim-cramer-says-larry-kudlow-is-getting-gary-cohns-old-job-and-were-like-¯_ツ_¯/
Three weeks later, the USTR published a list of Chinese products Trump intended to subject to tariffs in connection with the 301 probe. China retaliated immediately
Trump lost his shit and suggested he would slap tariffs on another $100 billion worth of Chinese imports which meant that the total amount of goods subject to tariffs would exceed the total amount of goods America imports from China in a given year.
A month after that, Navarro was sidelined from trade negotiations with China after reportedly getting into a profanity-laced shouting match with Mnuchin in Beijing.
Read more here: by Thornton Mcenry | https://dealbreaker.com/2018/05/peter-navarro-sidelined-from-china-trade-talks-because-hes-peter-fing-navarro/
And it was rational Mnuchin who struck a truce with China and told Fox that the trade war was “on hold”.
Navarro and Steve Bannon (who started running his mouth to Bloomberg about Mnuchin selling out America) were furious and the backlash from the isolationist contingent caused Trump to change his mind.
Monday night Larry Kudlow had an actual heart attack.
Fast forward two weeks from that abrupt about-face and you land on Thursday evening,
when the White House confirmed that Trump would indeed be slapping $50 billion in Chinese goods with tariffs.
Friday morning, reports suggested that should China retaliate, Trump would go ahead and publish another list and subsequently make good on the promise mentioned above to take things all the way to $150 billion in total goods taxed.
Rounding out the absurdity, Trump, in the official announcement Friday morning, maintained that he and Xi still have a “great friendship.”