Trump Suddenly Has No Deadline, Talks Keep Draggin' On

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Posted: Dec 04, 2019 11:17 AM
Trump Suddenly Has No Deadline, Talks Keep Draggin' On

Source: AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Trump now says a trade deal with China might wait until after the election.

The Wall Street Journal reports U.S. Stocks Slide After Trump Signals Further Delays to China Deal.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 400 points Tuesday after President Trump suggested a trade war with China could continue well into next year as he threatened new tariffs on several more countries.

Mr. Trump said he had “no deadline” for reaching a trade accord with China during a meeting with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization secretary-general. He added that he liked “the idea of waiting until after the election” to reach a deal.

“Tariffs will be a part of statecraft from now on,” said Geoffrey Yu, head of the U.K. investment office at the wealth-management arm of UBS Group. “There are no allies when it comes to tariffs right now.”

Trump Blasts French President Emmanuel Macron

Trump is in Europe for a NATO Summit where he also ruffled feather and talked trade.

In Europe for the two-day gathering, Mr. Trump also criticized French President Emmanuel Macron for comments he made about the 29-member military alliance, and expressed frustration with France’s new digital-services tax.

“I don’t want France taxing American companies. If they’re going to be taxed it’s going to be the United States that will tax them,” Mr. Trump said, during a freewheeling exchange with reporters that lasted for over 50 minutes.

Mr. Trump also said the French leader’s comments about NATO were “very insulting.” Ahead of the meeting, Mr. Macron gave an interview to the Economist, warning that the continent was experiencing “the brain death of NATO" and renewing his call for Europe to bolster its own military capabilities.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, Tuesday said his country won’t approve a NATO plan to guarantee the defense of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia unless the military alliance declares a Kurdish militia based in Syria a terrorist organization.

“If our friends in NATO don’t recognize as terrorist organizations those we consider as such, then sorry,” he said, adding that Turkey will oppose any initiative to guarantee the defense of the Baltic nations.

Asked by reporters if he would sanction Turkey for buying Russian military equipment, Mr. Trump said of Mr. Erdogan: “He’s a very good member of NATO, or will be.”

Deal On Hold

Trump accuses China of having no credibility. Of course, Trump has no credibility either.

Both ideas are correct. Neither side can possibly trust each other at this point.

And Trump keeps putting words into China mouth about what China agreed to when it's clear China made no such commitments.

Deal Still Possible

There still could be a deal. The deadline for further Trump tariffs is December 15. That's 12 days away and a huge amount of time on the Trumpian Time Scale where his opinions change not day-to-day, but by the hour.

My base idea all along was Trump would produce some essentially irrelevant deal then brag about what would effectively be a return to the status quo. This is what he did with USMCA, his NAFTA replacement that is 95% the same the deal, with the changes arguably worse for US corporations.

Regardless, and as I have commented before, I am tired of these games and the tariffs threats we have seen for nearly two years from the self-proclaimed "tariff man".

Trump is unquestionably damaging the US with his actions.