Monday, December 26, 2016

And the Trade War Came - The New York Times

Wow, another highlighted comment, this time for a response to Krugman's post, And the Trade War Came:
Trump might have made inflammatory statements about trade, from his cabinet choices it looks like a ploy to increase defense expenditures and oil profits. His hard-right appointees will unsettle regions, if not lead to all-out war, and doing so requires increases in defense, and a disrupted oil flow will increase the cost of oil that will increase Exxon's profit margin and turn US extraction profitable. Even his anti-terrorism slant would lead to profits in companies tied to Peter Thiel, Palantir. Expanding infrastructure and real estate deals, disguised as urban renewal, could also assist Trump, or at least enlarge his influence over the real estate world.

You might be right in predicting he will increase tariffs, as well as foul trade in other ways, but most presidents tone down their rhetoric once they are in power. Unless Trump's business empire can benefit from disrupted trade, why would he bother going after it, but then again, why would he care about oil and defense?
An additional thought, posted after the original:
One has to wonder, how does Trump, or Ivanka, benefit from tariffs? Considering that Trump himself is a know-nothing, anti-intellectual, what has shaped his view of trade. I would guess it is the family clothing lines. That said, how are they impacted? Regardless of the effect on the US, Trump cares about himself, and to some degree his family. If the Trumps will benefit, tariffs will be implemented, and if it might hurt their businesses, tariffs won't be implemented.

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