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China Trade Tariffs Kick In
After negotiations failed to make any significant headway, the tariffs that President Trump threatened to apply have now taken hold. On the stroke of midnight last Thursday, 10% tariffs jumped to 25% on $200 billion worth of goods.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, global “leaders” began doomsaying the end of the global economy and insisting that Donald Trump was single-handedly responsible for the economic meltdown that was sure to follow. Fortunately, wiser heads prevailed.
The money markets actually took this as a good sign, believing that now that Trump had pulled the trigger the tariffs would finally get China to begin negotiating in good faith. The tariffs will not apply to goods that are already in transit which means that there is essentially a two to three-week grace period before these new costs start biting.
Economists suggest that instead of American companies passing on the costs to the consumer, they will take the hit themselves in the short term. This is a situation worth watching closely; if China comes back to the table with a deal more palatable to the administration, Trump will likely continue using this strategy in future.
Will the American customer end up with more expensive goods in the long run? Will China get more reciprocal? Or will U.S. markets start looking to diversify their suppliers?
What to Watch For:
Be on the lookout for a swift response from China. Rumor has it that they have already begun buying up stocks on the Shanghai Stock Exchange to make up for any shortfall after the announcement of the tariffs. This is, at best, a short-term strategy that they would do well to avoid.
Dems: Release the Cats!
In what will go down in history as one of the most honest and open admissions by a leading politician this century, Rep. Al Green (D-TX) revealed the stunning (if not actually surprising) truth behind the left’s efforts to impeach President Trump. During an appearance on MSNBC, Green said:
“I’m concerned if we don’t impeach this president, he will get re-elected.”
So, not because he is a Russian asset as we have been faithfully assured these last two years, not because he is a dangerous man who will likely start a nuclear war … but because he might win if they don’t. Green was not only honest in his motivation; he was also accurate in his assessment.
There has been no comprehensive Democrat strategy since Hillary Clinton was toppled from her expectant perch in 2016, no policies, and no coordination. The party assumed that Donald Trump would be so bad as a president, that they would just be able to walk into power in 2020 without having to commit to a single platform. Sadly for them, Trump proved to be an effective operator.
Democrats were faced with a choice when they won the House in 2018: They could work on showing the public that they are the party of ideas and useful legislation, or they could spend their time chasing the big bad wolf. It appears they chose poorly.
What to Watch For:
Democrat Party leaders will be doing their best to run damage control over Green’s faux pas; expect a lot of posturing from Nancy Pelosi and Tom Perez as they try to explain that they have a full policy platform without stepping on any of the presidential candidates’ toes. This will be a real tightrope walk: explaining that you have policies, but not actually saying what they are. Good luck.
AG Barr Contemptuous of Contempt
Contempt of Congress proceedings have been approved by the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee against Attorney General Bill Barr. His “crime” was not handing over the complete, unredacted Mueller report.
But was the request for the unredacted report by Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) unreasonable? Here’s the point: If Barr had handed over the complete report, without omission, it’s likely the AG would have been breaking the law.
This is a cynical political ploy to try and discredit AG Barr, and with him, the Mueller report that clears Donald Trump of colluding with Russia. The plot to bring down the president is crumbling, and Democrat lawmakers are left grasping at straws.
What to Watch For:
We will likely see the House Dems’ attempt to land Barr on contempt charges fall to pieces, but as a back-up plan, they will try to blame Donald Trump for abusing his position by tweeting his “advice” to the Attorney General.
Washington Whispers & Other Juicy Tidbits
Be on the lookout for:
- Media pundits discussing how likely contempt charges against AG Barr will play out.
- A last-minute deal with China that gives both sides breathing room.
- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban meets President Trump at the White House – prepare for media fireworks.
- Will Robert Mueller be testifying before Congress?
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