It's beginning to drive me crazy. I am talking about how the president is making nice with everyone but the Chinese and yet he is so hated by the elites everywhere that they are still talking about how if he would just work with our allies it would be so much more effective than if he went it alone.
What the elites do not realize is that in one week he has decided to give the allies a reprieve to see if they will work with him to change the ways that China does business. That's why the tariffs on autos have been put off for six months. He's trying to coax the Germans and the Japanese to be tough on China right now with him or face 25% tariffs on their exported vehicles if they don't. It's why today we learned that the tariffs on steel and aluminum are being lifted on Canada and Mexico. He wants more manufacturing to be brought from China to those two countries. ABC - Anywhere But China.
The elites may not realize it but he's trying to develop a coalition of the willing to stand up to China, something that Chief Economic Advisor Larry Kudlow has long embraced as the best way to change the PRC's direction.
Now I don't know if the Chinese will capitulate and change their ways if they are confronted by a united front. But at a certain point they are running the risk of something I believe they never thought could happen: the president may want to turn the clock back on the regime entirely if they don't fold.
Yep, I am beginning to wonder if he is willing to overturn, if necessary, 48 years of U.S. policy toward China. Until 1971 there was no contact whatsoever between the Communist regime and our country. We had an economic embargo and a policy of containment toward the PRC. But President Nixon and his Secretary of State, after a bout of affability between the U.S. and the Chinese table tennis teams - we called it Ping Pong diplomacy - visited China back in 1972 and so began a relationship that flowered into a partnership that lead to the two countries doing a ton of business with each other.
But now it's four tons versus one ton and Trump's not a happy camper. Plus his hardliners want our businesses to stop funding the Chinese Belt and Road initiatives and its Made in China 2025 plan. His team believes that if you cut off trade those initiatives will fail. In the meantime he's banking that the tariffs will bring in $100 billion next year to cut the size of deficit.
Trump's never been visibly angry toward his "great friend" President Xi, but he has been plenty belligerent toward previous U.S. presidents who he believes have sacrificed our station in the world on the altar of doing more business with the Chinese.
We always hear that the Chinese have a 200 year plan, or 400 year, or whatever. What I think matters more is that it's inconceivable to anyone in the Chinese leadership that we would elect a president who wants to return to pre-1972 by trying to cordon off China entirely.
Maybe, just maybe, what President Trump wants is nothing short of regime change, I mean a change to a different form of government, a more democratic one or else. Or else the Chinese are going to have to deal with the fact that $500 billion in sales could go away if Trump is re-elected president. I think that President Xi may have miscalculated in thinking that Trump was just like any other president, a craven capitalist, who believes in nothing except what Wall Street wants: more money by doing more business in China.
So, I say, we have an America First president and that includes a policy that might require him to cut off China entirely if they don't become more subservient. I do not think the Chinese believe the president is rational. But he's the president all the same and his goals are getting more and more clear: play ball or we are going back to 1971. The president has a 50 year plan, go back 50 years, and then we will see what happens. Who knows? It's so crazy it might work, but then again we don't even know what "work" even means any more.