The Shocking Truth About Trump’s “Trade Deal” With China

We have a trade deal with China!  Well, except that nothing has actually been written down, nothing has actually been signed, the potential deal won’t really require any major concessions from China, but it did allow the Chinese to achieve a couple of key goals that they really wanted.  But other than that, the good news is that the Trump administration now has a “trade deal with China” to tout as a “major accomplishment” to voters.  And without a doubt, in the short-term this will calm the financial markets and ease some of the pressures on the global economy.  Certainly it appears that there should be no further escalations in our trade war with China over the next few months, and that is definitely a bit of good news worth celebrating.  Following the announcement of this potential deal, stock prices started surging, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day up more than 300 points.  We haven’t seen this much optimism on Wall Street in some time, and things certainly seem brighter for investors in the short-term.

But let there be no doubt – this is not even remotely in the neighborhood of being the sort of “comprehensive trade deal” that the Trump administration originally wanted.

Instead, it is a very, very limited potential deal that is still being worked on

President Donald Trump announced a trade deal, in principle, on Friday afternoon with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He the U.S. says will be rolled out in two or three parts.

The agreement postpones a tariff increase scheduled for Oct. 15 and could halt additional penalties scheduled to go into effect just before Christmas.

‘We’ve come to a deal, pretty much. Subject to getting it written,’ said Trump in the Oval Office of what he described as phase one.

Oh, it isn’t actually “written” yet.

Apparently, phase one of this “trade deal” will be written over the next three weeks.

But most Americans don’t pay attention to the details, and all they will hear is that we have a “trade deal with China”, and that will certainly help Donald Trump politically.

So when phase one is eventually put down on paper, what will it actually do?

Well, the truth is that it won’t actually do very much

The initial deal, which Mr. Trump said had been reached “in principle” would involve China buying $40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products, along with agreeing to guidelines on how it manages its currency. The agreement also includes some provisions on intellectual property, including forced technology transfer and would give American financial services firms more access to China’s market, the president said.

In exchange, the United States will not go ahead with plans to raise tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods to 30 percent next week.

We’ll see what the “provisions on intellectual property” ultimately look like, and I have to say that I am skeptical, but if China agreed to some substantial changes in this area that could potentially be a positive thing for U.S. companies.

But other than that, this “deal” seems very tilted toward the Chinese.

For China, one of the main goals in these negotiations was to get the Trump administration to roll back the tariffs that were about to be implemented and to get the Trump administration to agree not to impose any additional tariffs.  These tariffs are very damaging for the Chinese economy and are the primary instrument of leverage that the Trump administration possesses in this trade war.

So for China to be able to essentially get a freeze on tariffs was a big win for them.

Without the threat of more tariffs, the Chinese can continue to run out the clock on the Trump administration and wait for a Democrat to be elected in 2020.  The Chinese will continue to do a lot of “talking” and “negotiating”, but they won’t agree to any sort of a comprehensive trade agreement until they can get someone that they consider to be more “reasonable” in the White House.

Oh, but we really stuck it to them by forcing them to purchase “$40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products”, didn’t we?

Well, no, we didn’t.

Let me tell you a secret.

The Chinese actually want to buy our agricultural products.  In fact, since millions upon millions of their pigs have been dying from African Swine Fever, the truth is that they desperately need U.S. pork products.

So this is essentially a case of throwing the Chinese into “the briar patch”.  The Chinese knew that our farmers desperately need to sell our agricultural products to them, and so they quit buying them temporarily in order to get leverage on the Trump administration.  But this is something that the Chinese were always going to compromise on, because they have a great need for what our farmers are producing.

In the short-term, this is a big win for the Chinese, it is a win for U.S. farmers, and it is a win for the Trump administration because they now have their “trade deal with China” and the stock market is soaring once again

Stocks ended higher Friday after President Donald Trump said China and the U.S. reached the first phase of a substantial trade deal that delays tariff hikes that were set to kick in next week.

The Dow closed 319 points higher, while the S&P 500 rose 1.1% and the Nasdaq gained 1.3%. The gains helped the Dow and S&P 500 snap a three-week losing streak. The Dow and S&P 500 gained 0.9% and 0.6%, respectively, for the week. The Nasdaq ended the week up 0.9%.

But it appears that this trade deal doesn’t really do much of anything to address our long-term problems with China, and we are being told that “expectations for a major breakthrough” are “still low”

Beijing’s vice premier is in Washington leading the 13th round of negotiations with Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. Expectations for a major breakthrough in the 15-month standoff are still low.

The two sides are deadlocked primarily over the Trump administration’s assertions that China steals technology and pressures foreign companies to hand over trade secrets as part of a sharp-elbowed drive to become the global leader in robotics, self-driving cars and other advanced technology.

In the end, this very limited “deal” gives the Chinese what they want in the short-term and it allows them to continue to delay any sort of resolution on the most important trade issues.

The Chinese got just what they wanted, but here in the United States it will be spun as a big win for Trump by the White House.

And Trump certainly needs some good news right now, and so it is hard to blame him for grabbing this deal.

But let’s not lose sight of what is really going on here.  The coming tariffs have been put on hold, and meanwhile no “agreement” has even been drafted yet.  I think that the current state of affairs was summarized very well by Sven Henrich

We have no agreement.
We have nothing in writing.
We have agreed to discuss a process on how to consult during which we will discuss what to agree upon.

Now get ready for phase 2 and meeting #14.

Trade wars are easy, didn’t I tell you?

And nothing that happened this week has changed the long-term outlook (#ad) even one bit.

The global economy is still slowing down, and our financial system is still the most vulnerable that it has been since the crisis of 2008.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep.  I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The End, Get Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters.  (#CommissionsEarned)  By purchasing those books you help to support my work.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles in written form on their own websites as long as this “About the Author” section is included.  In order to comply with government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished.  This article may contain opinions on political matters, but it is not intended to promote the candidacy of any particular political candidate.  You can follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter.  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions.  Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of this website.

 

This Is What A Recession Looks Like – Here Are 12 Big Companies That Are Conducting Major Layoffs

Do you remember what it was like in 2008 when it literally felt like no job was truly safe?  It was a terrible time, and many fear that we could soon be facing a similar scenario.  In recent days, big companies all across America have been laying off workers at a frightening pace.  As economic activity has slowed down, a lot of firms are feeling compelled to slash their payrolls, and if a deep recession is ahead of us then what we have seen so far could be just the tip of the iceberg.  In 2008 and 2009, millions of Americans lost their jobs very rapidly, and it could very easily happen again.

As I have been conducting research over the past few days, I have been struck by the stunning number of layoff announcements that are suddenly popping up in the news.  Here are 12 of the most prominent examples…

#1 HP Inc: “U.S. personal computer maker HP Inc said on Thursday it will cut up to 16% of its workforce as part of a restructuring plan aimed at cutting costs. The company will cut about 7,000 to 9,000 jobs through a combination of employee exits and voluntary early retirement, it said in a statement.”

#2 WeWork: “WeWork, the co-working business once valued at $47 billion, is expected to announce significant layoffs this month, Bloomberg reports. This follows reports the company was looking to slash as many as 5,000 roles, or one-third of its workforce.”

#3 Kroger: “Kroger is laying off hundreds of employees across the family of grocery stores it owns, a person familiar with the situation tells CNBC.”

#4 Sports Illustrated:  “The revered 65-year-old Sports Illustrated magazine is in a state of bedlam. In meetings Thursday afternoon, managers told staff members that about half the newsroom would be laid off, according to two people present at the meetings.”

#5 Uber: “The 435 employees cut from Uber include members from its product team and engineering team.”

#6 John Deere: “John Deere is set to layoff more than 150 workers at two of its plants in the Quad-Cities.”

#7 Bayou Steel Group: “According to Market Realist, Bayou Steel Group filed for bankruptcy on Tuesday and the company laid off 376 workers. U.S. Steel and ArcelorMittal also curtailed some of their facilities. U.S. Steel idled two of its US blast furnaces earlier this year and the company expects those blast furnaces to be idle until at least the end of the year.”

#8 Elanco: “Elanco Animal Health Inc. which went public a year ago, on Monday said it plans to lay off 250 workers to save $12 million in 2020.”

#9 Lazard Asset Management: “Lazard Ltd. is cutting up to 7% of its employees in its asset-management division and closing some investment funds by year’s end, people familiar with the matter said, amid a tougher climate for money managers.”

#10 Advance Engineering Corporation: “Advance Engineering Corporation, Elgin, permanent closing due to relocation affecting 114 employees. First layoff date is Nov. 4, with layoffs to be completed by Dec. 31.”

#11 Daimler Trucks North America: “The company is laying off 450 workers at its Mount Holly plant and about the same number at its plant in Cleveland.”

#12 Genesis Healthcare: “Genesis Healthcare, in a statement to McKnight’s on Wednesday said it has reorganized its therapy gyms in response to PDPM and other industry changes. The company laid off 585 out of about 10,000 Genesis Rehab employees.”

This isn’t what a “booming economy” looks like.

In fact, this is precisely what we would expect to see as the U.S. economy plunges into a major economic downturn.

Of course a lot of people out there don’t want to believe that this is actually happening.  There are many that have absolutely convinced themselves that the good times will keep rolling indefinitely, even though all of the evidence is pointing to the contrary.

On Wall Street, investors are trying to make sense of all the negative data that we have been receiving lately, and many of them are starting to become quite nervous

Lagging or leading, macro or micro, global or domestic. For investors, all that matters to keep the bull market intact is whether this week’s torrent of data is flashing a recession ahead or just a few local shocks.

In a market so divided on the outlook, every piece of data holds the prospect of vindication or rebuttal — and numbers on Thursday just handed fresh ammo to the bears. A U.S. services gauge dropped to a three-year low in September and jobless claims rose more than expected, shortly after a euro-zone report showing a factory slump has spread to services.

Needless to say, all of the chaos in Washington is certainly not going to help matters.  The federal government will be paralyzed while this impeachment inquiry plays out, and Democrats are hoping to have articles of impeachment ready for a vote around Thanksgiving.

And I know that a lot of people don’t want to hear this, but Nancy Pelosi believes that she already has the votes that she needs.

That means that President Trump could be headed for impeachment, and a Senate trial would unleash chaos all over America.  We are already a deeply, deeply divided nation, and their entire saga is going to make things much worse.

You see, the truth is that our economic problems are not just happening in a vacuum.  There are many different elements to the emerging “perfect storm”, and they are all going to feed into one another.

So buckle your seat belts and get prepared for rougher times, because this drama is only in the very early chapters.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

Stock Prices Are Plunging, And Many Fear This Could Be Another “Black October” For The Stock Market

The stock market hasn’t started a quarter this badly in about a decade, and if stock prices continue to plummet it could set off a wave of panic selling unlike anything that we have seen in a very long time.  Of course it wouldn’t be the first time that we have seen a major stock market crash during the month of October.  If I mention “October 1929”, you immediately know what I am referring to, and the same thing is true for October 1987 and October 2008.  Today, we are facing a global economic slowdown, an impeachment crisis in Washington and a rapidly escalating trade war simultaneously, and it seems like almost everyone on Wall Street is suddenly talking about “the coming recession”.  In such an environment, any piece of bad news is going to push stocks lower, and that is certainly what happened on Wednesday

Stocks fell sharply on Wednesday, adding to Wall Street’s poor start to the final quarter of 2019 as investors grapple with fears of an economic recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined by 494.42 points, or 1.9% to close at 26,078.68. The Dow also broke below its 50-day and 100-day moving averages, two technical levels watched by traders. The S&P 500 lost 1.8% to 2,887.61 to fall below its 100-day moving average as the tech sector dropped 2%. All 11 S&P 500 sectors were down, with 10 of them sliding at least 1.2%.

Overall, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down more than 800 points over the first two days of this month, and that makes this the worst start to a quarter for the stock market since 2009.

As I have repeatedly warned my readers, the stock market is more primed for a crash than it has ever been before in all of U.S. history, and investors are becoming increasingly concerned that the party is finally over.

And without a doubt, those in the financial community are very well aware of what has happened during previous Octobers, and that is making everyone just a little bit extra jittery right now

The market is turning into a “sell first and ask question later market,” said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist for LPL Financial.

“October is known for being one of the most volatile months and after two days, it is living up to that reputation,” Detrick added.

If a way to resolve our trade war with China could be found, that would greatly calm the markets.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.  Instead, the Trump administration just decided to escalate our trade war with Europe.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

In the aftermath of today’s surprising WTO decision, in which the global trade mediator sided with the US in finding some $7.5BN in European Airbus subsidies illegal, moments ago the US Trade Rep confirmed that the US will waste no time in retaliating to what – for years – were illegal trade practices.

According to the USTR office, the US will impose a total of $7.5 billion in retaliatory tariffs on EU imports starting October 18, with 10% tariffs on large commercial aircraft, and 25% on agricultural and other industrial goods.

Needless to say, the Europeans are going to retaliate, and global trade will take another big hit.

Most Americans still seem to think that everything is going to work out just fine somehow, but the truth is that this economic downturn is starting to become really painful.

Nearly every day we are getting more bad economic numbers, and that was definitely true on Wednesday.  The following comes from Bloomberg

U.S. auto sales took a big step back in September, setting the stage for hefty incentive spending by carmakers struggling to clear old models from dealers’ inventory.

Results were disastrous for leading Asian automakers Toyota Motor Corp. and Honda Motor Co., which both suffered double-digit declines that were worse than analysts anticipated. While a fuller picture will emerge Wednesday when General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co. are due to report, the poor performance suggests that overall deliveries of cars and light trucks could come in worse than the 12% drop anticipated by analysts, based on six estimates.

Even worse than a 12 percent decline?

If the U.S. economy really was in “good shape”, this would not be happening.  In fact, this is the kind of number that we would expect to see in the middle of a very deep recession.

Meanwhile, we also just got some really bad economic news from New York City

Just in case you thought the ISM number was a flukey ‘transitory’ one-off, the New York City ISM just plunged, with the outlook collapsing to its lowest since Feb 2009.

And ahead of Friday’s payroll print, NYC ISM’s employment index plunged to 52.5 from 69.0.

At one time, New York City was on the leading edge of “the economic recovery”, but now things have completely reversed.  Economic conditions are rapidly deteriorating, and property values in the city are absolutely plunging

The Manhattan real estate market stumbled in the third quarter of 2019, new reports show, as prices plunged and fewer buyers were willing to purchase higher-priced properties in the wake of two recent tax increases.

The median sales price for properties fell 17 percent from the same quarter last year, to $999,950, according to new data from CORE. The average sales price dropped 12 percent, to $1.64 million.

Wall Street is starting to figure out that these horrible economic numbers are not going away, and investors are starting to get very nervous.

Many of them are still having a hard time believing that the bull market is completely dead, but at this point it definitely is not going to take much to set off an epic rush for the exits.

Whether it happens this month or not, everyone knows how this ridiculous stock market bubble will end.

Throughout U.S. history, whenever stock valuations have been stretched to such an extreme, a stock market crash has always followed.

This time around, it isn’t just an economic crisis that we are facing, and the drama in Washington is going to have a major impact on stock prices in the months ahead.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

A U.S. Economic Slowdown Has Been Confirmed, And We Are Being Warned That “More Damage” Is Ahead

We just witnessed the worst month for U.S. manufacturers in more than 10 years, and nobody seems optimistic that things are going to get much better any time soon.  In fact, one expert is warning that “more damage” is coming if the trade war is not resolved, and unfortunately it does not appear that a resolution will be possible for the foreseeable future.  As I have been detailing for months, the entire global economy has been steadily slowing down, but some shocking new numbers that we just got indicate that our economic problems are really starting to accelerate.  So hold on to your hats, because it looks like things are about to get really crazy.  According to CNBC, September was the worst month for U.S. factories in more than a decade

The U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers’ index from the Institute for Supply Management came in at 47.8% in September, the lowest since June 2009, marking the second consecutive month of contraction. Any figure below 50% signals a contraction.

The new export orders index was only 41%, the lowest level since March 2009, down from the August reading of 43.3%, ISM data showed.

Those numbers are absolutely abysmal, and they were far worse than analysts were expecting.

Since December 2009, I have published more than 2,000 articles on The Economic Collapse Blog, and in all that time we have never seen manufacturing numbers this bad.

According to Peter Boockvar, the chief investment officer at Bleakley Advisory Group, we have “now tariffed our way into a manufacturing recession in the U.S. and globally”.  So those that have been waiting for a “manufacturing recession” to arrive can now stop waiting.  It is here, and it is going to be very painful.

All over America factories are starting to close down at an alarming pace.  This week, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards blamed the “sudden shutdown” of a steel plant in his state on the ongoing trade war

In Louisiana, meanwhile, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday blamed the sudden shutdown of a steel plant on tariffs. “While Bayou Steel has not given any specific reason for the closure, we know that this company, which uses recycled scrap metal that is largely imported, is particularly vulnerable to tariffs,” he said.

The closure of LaPlace, Louisiana-based of Bayou Steel will cost 376 employees their jobs.

All over the globe, manufacturing numbers are plunging at an alarming pace thanks to the trade war.  For a long time I warned my readers that the level of economic pain that this trade war would inflict upon all of us would steadily rise as long as this trade war persisted, and now the experts being quoted by the mainstream media are saying the exact same thing.  Here is just one example

“The manufacturing side is telling us something. It’s a combination of global growth and we’ve got a trade war that’s been going on for a year and a half,” said Christian Fromhertz, CEO of The Tribeca Trade Group. “That’s been freezing things up. The longer this trade war keeps going, the more damage it does.

Of course it isn’t just the U.S. that is being hit extremely hard.

Overall, we haven’t seen a slowdown in global trade like this since the last recession, and at this point container shipping rates are down a whopping 34 percent since the beginning of 2019…

Container shipping rates continue to move lower into the fourth quarter of 2019, according to FreightWaves. The drop in price comes as a result of the most recent round of tariffs discouraging U.S. importers from front loading orders. As a result, ocean carriers are looking to cut even more shipping capacity in hopes of meeting tepid demand into the back end of the year.

Spot rates on the Freightos Baltic Daily Index for China-North America West Coast were down 8% from last week, falling to $1,327 per forty-foot equivalent unit. Container rates are down 34% since the beginning of the year, despite the industry now being in peak season. 

For months, I have been sharing numbers that indicate that the entire global economy is heading into a recession.  But now the numbers are absolutely screaming that major trouble is imminent.

Winter is coming, and it will not be pleasant.

After the horrifying U.S. manufacturing numbers were released on Tuesday, U.S. stock prices immediately began falling, and the Dow ended the day down more than 340 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 343.79 points lower, or 1.3% at 26,573.04 after rallying more than 100 points earlier in the day. The S&P 500 slid 1.2% close at 2,940.25. The Nasdaq Composite was down 1.1% at 7,908.68.

Tuesday marked the worst one-day performance for the Dow and S&P 500 since Aug. 23.

Meanwhile, as is usually the case when economic doom erupts, the price of gold is soaring once again

Gloom for the economy is a boom for safe havens. A 10-year-low in a reading of U.S. manufacturing activity sent investors flocking back to the safety of gold on Tuesday, just after they let the yellow metal flounder to two-month lows.

U.S. gold futures for December delivery settled up $16.10, or 1%, at $1,489 per ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange.

The threat of impeachment looms over Washington, and it could potentially unleash political chaos like we haven’t seen in the United States in decades.

And at the same time, the global economy is deteriorating to a degree that we have not seen since the last recession, and many believe that what is coming will be even worse than what we experienced a decade ago.

Dark storm clouds have gathered over America, and we stand on the precipice of one of the most critical moments in the history of our nation.

Unfortunately, most Americans are still dead asleep, and many of them have absolutely no idea what is about to happen.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time. Of course the most important thing that we can share with people is the gospel of Jesus Christ, and if you would like to learn more about how you can become a Christian I would encourage you to read this article.

New Tariffs, Stocks Plunge, Manufacturing Falls Again And More Layoffs – But Everything Is “Fine”?

Things are starting to go downhill rather quickly now.  A day after the Federal Reserve cut interest rates for the first time in more than a decade, we received a whole bunch more bad economic news.  Most Americans don’t realize it yet, but our economy is in serious trouble.  We haven’t seen anything like this since the last recession, but most people seem to think that since stock prices are still very high that everything must be fine.  No, everything is definitely not “fine”, and as I noted yesterday, a lot of prominent names are loudly sounding the alarm.  Many analysts are expecting things to really start breaking loose as we get deeper into the second half of this year, and what we witnessed on Thursday certainly didn’t make the outlook any brighter.

President Trump completely shocked Wall Street when he announced that yet another round of tariffs will be imposed upon Chinese goods.  According to CNBC, these new tariffs will go into effect on September 1st…

Trump said in a series of tweets the tariff will be imposed on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods. The levy will take effect Sept. 1.

He said later in the day those levies could go up to 25%. Trump’s comments came after a U.S. delegation met with Chinese trade officials earlier this week. Those were the first in-person trade talks between China and the U.S. since both countries reached a truce on the situation.

This is essentially the equivalent of a “gut punch”, and it definitely takes our trade war with China to an entirely new level.

And Trump told the press that the tariffs will remain in place until the U.S. and China agree to a deal.  The following comes from Fox Business

President Trump said on Thursday the U.S. will continue to tax China until the world’s two largest economies reach a trade agreement .

“When my people came home they said we were talking. We have another meeting in September. Until such time as there is a deal we will be taxing them,” he said from the White House’s south lawn.

But as I have repeatedly explained to my readers, there isn’t going to be an agreement any time soon.  In fact, it is extremely doubtful that we will see one before the 2020 presidential election.  Trump is not going to back down from his core demands, the Chinese will never accept them, and China would much prefer to negotiate with whoever follows Trump in the Oval Office.

So these tariffs are here to stay, China will inevitably retaliate once again, and global economic activity will suffer.

But Trump doesn’t seem alarmed.  On Thursday, he also told reporters that if China doesn’t want to trade with the United States anymore “that would be fine with me”

“For many years China has been taking money out by the hundreds billions of dollars a year. We have rebuilt China so now it is time that we changed things around. If they didn’t want to trade with us anymore that would be fine with me. It would save us a lot of money,” Trump told reporters Thursday.

Those are very strong words, and Trump actually has a point.

In the short-term, decoupling from the Chinese economy is going to be extremely painful for us.  But the truth is that we should have never integrated our economy so deeply with China’s economy in the first place.  The Chinese government is one of the most tyrannical regimes on the entire planet, and they have no respect for basic human rights.  Trade agreements that were extremely unfavorable for the United States allowed China to become exceedingly wealthy at our expense, and the Chinese would like to continue taking advantage of us indefinitely if they could.

So something definitely needed to be done about China, but it is going to be a really, really painful period of adjustment for the U.S. economy.

After Wall Street learned of the new tariffs on Thursday, stock prices immediately began to plummet

When President Donald Trump announced a new round of tariffs on Chinese imports on Thursday, the Dow was up 311 points. Then it was down nearly 300 points.

That was the biggest swing since early January.

And it certainly would not be a surprise if stock prices continued to go down.  As I noted the other day, the stock market is more primed for a crash than it has ever been before.

At this point, stock prices are completely and totally disconnected from economic reality.  As stocks hit record high after record high in July, bad economic news just kept pouring in.

Of course August certainly just started off with a bang.  On Thursday, we learned that a key measure of U.S. manufacturing activity has fallen to the lowest level since September 2009

The IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 50.4 in July, down from 50.6 in June, driven by a weaker demand. The firm also noted managers’ signaled slower hiring.

In addition, Lowe’s just announced that they will be “laying off thousands of workers”

Lowe’s is laying off thousands of workers.

Layoffs will include assemblers, who put together items like grills and patio furniture. The company will also cut maintenance and facility-service jobs, such as janitors. The company said it is outsourcing those positions to third-party companies.

Lowe’s (LOW) declined to say exactly how many workers will be laid off. It said that workers whose jobs are being eliminated will be given transition pay and have the opportunity to apply for open roles at Lowe’s. The Wall Street Journal first reported Lowe’s plan.

This is the continuation of a trend that I have been tracking for months.  Big companies have been laying off workers at a level that we haven’t seen since the last recession, and many believe that what we have witnessed so far is just the beginning.

Also, the “trucking apocalypse” just continues to accelerate.  The following comes from Zero Hedge

Yet another trucking company has fallen victim to the recession in freight this year, according to FreightWaves. Terrill Transportation of Livermore, California shut its doors unexpectedly on July 30. The company had been in business 25 years.

Customer Manny Bhandal, president of Bhandal Bros. Inc., said that three of his trucks arrived at Terrill on July 30 to drop off a shipment and were turned away. Kevin Terrill, president of Terrill Transportation, did not respond to FreightWaves.

If the U.S. economy really was in “fine” shape, trucking company after trucking company would not be shutting their doors.

Sadly, instead of heeding the warning signs and using this time to get prepared for rough times ahead, most Americans are choosing to use this time to party.

And there is certainly not anything wrong with enjoying life, but we have gotten to the point where it is crystal clear that a new crisis is upon us, and most Americans are completely and utterly unprepared for what is about to happen.

I will continue to track these developments as they unfold.  We are truly in unprecedented territory, and I have a feeling that the second half of 2019 is going to be far more “interesting” than the first half was.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

U.S. Steel Plants Are Going Idle, But The Fed Continues To Perpetuate The Myth That Everything Is Just Fine

Even though there is a tremendous amount of evidence to the contrary, the Federal Reserve continues to insist that the U.S. economy is in good shape.  On Wednesday, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell told the nation that “the economy has performed relatively well” in 2019 and he insisted that “the baseline outlook is a good one.”  Of course he didn’t say anything about our collapsing manufacturing numbers, the worst global trade numbers since the last recession or the “bloodbath” in the U.S. trucking industry.  Powell did concede that “the risk of less favorable outcomes has risen”, but other than vague statements like that he really didn’t acknowledge our growing economic problems at all.  Considering the fact that Powell has more power over the U.S. economy than anyone else in the entire country, this should deeply concern all of us.  To me, Powell’s performance on Wednesday was quite reminiscent of the moment in 2008 when Fed Chair Ben Bernanke told us that the Federal Reserve was not “currently forecasting a recession” after a recession had already begun.

As I have been documenting for weeks, evidence that another major economic downturn has already started can be clearly seen all around us.

For example, we got some very alarming news from the steel industry on Wednesday.  When the Trump administration slapped a 25 percent tariff on steel imports last year, that was supposed to greatly help the U.S. steel industry.  But instead, a dramatic drop in demand due to this new economic downturn is forcing steel companies to take dramatic measures.  According to CNN, U.S. Steel just announced that it will be shutting down a blast furnace in Gary, Indiana and another one that is located just outside of Detroit…

Pain has returned to the US steel industry despite the tariffs put on imported steel last year that were designed to help.

Late Tuesday US Steel announced it will idle two of the blast furnaces where it makes steel, one in its flagship mill in Gary, Indiana, near Chicago, the other in Ecorse, Michigan, near Detroit. The idled furnaces will cut production by about 200,000 tons of steel or more a month, the company said.

“We will resume blast furnace production at one or both idled blast furnaces when market conditions improve,” said the company.

But when will market conditions improve?

In 2020?

After this new economic downturn is over?

Never?

Of course U.S. Steel is not the only steel producer that is hurting right now.  In fact, Nucor and Steel Dynamics have both cut profit forecasts

US Steel’s action follows similar warnings Monday from Nucor, the nation’s largest steelmaker, and Steel Dynamics. Both are now forecasting lower profits. Nucor pointed to weaker demand from the US auto industry.

Sadly, the truth is that major industry after major industry is deeply suffering at this moment…

-Our ongoing “retail apocalypse” is absolutely brutalizing the retail industry, and we are on pace to have the worst year for store closings in our entire history.

-Auto industry sales have been absolutely abysmal, and auto loan delinquencies have shot up to alarmingly high levels.

-The agriculture industry is going to have the worst year it has seen in at least several decades.

-Our 800 billion dollar trucking industry is already in the midst of a “bloodbath”.

-The real estate industry is poised for the worst downturn that we have seen since the subprime mortgage meltdown during the last financial crisis.

-The manufacturing industry has not seen numbers this bad since the last recession, and things are rapidly getting worse.

But yeah, let’s tell the American people that the economy is “booming” and see if they will buy it.

Really?

Let’s get real.  The U.S. economy is mired in the worst slump in a decade, and economic conditions continue to deteriorate rapidly.  The Federal Reserve could have given us a short-term boost by cutting interest rates on Wednesday, but they decided not to do that

A divided Federal Reserve held the line on interest rates Wednesday and indicated formally that no cuts are coming in 2019. The decision came amid divisions over what is ahead and still leaves open the possibility that policy loosening could happen before the end of the year depending on how conditions unfold.

The central bank predicts one or two rate cuts in its set of economic predictions, but not until 2020. Despite cautious wording in the post-meeting statement Wednesday, markets are still betting the Fed cuts, as soon as July.

Perhaps they want to save their very limited ammunition for when the recession officially starts, and I can understand that.

But this latest move by the Fed is definitely not going to please President Trump, and it will likely prompt more speculation that Trump would like to demote Powell

The action sets up a possible confrontation between Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and President Donald Trump, who has been pressuring the Fed to cut rates. Just Tuesday, Trump said “let’s see what he does” at the Fed meeting when asked if he still wants to demote Powell.

At the post-statement news conference, Powell was asked about his future as chairman. “I think the law is clear that I have a four year term, and I fully intend to serve it,” he said.

Trump needs the U.S. economy to be as strong as possible as he heads into an election year.

The stronger the U.S. economy is, the more likely it is that he will be re-elected.

And actually the Federal Reserve may be doing Trump a favor by trying to perpetuate the myth that everything is just fine.  Because if the Fed had cut rates on Wednesday, it would have essentially been an admission that a new recession is on our doorstep.  As John P. Hussman has aptly pointed out, almost every initial rate cut in history “has been associated with an oncoming or ongoing recession”…

With the exception of 1967 and 1996, every initial Fed rate cut has been associated with an oncoming or ongoing recession. Be careful what you wish for.

So for now, the Fed seems to have adopted a “fake it until you make it” approach, and sometimes that can work.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it is going to work this time.  And meanwhile millions upon millions of Americans have been lulled into a false sense of security, and they are not getting prepared for the exceedingly hard times that are coming.

One of my readers recently left a comment in which he stated that what we are facing “is not a drill”, and I believe that he is quite correct.

We haven’t seen economic conditions anything like this since the last recession, and the outlook is getting worse with each passing day.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

More Jobs Shipped Out Of The Country: Ford Moves All Small Car Production To Mexico

ford-assembly-line-photo-by-gilly-berlinWhat is going to happen when America finally doesn’t have any manufacturing jobs left at all?  On Wednesday, we learned that Ford Motor Company is shifting all small car production to Mexico.  Of course the primary goal for this move is to save a little bit of money.  This hits me personally, because my grandfather once worked for Ford.  He was loyal to Ford all his life, and he always criticized other members of the family when they bought a vehicle that was not American-made.  When I was young I didn’t understand why making vehicles in America is so important, but I sure do now.  By shipping jobs overseas, we are destroying jobs, we are destroying small businesses and we are destroying our tax base.  If we want to be a wealthy nation, we have got to make things here, and hopefully we can get the American people to start to understand this.

In 1914, Henry Ford decided to start paying his workers $5.00 a day, which was more than double the average wage for auto workers at the time.

One of the reasons why he did this was because he felt that his workers should be able to afford to buy the vehicles that they were making.  This is what he wrote in 1926

“The owner, the employees, and the buying public are all one and the same, and unless an industry can so manage itself as to keep wages high and prices low it destroys itself, for otherwise it limits the number of its customers. One’s own employees ought to be one’s own best customers.”

These days Ford is going in the complete opposite direction.  Pretty soon, Ford won’t be making any more small vehicles in the United States at all

Ford is shifting all North American small-car production from the U.S. to Mexico, CEO Mark Fields told investors today in Dearborn, even though its plans to invest in Mexico have become a lightning rod for controversy in this year’s presidential election.

Over the next two to three years, we will have migrated all of our small-car production to Mexico and out of the United States,” Fields said.

Could Ford keep jobs in America?

Of course they could.  During the second quarter of 2016, Ford reported a net income of 2,000,000,000 dollars.

But if they move production to Mexico they can boost that profit just a little bit higher.

Shame on them.

Needless to say, Donald Trump is quite upset about this move by Ford.  This was his response

“We shouldn’t allow it to happen. They’ll make their cars, they’ll employ thousands of people, not from this country and they’ll sell their car across the border,” Trump said. “When we send our jobs out of Michigan, we’re also sending our tax base.”

And he is exactly right about all of this.  We can’t afford to lose more good paying jobs, we can’t afford for the middle class to shrink any more than it already has, and we certainly can’t afford our tax base to continue to deteriorate.

We may think that we can live on borrowed money indefinitely, but that is going to catch up with us in a major way at some point.

Sadly, Ford is not the only auto company doing this.  Just like Ross Perot once predicted, there is a giant sucking sound as good paying auto jobs leave the United States and head to Mexico

Ford isn’t alone. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles said earlier this year it will end production of all cars in the U.S. by the end of this year as it discontinues production of the Dodge Dart in Belvidere, Ill. and the Chrysler 200 in Sterling Heights, Michigan.

In recent years, automakers that include General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Nissan, Mazda, Toyota and Volkswagen have all announced plans to either expand existing plants or build new ones in Mexico.

The bad news for American workers won’t end once all of our manufacturing jobs are gone.

Today there are millions of Americans that make their living by driving, but the revolution in self-driving vehicles threatens to make large numbers of those jobs obsolete.

Ford, General Motors, Tesla, Google, Apple and a whole host of other big corporations have been feverishly working on this technology, and many of the tests have gone very well so far.

Once this technology starts being rolled out on a widespread basis, the job losses could be absolutely staggering.  Just consider the following numbers which come from Wolf Richter

  • 1.8 million heavy-truck and tractor-trailer long-haul drivers in 2014, expected to grow 4% a year (BLS), with a median pay of $40,260 in 2015. At this growth rate, there will be 1.94 million long-haul drivers by the end of this year.
  • 1.33 million delivery truck drivers in 2014, expected to grow 4% a year (BLS), with a median pay of $27,800 in 2015. They’re picking up and/or delivering packages and small shipments within the city or region, driving a vehicle of 26,000 pounds or less, usually between a distribution center and businesses or households. At this growth rate, there will be 1.44 million drivers by the end of this year.
  • 233,700 taxi drivers and chauffeurs in 2014, growing at 13% annually (BLS). They earned a median pay of $23,510 in 2015. One in five worked part time. This doesn’t – or doesn’t fully – reflect the “rideshare” drivers working for Uber, Lyft, and the like.
  • “Over 500,000” rideshare drivers are estimated to ply the trade in the US. It’s a high-growth sector: the number of Uber drivers in the US doubled in 2015 from the prior year to 327,000. Half of them worked 15 hours or less per week.

In order to have a thriving middle class, we have got to have middle class jobs.

Unfortunately, big corporations have become absolutely obsessed with finding ways to eliminate expensive American workers by sending jobs overseas or by replacing them with technology altogether.

The elite will always need people to cut their hair and wait on them at restaurants, but those aren’t the kinds of jobs that can support middle class families.

As I noted yesterday, for the first time ever the middle class in America has become a minority and poverty is on the rise all over the nation.  The long-term trends that are eviscerating the middle class are accelerating, and there doesn’t appear to be any quick fix which will turn things around dramatically any time soon.

So the middle class is going to get smaller and smaller and smaller, and that has dramatic implications for the future of this country.

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