As China Settles In For A Long Trade War, Economic Pressure On Trump Continues To Grow

The trade war between the United States and China is increasingly weighing on the global economy, but unfortunately it does not appear that it will end any time soon.  Many pundits in the U.S. originally believed that the trade war would be short because the economic pain would be too much for the Chinese to handle.  But the truth is that the Chinese are not nearly as motivated by short-term concerns as we are.  They have always been long-term planners, and they are not afraid to set goals that may take multiple generations to achieve.  So they are not going to allow an angry American president that may be voted out of office by the end of next year to greatly alter their long-term economic strategies.

If an acceptable agreement could have been reached with Trump, the Chinese would have jumped at that opportunity.  But right now the two sides are so far apart that they are basically not even on the same playing field, and any additional “negotiations” are not going to change that.  However, the Chinese are likely to try to keep talks with the Trump administration alive in an attempt to prevent the trade war from escalating even more.  In essence, the Chinese are trying to minimize the damage while running out the clock on the Trump presidency.

So for China, this trade war has become an exercise in endurance, and this is something that a Fox Business article recently discussed…

Researchers from Deutsche Bank wrote a note over the weekend, explaining how they believe China appears to have shifted its strategy from a focus on “resolution to one of endurance.”

“We think China is neither aiming to quickly reach a trade deal, nor trying to hit back at the U.S. as hard as it can,” Deutsche Bank China Economist Yi Xiong wrote in a report. “Rather, China seems to have internalized the trade war as a given fact, and is trying to preserve China’s economic resilience under rising tariffs.”

Here in the U.S., we have become quite accustomed to sacrificing our long-term prosperity in order to avoid short-term pain, but the Chinese are simply not going to do that in this case.

Instead, they are going to work extremely hard to do what they can to bolster the Chinese economy internally while they wait for a more “reasonable” U.S. president to get elected.  The following comes from the South China Morning Post

China will “enhance countercyclical measures in macroeconomic policies … to ensure sufficient liquidity and reasonable growth in credit,” according to a statement by the government’s Financial Stability and Development Commission on Sunday. The wording marked a subtle change from previous policy statements that called only for “appropriate” fine-tuning of monetary policy.

The statement did not mention the trade war with the US, but included specific guidelines on what China should do to manage its economy in the coming months. It urged financial institutions to help sell local government special bonds, with proceeds to be used for government-backed investment projects, while it also told local authorities to “fully tap investment potential”.

Unlike Chinese officials, President Trump has an upcoming election that he must deal with, and the longer this trade war persists the worse his re-election chances are going to become.

As I detailed yesterday, signs of economic trouble are erupting all around us, and the pain from this trade war is only going to become more intense as each new month passes.

So Trump is going to become increasingly desperate to get China to come to an agreement, and that may lead to some very rash decisions.  For example, it is being reported that he “wanted to double tariff rates on Chinese goods” after the Chinese responded to recent U.S. tariffs by imposing some of their own…

President Donald Trump wanted to double tariff rates on Chinese goods last month after Beijing’s latest retaliation in a boiling trade war before settling on a smaller increase, three sources told CNBC.

The president was outraged after he learned Aug. 23 that China had formalized plans to slap duties on $75 billion in U.S. products in response to new tariffs from Washington on Sept. 1. His initial reaction, communicated to aides on a White House trade call held that day, was to suggest doubling existing tariffs, according to three people briefed on the matter.

Unfortunately for Trump, no amount of pressure is going to get the Chinese to budge.

Yes, the Chinese will “talk” to U.S. officials as a delaying tactic, but they have already decided that they will never accept the sort of deal that Trump wants.

Meanwhile, our economic numbers just continue to deteriorate.  On Tuesday, we learned that a key measure of U.S. manufacturing just fell to the lowest level in three years

A key U.S. factory gauge unexpectedly contracted for the first time since 2016, sending stocks and bond yields lower and boosting expectations for interest-rate cuts as global manufacturing woes deepen.

The Institute for Supply Management’s purchasing managers index fell to 49.1 in August, weaker than all forecasts in a Bloomberg survey of economists, data released Tuesday showed. Figures below 50 indicate the manufacturing economy is generally shrinking. The group’s gauge of new orders dropped to a more than seven-year low, while the production index hit the lowest since late 2015.

In response to that number and more troubling news about the trade war, U.S. stocks were sharply down

Stocks fell on Tuesday, the first trading day of a historically tough month, after the world’s two largest economies began imposing new tariffs on each other’s goods. Weak manufacturing data also dented investor sentiment.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 285.26 points lower, or 1.1%, at 26,118.02. The S&P 500 lost 0.7% to end the day at 2,906.27 while the Nasdaq Composite pulled back 1.1% to 7,874.16.

We have reached an absolutely critical moment in modern American history.  The largest financial bubble in our entire history is on the verge of bursting, and many believe that we could be on the precipice of an economic downturn even worse than what we experienced in 2008 and 2009.

A trade deal with China would greatly help the short-term outlook, but the Chinese are not willing to give Trump what he desires.  So the only way one will happen is if President Trump completely caves in, but I don’t see that happening.

That means that a tremendous amount of pain is ahead, and the American people are completely unprepared for that.

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.

We Are Being Warned That The Last Week Of August “Could Be Highly Volatile” For Global Financial Markets

Are things about to break loose in a major way?  At the end of last week, the trade war between the United States and China escalated dramatically, and investors all over the globe really started freaking out.  Unfortunately, developments over the weekend have only made things worse, and that means that this could be a very “interesting” week for global financial markets.  As I write this article, stock prices around the world are plunging, the price of gold is spiking and the Chinese yuan is crashing.  There is clearly a lot of fear out there right now, and at this point even CNBC is warning that the last week of this month “could be highly volatile”…

The final week of August — the bittersweet end of summer for many— could be highly volatile, as markets fret over the economy and the latest developments in trade wars.

Of course things can swing rapidly from moment to moment in this environment.  President Trump could say something in a few hours that temporarily gives investors some hope, and that could cause markets to swing wildly upward for a little while.  Everyone is on edge right now, and every piece of significant news is likely to cause gyrations in the marketplace.

But overall the trend is clearly down.  U.S. stocks have now fallen for four weeks in a row, and many are becoming deeply concerned about what September will bring.

And for many U.S. businesses, this trade war has turned into a complete nightmare.  Executives crave predictability, but now everywhere we look there is chaos, and this is causing a lot of headaches for business leaders

Businesses crave predictability so they can make informed decisions and plan for the future. Many companies that depend on Chinese manufacturers and consumers have already shifted supply chains out of the country and taken other steps to reduce their exposure to China. And while Mr. Trump’s tweets are unlikely to trigger immediate changes, more uncertainty is unwelcome.

“Continued escalation and rhetoric are harmful to American businesses, workers and farmers,” said Tom Linebarger, chief executive of Cummins Inc., which makes diesel engines. Cummins pays a tariff on components it imports from its own plants in China for engines assembled at U.S. factories by American workers. The tariffs amount to a tax paid by Cummins’ customers, he said.

Unfortunately, nobody can no longer deny that global economic activity is really starting to slow down.  We just learned that global trade was down 1.4 percent in June from a year earlier, and that represented the largest decline that we have seen since the last financial crisis

World trade volume – a measure of imports and exports of merchandise across the globe – declined in its zigzag manner in June to the lowest level since October 2017, according to the Merchandise World Trade Monitor by CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis. The index was down 1.4% from June 2018. This small year-over-year decline is the biggest year-over-year decline since the Financial Crisis, and it’s a reversal from the heady growth in 2017 and 2018 that had topped out at 6.7%.

I have been using phrases like “since the last financial crisis” and “since the last recession” in almost every article recently.  We are seeing so many things happen that we haven’t seen for a decade or longer, and yet most Americans still don’t seem to understand that we have a real crisis on our hands.

If the U.S. and China were to mend their relationship and agree to a comprehensive trade deal, that would certainly help things.

Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen.

In fact, both sides appear to be digging in even more.  For example, the White House just told us that President Trump “regrets not raising the tariffs higher”

When asked if Trump had second thoughts about Friday’s move to escalate the trade war with China, Trump said “Yup.” “I have second thoughts about everything,” he added.

Hours later, the White House issued a statement saying that Trump meant to say that he wished he had raised tariffs on Beijing even higher.

“His answer has been greatly misinterpreted. President Trump responded in the affirmative – because he regrets not raising the tariffs higher,” White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham wrote in a statement.

And the Chinese are warning that we should not “underestimate the determination” of the Chinese people and that they will be the ones to “have the last laugh”

On Saturday, China’s commerce ministry issued a statement calling on Washington not to “misjudge the situation and underestimate the determination of Chinese people” after US President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on Chinese imports.

“The US should immediately stop its wrong action, or it will have to bear all consequences,” the statement said.

At the same time, a sharply worded commentary in the official party mouthpiece, People’s Daily, said China had the strength to continue the dispute and accused Washington of sacrificing the interests of its own people. Published under the pseudonym “Wuyuehe”, the piece described the latest tariff measures by the US as “barbaric”. The op-ed said China’s own tariffs on $75 billion worth of American products, announced late on Friday, were a response to America’s unilateral escalation of the trade conflict, and vowed that China was determined to fight back “until the end”.

“China’s will to defend the core interests of the country and the fundamental interests of the people is indestructible, and will not fear any challenge,” the author wrote, promising that “history will prove that the side on the path of fairness and justice will have the last laugh.”

As I have repeatedly warned, there isn’t going to be a trade deal before the 2020 presidential election.

So that means that things are going to get progressively worse, and we need to be prepared for a lot of economic pain.

At this point, even U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham is telling us that the American people are just going to have to “accept the pain that comes with standing up to China”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on Sunday that Democrats should not criticize President Trump for taking on China over trade as they have complained for years about Beijing’s policies but done nothing.

“Every Democrat and every Republican of note has said China cheats,” Graham said on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.” “The Democrats for years have been claiming that China should be stood up to, now Trump is and we’ve just got to accept the pain that comes with standing up to China.”

Sadly, the truth is that the American people are not well equipped to deal with pain.  We have been spoiled by decades of debt-fueled “prosperity”, and even a relatively minor economic downturn would result in a massive national temper tantrum.

Right now our nation is a seething cauldron of anger and frustration, and the mainstream media is stirring the pot on a daily basis.  It isn’t going to take much to spark an explosion, and this will especially be true the closer we get to the next presidential election.

The season of “the perfect storm” is upon us, and what is coming next is going to be one of the most chaotic chapters in modern American history.

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.

A Critical Threshold Has Just Been Crossed, And Things Will NEVER Be The Same Again…

Just when things seemed to be settling down a little bit, our conflict with China has suddenly escalated to a dangerous new phase.  This is not simply just a “trade war” any longer, and our relationship with China will never be the same again.  As you will see below, President Trump just referred to Chinese President Xi Jinping as our “enemy”, and this is something that the Chinese are going to take extremely seriously.  In China, the national leader is a representation of the government as a whole, and the government as a whole is a representation of the entire county.  So to the Chinese people, what Trump just said will be interpreted as “the United States and China are now enemies”.  Of course for Trump everything would be forgiven tomorrow if the Chinese totally caved in to his demands and started saying all sorts of nice things about him, but for the Chinese what has transpired in recent months will be remembered for generations.  President Trump has insulted their national honor over and over again, and that sort of thing may not mean much to us here in the western world anymore, but over in China their sense of honor is central to who they are as a people.  After everything that has already been said and done, there will be no going back, and we are now facing a future in which the United States and China will be very bitter enemies.

In response to previously announced U.S. tariffs, China stunned global markets when it announced a new wave of tariffs on U.S. goods early on Friday

The trade war between the U.S. and China escalated further Friday as Beijing announced a new set of tariffs on American products, sending the stock market plunging.

The China State Council announced it would impose tariffs ranging from 5% to 10% on an additional $75 billion in U.S. goods, according to state media outlet Global Times.

After Trump learned of this, he hit the ceiling, and he immediately went on a Twitter rant in which he pledged to hit Chinese goods with even higher tariffs

For many years China (and many other countries) has been taking advantage of the United States on Trade, Intellectual Property Theft, and much more.

Our Country has been losing HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year to China, with no end in sight.

Sadly, past Administrations have allowed China to get so far ahead of Fair and Balanced Trade that it has become a great burden to the American Taxpayer.

As President, I can no longer allow this to happen! In the spirit of achieving Fair Trade, we must Balance this very unfair Trading Relationship.

China should not have put new Tariffs on 75 BILLION DOLLARS of United States product (politically motivated!).

Starting on October 1st, the 250 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, currently being taxed at 25%, will be taxed at 30%.

Additionally, the remaining 300 BILLION DOLLARS of goods and products from China, that was being taxed from September 1st at 10%, will now be taxed at 15%. Thank you for your attention to this matter!

In addition, Trump “hereby ordered” U.S. corporations “to immediately start looking for an alternative to China”

Trump then tweeted that American companies “are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing your companies HOME and making your products in the USA.” He did not immediately detail the authority he thought he could use to compel firms to leave China.

When I first saw that I could hardly believe what I was seeing, and you may have had the same reaction.

Can Trump actually do that?

Well, no, the truth is that he can’t.

He can certainly encourage U.S. businesses to leave China, but as CNN has pointed out, he doesn’t have the authority to unilaterally order all of our companies to leave an entire country…

Here’s the thing: Donald Trump can’t order American business to do anything. There’s a reason the business world is known as the “private sector” — because it’s not owned or controlled by the government (aka the “public sector.”) We don’t have state-run industry (or media). The President of the United States can’t “order” privately held business to do, well, much of anything.

And on top of everything else, President Trump posted another tweet in which he called Chinese President Xi Jinping our “enemy”.  The following comes directly from Trump’s Twitter account

As usual, the Fed did NOTHING! It is incredible that they can “speak” without knowing or asking what I am doing, which will be announced shortly. We have a very strong dollar and a very weak Fed. I will work “brilliantly” with both, and the U.S. will do great…

….My only question is, who is our bigger enemy, Jay Powell or Chairman Xi?

Any hopes for a trade deal with China during the Trump administration were already dead, but this has put even more nails in the coffin.

When the outlook for the U.S. economy was brighter, getting a trade deal with China done was not so critical for Trump, but now things have dramatically changed.

At this point, even the White House’s own internal forecasts are showing “that the economy could slow markedly over the next year”

Top White House advisers notified President Trump earlier this month that some internal forecasts showed that the economy could slow markedly over the next year, stopping short of a recession but complicating his path to reelection in 2020.

The private forecast, one of several delivered to Trump and described by three people familiar with the briefing, contrasts sharply with the triumphant rhetoric the president and his surrogates have repeatedly used to describe the economy.

Things just continue to get even bleaker.  U.S. manufacturing just contracted for the very first time since 2009, and the financial markets are starting to figure out that there aren’t any promising solutions on the horizon.

On Friday, the trade war turmoil greatly spooked investors and the Dow ended the day down more than 600 points

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 623.34 points lower, or 2.4% at 25,628.90. The S&P 500 slid 2.6% to close at 2,847.11. The Nasdaq Composite dropped 3% to end the day at 7,751.77. The losses brought the Dow’s decline for August to more than 4%.

The major indexes also posted weekly losses for the fourth straight time. The Dow dropped about 1% this week while the S&P 500 pulled back 1.4%. The Nasdaq lost 1.8%.

As I noted at the end of last month, the stock market started to decline in July, and now it has fallen every single week here in August.  Just like in “The Beginning Of The End”, we are potentially facing a scenario in which we experience great economic and financial turmoil during the second half of the year.

Over and over again, I have kept warning my readers that our relations with China were going to get progressively worse.  We have been expecting this for a long time, but most Americans still do not grasp the implications of this crisis.

This conflict between the United States and China is going to change everything.  An extraordinary amount of pain is heading our way, and our society is completely and utterly unprepared to handle it.

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.

“Worst Year Ever”: The Chinese Ban On U.S. Agricultural Products Will Be A Death Blow For Countless U.S. Farms

U.S. farmers have never experienced a year quite like this.  During the first half of 2019, endless rain and unprecedented flooding were the major problems.  As a result of the incredibly wet conditions, millions of acres of prime farmland didn’t get planted at all, and tens of millions of other acres are going to yield a lot less than usual.  Even without anything else happening, we were going to see farm bankruptcies soar to absolutely crazy levels, but now the Chinese government is essentially cutting off U.S. agricultural imports.  This will greatly depress the prices that U.S. farmers get for their crops, and so many farmers that were still hoping to squeeze out a profit for this year will be hit with a loss instead.  Ultimately, the truth is that 2019 is going to be a death blow for countless U.S. farmers that were barely hanging on financially after a string of really tough years.  Many will leave the industry entirely and never go back to farming again, and our nation will be worse off because of it.

When the Chinese announced that they were going to completely stop buying U.S. agricultural products, it sent shockwaves across the middle portion of the country.  According to the executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau, our farmers and ranchers will now be facing “just a really tough, tough time”

“This is a body blow to farmers and ranchers all across the country,” Dale Moore, executive vice president of the American Farm Bureau, told FOX Business. “That’s one of the things that we are feeling the effects of, and this is on top of a year when mother nature has been a terrible business partner in many parts of the country. It’s just a really tough, tough time for farmers and ranchers in this country.”

Shares of industrial, farming, oil and transportation companies have plummeted, a direct result of the increased tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

Of course President Trump is trying to be upbeat and he is promising that the Chinese will not be able to hurt our farmers, but the truth is that they already have.

Chinese imports of U.S. agricultural products fell by more than half from 2017 to 2018, and now they are going to zero.  The following comes from Fox Business

Despite Trump’s tweet, American farmers now stand to lose all of what was a $9.1 billion market in 2018, which was down sharply from the $19.5 billion U.S. farmers exported to China in 2017.

Unfortunately for U.S. farmers, they are caught right in the middle of a tug of war between the Chinese government and President Trump, and China specifically went after U.S. farmers in order to hurt Trump politically

China’s new agricultural ban has an additional benefit to the Chinese of maximizing negative political impact to Trump.

Important presidential election swing states in the Midwest grain belt such as Iowa and Wisconsin were vital to his 2016 election victory. Cutting this particular area of bilateral trade at a time when American farmers are recovering from the after-effects of this year’s floods is a potent way for Beijing to punch back against President Trump’s new tariffs.

If the presidential election was held this November, it would be really difficult for Trump to win in Iowa in Wisconsin.  Of course much can change between now and November 2020, but right now Trump is definitely losing support in the middle of the country.

Speaking of Wisconsin, it just happens to be one of the states that currently has the highest number of farm bankruptcy filings

Since last June, there have been a staggering 535 Chapter 12 bankruptcy filings, a 13 percent increase. Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin had the highest number of filings.

As a result, Congress passed the Family Farmer Relief Act to update the eligibility requirements for Chapter 12 bankruptcy, raising the debt limit from $4.1 million to $10 million — giving more farmers the chance to declare bankruptcy, thereby offering their producers and creditors a better chance to recognize and avoid mass liquidation.

President Trump will try to keep as many farms going as possible with his massive aid packages, but the truth is that even with those aid packages it is inevitable that farm bankruptcies will continue to surge.

In fact, they are already at the highest level that we have seen since the last recession.

What U.S. farmers really need is an end to the trade war and for the Chinese to start buying from them again.

Sadly, that is just not going to happen.  At this point, even Goldman Sachs is admitting that there will not be a trade deal with China before the 2020 presidential election…

Analysts at Goldman Sachs no longer think the U.S. and China will manage to negotiate a trade deal ahead of the 2020 presidential election — which is more than 15 months away.

“We had expected a final round of tariffs targeting remaining Chinese imports at a 10 percent rate,” the analysts, led by chief U.S. economist Jan Hatzius, wrote in a note to clients. “But news since President Trump’s tariff announcement last Thursday indicates that U.S. and Chinese policymakers are taking a harder line, and we no longer expect a trade deal before the 2020 election.”

This means that things will continue to go from bad to worse for U.S. farmers, and this will take a major toll on the U.S. economy as a whole.

We have entered the time of “the perfect storm”, and things are definitely not going to get any easier in the months ahead.

I wish that I had better news for you, but I don’t.  Global events are starting to greatly accelerate, and so many of the things that we have been warned about are starting to happen right in front of our eyes.

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.

$1,400,000,000,000 Gone In Less Than A Week – Stock Market In Turmoil As The Trade War Dramatically Escalates

Our trade war with China has begun to spiral out of control, and as a result global financial markets have been thrown into a state of turmoil.  On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 767 points, and that represented the sixth-largest single day stock market decline in all of U.S. history.  To put that into perspective, the biggest single day decline during the financial crisis of 2008 was just 777 points.  So what we witnessed on Monday was definitely very serious.  And the Nasdaq just got absolutely monkey-hammered as well.  On a percentage basis, it was down even more than the Dow was, and it has now fallen for six days in a row.  We have not seen a losing streak that long for the Nasdaq since President Trump was elected, and some analysts are convinced that even more chaos is on the way.

Overall, 1.4 trillion dollars in stock market wealth has been completely wiped out in less than a week

It took just four brutal trading days for a $1.4 trillion wipeout in the S&P 500 stock value. From the Federal Reserve’s disappointing comments on the future of interest rates to President Donald Trump’s surprise tariffs to China’s weaponizing of the yuan, the record-long bull market took a big hit in a relatively short time.

European stocks have been getting clobbered as well.  In fact, they just experienced their largest two day decline in three years.

After Trump imposed another wave of tariffs on China at the end of last week, we knew that the Chinese would retaliate.  But we expected that the retaliation would be at least somewhat proportional.

Instead, they decided to bring down the hammer.

When Chris Krueger was asked about China’s retaliation, he said that “on a scale of 1-10, it’s an 11”.  The Chinese have announced that they are going to completely stop buying U.S. agricultural products, and they shocked global financial markets when they allowed the yuan to drop like a rock early on Monday.  In response, the U.S. Treasury Department formally designated China as a “currency manipulator”, and it appears that any hopes for a trade deal between the United States and China before the 2020 presidential election are completely and utterly dead.  For an extended analysis of these events, please see the article that I just posted entitled “China Just Went Nuclear In The Trade War, And There Is No Turning Back Now”.

All along, most investors seemed to believe that all of the angry talk would eventually fade and that the U.S. and China would be able to work things out.

But that didn’t happen, and now we have crossed the point of no return.  Financial markets are finally starting to realize that this trade war is going to have very, very serious implications for major U.S. corporations, and this will especially be true for our largest tech companies.

Over the past two trading days, the big five tech companies have combined to lose 228 billion dollars in market value…

Tech’s big five companies lost $66 billion in market value on Friday, and Monday’s plunge brought the two-day drop to $228 billion. Apple had the biggest percentage decline, falling 5.2%. Apple told U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer in June that the latest proposed tariffs would hit “all of Apple’s major products.” Some analysts are projecting a significant impact.

Meanwhile, by the way, the price of gold has been soaring.

As I have repeatedly argued, something definitely needed to be done about China, but trying to bully them into making a deal was never, ever going to work.

They are a very proud people, and once we started repeatedly pushing them extremely hard, it was just a matter of time before they started pushing back

“Your back is put against the wall and you’re constantly being attacked. Pride starts to kick in, and it’s not surprising China has started to assert some of its force,” said Greg Peters, head of multi sector and strategy at PGIM Fixed Income. “I’m not sure what that means in real terms. It’s not different than any other life situations. You push someone hard enough and they start pushing back. … I never thought it was a good idea to act like it’s a scorched earth policy – I win, you lose. I continue to think that was never viable for the Chinese.”

Being aggressive can be an effective negotiating tool, but if you push too hard and too fast you run the risk of completely alienating the other party.

That appears to be what has happened in this case, and now all hopes for a trade deal are completely dead.  As Bonnie Glaser has noted, the “potential for compromise has past”…

“The timing couldn’t be worse,” said Bonnie Glaser, director of the China Power Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “The potential for compromise has past. Both sides are digging in and both leaders are first and foremost concerned about their domestic audiences. Politics is in the lead.”

Hopefully the markets will bounce back on Tuesday.  After being down quite a bit earlier, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures are trading slightly higher as I write this article.

However, the truth is that this crisis isn’t going away.  There isn’t going to be a trade deal with China, and that is going to mean a tremendous amount of pain for the global economy.

When a financial bubble pops, usually there is some sort of trigger that causes it to happen.  In 2008, it was the subprime mortgage meltdown.  This time around, it looks like the trigger could be our trade war with China.

As I noted a few days ago, our financial markets are more primed for a crash than they have ever been before.  And we are moving into the season when big crashes tend to happen.

Things have not looked this ominous since 2008, and a lot of investors are starting to get very nervous.

We shall see how the rest of this year plays out, but right now events certainly seem to be moving in a very alarming direction.

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.

China Is Extremely Angry, And They Now Consider The United States To Be Enemy #1

Have relations between the United States and China finally reached the point of no return?  At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how angry the Chinese are with the United States.  Chinese officials are firmly blaming the United States for the enormous political protests that we have witnessed in Hong Kong in recent weeks, and on Thursday President Trump slapped another round of tariffs on Chinese imports.  Sadly, most Americans aren’t even paying much attention to these developments, but over in China everyone is talking about these things.  And of course the truth is that they aren’t just talking – the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger toward the U.S., and they aren’t afraid to express it.

Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about.  One of the most highly respected news anchors in China, Kang Hui, actually used an expletive when referring to the United States during a news broadcast earlier this week.  Normally I would never have such language in one of my articles, but this comment made headlines all over the globe, and I think that it is very important for all of us to understand what the Chinese are saying about us.  So since this is a news item of critical importance, I have decided not to censor this quote at all.  The following comes from the New York Times

“They stir up more troubles and crave the whole world to be in chaos, acting like a shit-stirring stick,” Mr. Kang said on the usually stolid 7 p.m. national news program on CCTV, China’s state broadcaster. The expletive quickly became one of the most-searched-for phrases on Chinese social media.

In a follow-up video on a CCTV social media account, Mr. Kang boasted about how he had taunted the United States.

“If a handful of Americans always stir up troubles, then we are sorry,” he intoned. “No more do we talk about certain issues. We will also target you. We will bash you till your faces are covered with mud. We will bash you till you are left speechless.”

Could you imagine Anderson Cooper saying something similar about China on CNN?

And actually Mr. Kang likely has far more viewers than Anderson Cooper does.

Most Americans spend very little time thinking about relations with China, but over in China they are absolutely furious with us right now, and the developing situation in Hong Kong is one of the biggest reasons for that anger.  Millions of people have flooded the streets of Hong Kong in recent weeks, and it appears that the Chinese have decided that enough is enough.  According to Bloomberg, U.S. officials are closely watching “a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border”…

The White House is monitoring what a senior administration official called a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border.

Weeks of unrest in the Chinese territory have begun to overwhelm Hong Kong’s police, who have found themselves in violent clashes with protesters. China warned Monday that the civil disorder had gone “far beyond” peaceful protest after police deployed tear gas over the weekend.

Could it be possible that Chinese forces could soon storm across the border?

And there have also been other signs that China is about to do something drastic

And also on Wednesday, Chen Daoxiang, the commander of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong — which holds around 6,000 troops — said his forces were “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the prosperity of Hong Kong.” His remarks came as China released a new propaganda video which include armed forces practicing shooting at protestors, after which he underscored his support for the city’s chief executive for “rigorously enforcing the law.”

Yes, Hong Kong is now technically part of China.  But according to the agreement that was signed when the British handed over Hong Kong, the city is supposed to be allowed to govern itself to a large degree until 2047

After taking over Hong Kong in a war in the 1800s, Britain returned it to China in 1997 with an important stipulation: The city would partly govern itself for 50 years before fully falling under Beijing’s control. So until 2047, the expectation was that the city and the mainland would operate under the principle known as “one country, two systems.”

So if China ends up sending troops into Hong Kong to end the political protests, the Trump administration will be extremely upset, and tensions between our two nations will go up several more notches.

A new development in the trade war is the other reason why the Chinese are so angry with us right now.

After President Trump hit China with new tariffs on Thursday, China’s ambassador to the United Nations warned that the Chinese are prepared to implement “necessary countermeasures”

China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said Beijing would take “necessary countermeasures” to protect its rights and bluntly described Trump’s move as “an irrational, irresponsible act.”

“China’s position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will talk, if they want to fight, then we will fight,” Zhang told reporters in New York, also signalling that trade tensions could hurt cooperation between the countries on dealing with North Korea.

In other words, the Chinese are not going to back down one bit, and they are going to hit us back hard.

And Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said similar things when she addressed reporters on Friday

“China will not accept any form of pressure, intimidation or deception,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference Friday.

China‘s Ministry of Commerce released a statement that said Beijing would impose countermeasures.

“The U.S. has to bear all the consequences,” the statement said. “China believes there will be no winners of this trade war and does not want to fight. But we are not afraid to fight and will fight if necessary.”

In the end, it is very true that there “will be no winners” in this trade war.  The Chinese know where our pain points are, and they will not be afraid to fight dirty.

A rapidly deteriorating relationship with China is a big part of the scenario that we have been anticipating.  As I discussed yesterday, it is exceedingly unlikely that there will be a trade deal between the United States and China before the 2020 presidential election.  And to be honest, it is far more likely that our conflict with China will escalate well beyond just a “trade war” in the months ahead.

The two largest economic superpowers on the entire planet are now locked in a monumental struggle for dominance, and it is going to result in a tremendous amount of economic pain for the entire planet.

Unfortunately, most Americans are completely and utterly clueless about what is going on, and so most of them are still convinced that everything is going to be just fine.

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.

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.

Dow 27,000? I Think That We Have FINALLY Reached Peak Stock Market Absurdity

Even though everything else seems to be going wrong, the stock market just continues to soar to new record highs.  In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 27,000 for the first time ever on Thursday.  Investors continue to relentlessly believe that bright days are ahead even though we are on the brink of a war with Iran, we are in the middle of a trade war with China, California has been hit by more than 10,000 earthquakes over the past week, and all of the economic numbers are screaming that a recession is dead ahead.  There has certainly been a lot of craziness on Wall Street in recent years, but the truth is that stock prices have never been as absurd as they are right now.  It is inevitable that a very painful reality check is coming, but for the moment investors are celebrating another historic landmark

The 30-stock average broke above 27,000 for the first time in its history, rising 227.88 points, or 0.9% to 27,088.08. The Dow first closed above 26,000 in January of 2018, so it’s been a little more than a year-and-half trek between 1,000 point moves. The gains were largely driven by expectations the Fed will cut rates, insulating the market from a slowing economy and a trade battle with China.

But if things are so good, then why is the Federal Reserve talking about cutting interest rates?

Sadly, the truth is that the Federal Reserve is considering rate cuts because the economic numbers have been disastrous lately.  Global trade has fallen to the lowest levels that we have seen since the last recession, and manufacturing activity just continues to plummet.  Here in the United States, manufacturing activity just hit the “lowest level in nearly three years”

US manufacturing activity last month fell to its lowest level in nearly three years — well below the pace when President Donald Trump took office — another warning sign for the world’s largest economy as it marks the longest expansion on record.

The manufacturing slowdown was driven by weakening demand for US-made goods, with factories reluctant to produce stock they may not be able to sell, according to the Institute for Supply Management’s monthly survey.

Meanwhile, JPMorgan’s Global Manufacturing PMI just plunged to the lowest level in nearly seven years

It’s a bloodbath. No matter where you look, global manufacturing surveys are signaling growth is over (and in most cases, outright contraction is upon us).

JPMorgan’s Global Manufacturing PMI fell to its lowest level for over six-and-a-half years and posted back-to-back sub-50.0 readings for the first time since the second half of 2012.

But in the bizarro environment that we find ourselves in, investors see those absolutely horrible numbers as evidence that the Fed will soon cut interest rates, and that means it must be a good time to buy stocks.

Every bad economic number just seems to fuel the feeding frenzy, and there certainly have been a lot of bad numbers in recent days.

For example, we just learned that small business employment has been falling at a rate that we haven’t seen “in over 9 years”

The small business sector leads the cycle and employment here has plunged 61k in the past two months. Haven’t seen this in over 9 years; same decline we saw in Feb-March of 2008 when the consensus was busy calling for a soft landing.

That is terrible news, but for many investors that is a prime buying signal.

Everywhere we look we see signs of economic trouble.  The auto industry is mired in the worst slump in a decade, home sales have slowed dramatically all over the nation, and we are pace to absolutely shatter the record for most retail stores closed in a single year.  In fact, on Thursday we learned that another major retailer is completely liquidating

Fashion accessory retailer Charming Charlie will close all its stores after going bankrupt for the second time in less than two years. More than 3,000 full- and part-time employees could lose their jobs.

Charming Charlie Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 protection in Delaware with plans for going-out-of-business sales at about 261 stores, according to court documents. The chain expects the liquidation to take about two months.

But in an environment where “bad news is good news”, that is just another indication that this is a perfect time for investors to gobble up stocks like there is no tomorrow.

For months, I have been documenting the numbers that indicate that a new economic downturn has already begun.  And one of the sectors where we can see this most clearly is in the trucking industry

Freight rates have dipped year-over-year for six months straight while loads on the spot market, in which retailers and manufacturers buy trucking capacity as they need it, rather than through a contract, fell by 50.3% in June year-over-year. Truckers have also continued to warn of a “bloodbath” as they slash their profit expectations and companies file for bankruptcy.

Yet no matter how bad things get for the real economy, the euphoria on Wall Street never seems to end.

Investors just continue to relentlessly pour more money into stocks when everything is telling them to stop.

In fact, even the bond market is flashing warning sign after warning sign.  The following example comes from CNN

Something happened in the bond market last week that has occurred before five of the past six major market meltdowns.

The yield on the benchmark 30-year US Treasury bond — the lesser-known but still important fixed income cousin to the 10-year — briefly dipped below 2.5%. In other words, the 30-year was yielding less than the Federal Reserve’s short-term federal funds rate.

But until the next market meltdown actually happens, the irrational optimists on Wall Street are just going to continue to mock those of us that are warning that the party cannot continue indefinitely.  Sadly, when the party on Wall Street finally ends it is likely to happen very suddenly, and the pain will be off the charts.

Let me say this one more time.  You only make money in the stock market if you get out in time.  If you are still holding on to your stocks after the big crash happens, it is not going to matter that the Dow once hit 27,000, because you will never see any of the money that you could have made if you had gotten out at the top of the market.

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.

The Economic Collapse