Trump Administration bringing the USA closer to a trade war?

Chinese COSCO Freighter (Fletcher6)


Reuters reported the following:

January 10, 2017

When billionaire investor Wilbur Ross salvaged two North Carolina textile mills from bankruptcy in 2003 and 2004, one of the first things he did was head to Washington to immerse himself in trade law and policy.

China’s accession to the World Trade Organization had unleashed a flood of textile imports across U.S. borders, and Ross – now President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for commerce secretary – took an unusual hands-on approach, advocating for “safeguard” tariffs to help the ravaged domestic industry. …

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Ross, 79, who is personally close to Trump, will be a lead player shaping U.S. trade policy, working alongside Robert Lighthizer, a lawyer known for his work with beleaguered U.S. manufacturers whom Trump has tapped as U.S. Trade Representative, and Peter Navarro, an economist and China hawk who will serve as a White House adviser.

Free trade advocates worry the Trump trade triumvirate will be too quick to use tariffs to keep imports out, raising costs for manufacturers that rely on imported parts – or even sparking retaliatory trade wars.

“The three of them – those guys put together – can create a lot of mischief,” said Dan Ikenson, a long-time trade policy economist now with the Cato Institute think tank.

As I reported here last month, China is preparing for a trade war because of Donald Trump’s election (see ‘China Seen Readying for Trade War During Trump Presidency’). The appointment of Wilbur Ross seems consistent with Donald Trump’s plans to impose tariffs that could lead to some type of trade war.

Notice Donald Trump’s official positions at his website:


  • Negotiate fair trade deals that create American jobs, increase American wages, and reduce America’s trade deficit.

Donald J. Trump’s 7 Point Plan To Rebuild the American Economy by Fighting for Free Trade

1. Withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has not yet been ratified.

2. Appoint tough and smart trade negotiators to fight on behalf of American workers.

3. Direct the Secretary of Commerce to identify every violation of trade agreements a foreign country is currently using to harm our workers, and also direct all appropriate agencies to use every tool under American and international law to end these abuses.

4. Tell NAFTA partners that we intend to immediately renegotiate the terms of that agreement to get a better deal for our workers. If they don’t agree to a renegotiation, we will submit notice that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the deal. Eliminate Mexico’s one-side backdoor tariff through the VAT and end sweatshops in Mexico that undercut U.S. workers.

5. Instruct the Treasury Secretary to label China a currency manipulator.

6. Instruct the U.S. Trade Representative to bring trade cases against China, both in this country and at the WTO. China’s unfair subsidy behavior is prohibited by the terms of its entrance to the WTO.

7. Use every lawful presidential power to remedy trade disputes if China does not stop its illegal activities, including its theft of American trade secrets – including the application of tariffs consistent with Section 201 and 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 and Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962. accessed 12/21/16

Various nations will not like the policies that Donald Trump has advocated.

Trade wars have been listed as part of the Twelve ‘grey swan’ events to watch for in 2017?

Trade disputes are likely to be a factor that will lead to World War III.

The idea that we could be looking at a coming trade war is not a new one. Part of the reason for World War II was essentially a trade war, that turned into an actual war between the USA and Japan.

Over thirty years ago, Gene Hogberg of the old Worldwide Church of God wrote the following:

Prepare for Trade War

THE Free World’s 40-year period of unprecedented prosperity may soon come to a crashing halt. Support in the United States — the West’s leading trading nation — for maintaining free trade is crumbling fast.

Instead, there reverberate in the halls of Congress warnings to trade partners to open markets or face the retaliation of heightened tariffs and quotas. …

Mr. Reagan is painfully aware of where unbridled protectionism could lead. In recently rejecting a protectionist plea from one industry, the President evoked memories of the Depression — era Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act. “Some of us remember the 1930s, when the most destructive trade bill in history, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, helped plunge this nation and the world into a decade of depression and despair,” he told a radio audience. “From now on, if the ghost of Smoot-Hawley rears its ugly head in Congress, if Congress creates a depression — making bill, I’ll fight it.”

But the ghost is rising, and support for the President’s trade policy is waning, even from those within his own party.

What Smoot-Hawley Did

Just how disastrous was the Smoot-Hawley bill? The devastating role it played in the Great Depression was explained in the September 5 issue of The Wall Street Journal, in an article written by its editor, Robert L. Bartley. “The stock-market crash of 1929 came in the midst of debate in Congress over the tariff,” wrote Mr. Bartley. “It had spent the year adding item after item to the protection list. In mid — 1930 the Smoot-Hawley Bill became law, with the highest tariffs in the nation’s history.” What might have been an ordinary correction, continued Mr. Bartley, “turned into the Great Depression…. As the international accounts closed down, the world economy choked.” …

Dangerous Security Changes

Other experts warn that American political leaders — responding to calls for immediate competitive relief from their constituents — may be ignoring another lesson of the Great Depression: that the severe contraction of world trade gave added impetus to imperialist surges in Asia and Europe, specifically Japan and Germany.

Since 1945 Japan has chosen the mercantile road as its path to power, prestige and national restoration. Germany, specifically the Federal Republic of Germany, is heavily dependent upon world trade, exporting a full third of its manufactured goods.

Access to the U.S. market is central to the economies of Japan and the other nations of the Pacific Basin, writes National Review executive editor John McLaughlin, “and hence perhaps to their stability.” If protectionism takes hold, what would happen to Japan and to Western Europe, whose economic heart is in Germany? Protectionism, leading to a full-blown trade war, would likely break the extensive joint defense relationships between the U.S. and its primary World War II foes, now allies for the past 40 years.

Americans should then prepare to witness the emergence of a nuclear — armed Japan as well as a nuclear — armed united Europe with Germany at its core. It’s doubtful whether the American public and its elected representatives have thought out the likely end results of actions now under way.

Former Senate majority leader Howard H. Baker Jr. sounded this warning: “The disastrous Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 was rushed through Congress… and it took 14 years and a world war to straighten out the mess.” (Hogberg G. Prepare for Trade War! Plain Truth, January 1986)

While Gene Hogberg’s timing was premature, it may well be that we will see some type of trade war. The Chinese and the Europeans are concerned.

Furthermore, it should be noted that since the election of Donald Trump, Germany has discussed the ‘unthinkable’ idea that it needs its own nuclear weapons (see Germany’s functional stellarator, Donald Trump, and ‘the unthinkable’).

It remains my view that trade issues will be among the factors that will convince the final European Beast power to attack the USA and some of its Anglo-Saxon descended allies.

The fact of the Brexit vote and Donald Trump’s election may well bring the USA and UK closer together and further distant from Europe. They may decide that they can take a tougher stand against Europe’s trade rules, etc.

But, make no mistake on this point, Europe will take steps.

It will take steps diplomatically, contractually, and militarily.

The Bible is clear that Europe will rise up to the world’s basic surprise as a major military (Revelation 13:1-10) and massive trading (cf. Revelation 18) power.

The EU does not care for various positions of Donald Trump or Brexit vote. Various ones that Donald Trump wants in his administration will upset nations around the world.

Though China is not pleased with what Donald Trump proposes, expect a real war between Europe and the USA (with the UK basically on the USA’s side) will come as one day Europe will take steps to ‘eliminate the competition’ so to speak (cf. Daniel 8:25; 11:39; USA in Prophecy: The Strongest Fortresses).

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