Trade wars

The USA has temporarily suspended the tariffs it threatened to deploy against China. Apparently the trade talks are making progress. China accepts that the balance of payments surplus it enjoys with the USA is excessive, and wishes to help the USA find more ways to sell to China. Some of this requires market opening by China of a general kind, and some requires more successful US exporting relative to say Germany of products China already imports.

China is a heavy importer of transport goods, engineered products and technology. The USA is wishing to be more cautious about how much technology she sells, given worries about the way China has handled Intellectual Property in the past.  Boeing will be hoping a new trade deal strengthens their hand against Airbus, and the US car makers will  be wishing to do better against Mercedes and BMW.

The UK should win from some of the changes envisaged. China accepts she needs to liberalise her banking and financial services markets more, which could assist the UK as well as the US. We too have a substantial trade deficit with China.

I assume Mr Trump would prefer to find some common ground and show he has a “win”. So far China seems to understand and accept this, and is busy trying to find ways in which the US can do a  bit better. China can argue that her policy is to liberalise progressively anyway, as she has been doing at a slow pace since joining the WTO.  Accepting the idea that the trade gap must narrow a lot is one thing, but bringing about the day to day reality of more US exports or fewer US imports is still going to take time and will be difficult to deliver.

 

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88 Comments

  1. Lifelogic.
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 5:20 am | Permalink

    On balance I tend to think that the patent laws do more harm then good for overall prosperity. They certainly create lots of largely parasitic jobs, patents fees and litigation. The only justification for them is where they encourage more investment in R&D and this get real results that would not have come anyway. Sometimes they do this but on balance I am not convinced. I suspect they are a net negative overall slowing down R&D.

    Being competitive is what really matters. This not easy with all the obstacles, taxes and lunacies that this bloated and inept UK government like to shackle us with.

    • Adam
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic:

      If you spent 5 years creating a valuable invention, should everyone else be free to exploit it, or would you prefer some patent protection to reduce their competitive advantage?

      • forthurst
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

        I friend of mine worked for a company that developed a machine for manufacturing a component part of an engine’s piston assembly; the Chinese indicated that they would be in the market for six commencing with a single purchase. My friend duly went with a team to install the machine and train their staff . The Chinese were so impressed that they reverse engineered the device and manufactured it themselves.

    • Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Being competitive is not easy against countries with lower wages.

      Economic nationalism is Trump’s approach to address trade imbalances.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:35 am | Permalink

      Being competitive is really important. But if you have no patent laws, then you take away the incentive to innovate! What’s the point of being an entrepreneur and creating a great product if someone bigger can come along and nick it off you really easily. Patents is essential. And the UK needs to get much more serious about R&D. We’re about one percentage point behind the USA, Germany and other countries like us.

  2. DUNCAN
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    Trump’s performance since becoming POTUS as been nothing short of spectacular.

    He’s eye-balled North Korea and China and both have warmed to his approach. I believe both countries appreciate his direct approach. They appreciate the fact that he’s NOT a politician but an astute, hard-nosed businessman who understands who deals are done.

    Unlike his predecessor, Trump isn’t a political robot who feels the need to smooth and modify his language to accommodate current social trends. That brutality of language is so welcome in today’s homogenised, controlled and artificial environment

    China is now conscious that Trump’s not playing the political game practised under Obama where leaders got together in a room to ‘do deals’. No, Trump’s out in the open and he’s not prepared to embrace some form of cosy status quo. His use of quid pro quo tactics is refreshing as well

    We need more apolitical politicians who refuse to play the political game. Politicians who embrace the depoliticisation of the world in which we live. Politicians who understand that power doesn’t belong to the State but belongs to the individual and the State’s function is to protect our freedoms and not dilute them as we see under PM May

    I welcome any politician who destroys and dismantles the liberal left agenda and its construct. Driven by the EU this type of politics is designed to suck power to the centre and minimise democratic accountability

    Trump must now target his enemies in the US and neutralise their influence.

    Our party, the Tory party needs a Trump. Such a person would appeal to a wide cross section of the British population especially traditional Labour voters

    • Man of Kent
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Agreed, he has also relieved the US of involvement in the Paris Climate Change racket to heap global taxes on emissions and forces them to bankroll much of the transfer of funds from rich to poor countries .

      Through his Head of EPA Scott Pruitt he is now demanding rigorous science in framing regulations.

      If only we could uncover someone like Trump to take us forward at this critical time.

      We have 10 months to Brexit.and we are going on with the same old useless negotiations where we give away concessions with nothing in return .
      Boris has lost his nerve .JRM is too trusting and polite and no one is brave enough to stop TM .

      If we don’t act now to make ‘No Deal ‘ a possibility then the biggest majority our country has seen will be let down as we grind on through a two year transition period to an uncertain end state.
      This can only be a mighty cock up or devious conspiracy .
      It is certainly not rational .

      • Man of Kent
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

        Have just listened to JRM on ‘Moggcast’ on Conservative Home.

        A welcome change in tone from trusting and polite to a disappointment that TM’s words are not matched by her actions .

        But no plan of action to get change .
        Just advice on what to do which is v. sensible but we all feel that TM does not want to leave .

        Indeed JRM says ,
        ‘We’re getting to the point where you wonder whether the Government really wants to leave at all .’

    • Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:34 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t agree more Duncan – You said it all

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Trump does not have to act under the parameters of the EU. Is there any country in the world that has given so much just to talk about trade? May has given £100 billion, allowed a foreign judicial system over citizens in this country, provide welfare payments to EU children who have never set foot here and not yet born, mass immigration to continue, given away rights to U.K. Territorial waters and fishing stock after we allegedly leave the EU, regulatory alignment i.e. Single market to allow 27 foreign countries to decide the U.K. trade policy, given away security and defence for nothing with the other side saying the U.K. is no longer trustworthy to share security with, allow the EU to inspect U.K. Budget before parliament does, allow a foreign power to set taxes, gives a foreign power nearly four billion in overseas aid to spend as it wishes without recourse to any British politician in addition to the fourteen billion it spends on overseas aid, shamelessly allow any U.K. Citizens to be arrested and taken to a foreign country without time limited process or any judicial process in this country under the European Arrest Warrant introduced out of choice by May, allows a foreign power to set policies on a host of issues as it is the EU competence not U.K. i.e. Environment today has a raft of high taxing useless proposal just to fleece the taxpayer when Gove and Hammond has done nothing to help the U.K. Citizen against VW illegal emissions, nothing giants Germany or the EU! This has gone on for 15 years or so. Trump in contrast fined VW Fifteen billion dollars and had cars replaced! Is there any sane rational person in the world who would agree to this or not consider it a bad deal? Other than May of course.

    • sm
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      While President Trump may have proved himself a ‘hard-nosed’ business man, a check out of some of his business dealings demonstrate that he has frequently not been astute – unless you consider deliberately causing others to lose their investments to be a clever move.

      However, I agree that having leaders who would take a far tougher line in international (and pan-European) matters would certainly be welcome at this time.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Trumps performance has been outstanding and I am utterly ashamed of our own politicians and the BBC in particular on this.

      The same treatment for Trump is meted out with Brexit. The same treatment was meted out for Reagan and Thatcher.

      The ‘clever’ chattering classes simply cannot stand the fact that The People have more sense than they do.

      The thing that Andy and Newmania fear most is Brexit being successful. It would prick their mighty egos for good and their *not* being proven wrong is more important to them than democracy and the good of the country.

    • Bob
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      @Duncan
      Agree with that.
      The world seems to have come under a malign influence that is fronted by two faced mealy mouthed placemen.

      We need fewer Theresa Mays and more Donald Trumps.

    • NickC
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Duncan, I agree. Especially we see the difference between Donald Trump’s approach and Theresa May’s. Her capitulation and appeasement, egged on by Remain civil servants, simply does not work. The result of her efforts – frightened by the EU, frightened by the Irish, and frightened by her own Remains – is neither Remain nor Leave.

      This is not a matter of the size of our nations, it’s a function of personal courage, fortitude, and integrity. President Trump has it, but PM May doesn’t. She seems incapable of taking onboard the fact that Parliament provided us with a binary choice, Remain or Leave. A compromise is not Leave. The reality is we voted to become as independent of the EU, in legal terms, as the USA is, or New Zealand.

      Mrs May cannot fudge this, as she has so many of her other tasks in the past. It is too critical; and too public. She must now step aside to give someone else the job she so evidently is unable to do.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:41 am | Permalink

      Our Tory party doesn’t need a Trump – but a Lou Gersnter-type businessman.

      Gerstner (former of IBM) made really tough business decisions. But at same time, he knew how to create a culture of ‘win-win’ (‘win-win’ is what creates long-term, smooth success). ‘Win’win’ business culture is all about understanding people – their strengths and weaknesses and getting them to work together – teams produce much better results than individuals purely out for themselves. Gerstner was also highly creative, a real strategic-thinker, and very much focused on R&D.

      These are all the things we really need for the smooth, long-term future of our country.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

        In fairness to Trump, though, he seems to be doing well over N. Korea (but I’m sure a Lou Gerstner would have had the same success).

      • libertarian
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

        Ed M

        Lou Gerstner… are you sure….IBM never recovered its leading position after his appointment to the board, he sacked 100,000 staff and allowed Microsoft to overtake the company . This R&D of which you speak produced what exactly?

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted May 23, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

          @Libertarian,

          Gerstner wasn’t perfect, but BEFORE he arrived at IBM, the company was already spiralling into oblivion – due to Microsoft and many other reasons – once Gerstner arrived in IBM, it was too late for IBM to compete with Bill Gates’ particular vision for the personal computer – Gersnter chose another path instead – focusing on IT services as well as mainframes.

          Besides tweaking the part of the market to compete in, he also had to make the company solvent – he had to let a lot of people go – no choice. He focused on employees working with each other instead of competing with each other, on bringing different departments closer together, on branding. And much more.

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted May 23, 2018 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          ‘This R&D of which you speak produced what exactly?’

          – Do you mean IBM or in general (not sure about IBM). If in general, let’s look at the figures: Intel spent a whopping 22% of revenue on R&D. Other high tech companies / digital companies show similar results.

          R&D is essential in technology. I don’t see this as a particularly controversial claim whether talking about IBM, Apple, Intel, Volkswagen, Amazon, or whoever (even small tech companies have to spend money).

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted May 23, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

          Btw, just reading, ‘Trump, Congress approve largest U.S. research spending increase in a decade’ – Science MAG.’

          • Ed Mahony
            Posted May 23, 2018 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

            The report says, ‘The bill notes “this strong investment in basic research reflects the Congress’ growing concern that China and other competitors are outpacing the United States in terms of research spending.”

            – Does the UK government have similar ‘concerns’ as Congress? Doesn’t appear so to me.

            Meanwhile you have the Israeli government doing really creative stuff, like setting up a public hedge fund few years ago, to attract private investment into Tel Aviv’s high tech industry. Hugely successful as Tel Aviv has since become a major high tech hub.

            Let’s not forget, high tech / digital is HUGE (revenue / quality jobs / high productivity / high exports abroad). And yet so many politicians here in the UK seem fairly lukewarm about it. I don’t get it.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Trump has demonstrated nothing in terms of creating strong and stable growth in the USA market. We could end up with just another big boom.bust like in 2008 but even worse (because we haven’t really sorted things out properly). Great.

      Also, he’s got nothing to say about the big social problems in the USA. I want to live in a country – here, the UK – with strong and stable growth, and where families can do well, we don’t have gay marriage, high crime, low investment in the arts, and other things that make us civilised and sane.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

        The Conservative establishment in the UK was pro the Iraq War. But the true Conservative position should have been to oppose Blair and Labour on Iraq. 1. WMD had no been discovered (Blix hadn’t been allowed to finish his jobs. Much more important, no proper long-term planning had been done for Iraq after the war. And now look at the mess we’re in, with no counter to Iran in this area as the terrorists using this part of the world as a playing field.

        I’m very uncomfortable about how some Tories now are singing Trumps praises to the hilt with holding back and just really looking hard at things. Just looking at the short-term and not the long-term. Trump has done nothing to convince me that overall he’s good news for the USA and the world (although I admit he’s been good, so far, over N. Korea).

        • Ed Mahony
          Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:16 am | Permalink

          Lastly, i want to see more Tories being counter-cultural (against other Tories not thinking long/hard enough, e.g. on Trump – not just against socialists and liberals important as that is).

          ROCK THE BOAT! (Like Winston Churchill) instead of jumping on the band wagon.

          If more Tories had rocked the boat with Blair, we’d could avoided the disaster in Iraq and the Middle East (and we could have intervened, to a degree, in Syria, more, but now there is no call at all because we already intervened in Iraq)

          If more Tories had rocked the boat with Cameron, we’d never have ended up with dreadful gay marriage (as opposed to civil partnership) which is the worst thing to strike this country in ages.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Indeed and he is cutting taxes and he sound on the climate alarmism scam/fraud/racket and going for cheap reliable energy and scrapping the bonkers Paris Agreement too.

      Alas we have Hammond & May who do the complete opposite and is still increasing taxes from the highest for 40 years and with absurd tax complexity and fiscal stupidity as an additional burden on top.

      The Conservative Party is a party of low taxation or it is nothing. With Hammond it clearly aspires to nothing.

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

        Gove trying to stop the burning of wood in log burners! Gove is in a government that has allowed Drax power station to source wood from American forests, have it cut down, transported by Deisel lorries, Deisel ships shipped across the Atlantic, Deisel lorries transport to power station for it to be burnt! He announces a crack down on Deisel cars, wood burning etc all to increase tax for the EU as VAT was added energy. Is there anyone sane in the Tory government?

    • gregory martin
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Time to prepare a short list. Head hunters needed.
      Where should one start? Military? Corporate sector? Aristocrat of independant means?
      Treat as urgent.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 23, 2018 at 9:13 am | Permalink

      ‘hard-nosed businessman’

      – suggests to me someone who takes short-cuts, element of greed, perhaps a degree of psychopathy, ‘win-lose’ mentality, and walking over others in a selfish way. You can earn lots of money like this – but it brings no real – real happiness (just a cheap thrill), and can easily mess up your relationships with others, in private life. Just look at Scrooge.

      I love business but it should be about hard work. Work ethic. Creativity / innovation / entrepreneurship / win-win and so on. If the Quakers were really successful at business (and really enjoyed it – and no-one can accuse the Quakers of being ‘naive’ in business – they were the best businessmen this country has ever produced) then why can’t the rest of us, even if not as hard-working and honest as them?

      Lastly, an economy focused on ‘hard-nosed’ only leads to short-term although, rapid profits—and then bust. We only just escaped a depression last time.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 23, 2018 at 9:21 am | Permalink

        ‘hard-nosed businessman’

        – also life is too short to be a hard-nosed anything.

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    How to make the UK more competitive that the EU, China and USA?

    First, leave the EU on 29-03-19 without extension.
    Second, spend half the 40 Billion on preparing UK industry to compete effectively on WTO terms.
    Third, use the other 20 billion to reduce corporation tax.

    Just trying to be positive….

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:46 am | Permalink

      I think a really important way the UK needs to become more competitive is to increase our R&D so we’re level with the USA, Germany and others (we’re way behind). R&D is key in the high tech industry, and creating great jobs that people love (leading to higher productivity), and great, high quality products that people love to buy in whichever part of the globe.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      Copy Singapore.

      Have a competent and efficient government like them. Tax as a percentage of GDP about 15% (about 1/3 of the UK) and GDP per cap about double that of the UK.
      About half the unemployment rate of the UK and rather better public service in general too.

      But May and Hammond clearly want the complete opposite, to stick to the failed “European Model” and to regulate and tax to death and to virtue signal on gender pay and the likes!

    • Andy
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      Why reduce Corporation Tax and not just abolish it ?? It is a relatively new tax and I see no reason why we should not just tax withdrawals from a company, be they wages or dividends.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

        Andy

        EXACTLY

        If you take money out of a company the tax take is higher than CT anyway, If you leave it in the company and reinvest then real growth and productivity start to happen

        We must stop taxing everything that moves, or doesn’t !

  4. Mark B
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    I like President Trump and think he is doing a good job for the USA. His USA first policy and tough talk and actions seem to be paying dividends. Teresa May MP please take note.

    If want to make an omelette you have to be prepared to break some eggs. President Trump is a businessman first and a politician last. He knows what is good and what is not and knows how to get it. No wonder our Chancellor had a touch of the vapours when President Trump cut taxes in the USA. Cannot see Numbers 10 and 11 wanting to do the same. Bloody Liberals. 😉

    • agricola
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:50 am | Permalink

      Bloody Liberals is correct. The whole political establishment is left of centre while pretending to be something they are not. Corbyn and his cabal pretending to be socialist while in fact they are Marxist. May and most of her cabinet pretending to be Conservatives while in fact being left of centre socialists.. The Lib / Dems can of course be anything to anyone. Get our exit from the EU wrong and you will see some changes.

      • Andy
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 11:03 am | Permalink

        Actually it is not correct: they are not ‘Bloody Liberals’ and I can detect no liberal qualities in them. To me this is one of the major problems today: the political class and the establishment elite are not interested in Liberty and are actually becoming more and more authoritarian. The Corbyn Cabal might appear to be Marxists, but they are more accurately Fascist Left and they would be very authoritarian if they ever gained power as I rather expect they might.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      Our country needs a businessman – but more like a Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Lou Gersnter than a Donald Trump. The first three are completely different type of business people to Trump – far more comprehensive, creative and strategic in their approach to business. Just what the UK needs.

    • acorn
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

      Trump’s corporate tax cuts were supposed to increase investment for greater production capacity and more US jobs. That is not happening for basic reasons that Trump does not understand.

      Corporate America has plenty of spare production capacity left after the 2008 crash. They just need more customers to use up that spare capacity. The customers’ real incomes are still struggling to get above the 2008 crash level. Hence, no need for new capital investment for a few years yet.

      Corporate America is using the tax cuts to buy up and cancel their own shares, which increases the remaining share prices, and acts as a “special dividend” for shareholders, tax free.

      What Trump will get by the end of his term is a budget deficit of circa $1,000 billion, nearly twice the Obama deficit. Not that is actually a worry for the currency issuing US Treasury, who ain’t ever going to run out of US Dollars to finance the deficit.

  5. alan jutson
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Take on board your comments John, but if the USA Narrows the balance with China then Trump has won, perhaps not as much as he originally wanted, but nevertheless better than existing arrangements.
    Just shows how taking a tough line at the outset can produce results.

    I wonder if our Prime Minister has learn’t anything from seeing the success of such actions ?

    On second thoughts no, she is still in give-away and extending deadline mode, with complicated unworkable arrangements .

    “Keep it simple stupid” was always the model to follow, for a good reason, it usually works out better for everyone in the end.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:34 am | Permalink

      Keeping things very complex works out very well for Eurocrats.

      • Hope
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

        Alan, it is a strategy to keep the U.K. in the EU in the hope that over time (backstop solutions means we keep paying and keep taking orders as avassal state) we will change our minds at a high cost to the taxpayer for daring to vote leave. This is not stupid. It is being allowed by Leave MPs. They should oust her. Her delaying backstop solutions will go beyond the next election so the Tories might as well grasp the problem and get rid of her now. She and other remainers think that if both Tories and Labour only offer remain we have not other choice. When Labour come to power the Leave MP will have no influence or leverage whatsoever.

    • Mitchel
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:15 am | Permalink

      Reuters in their analysis has determined that “the biggest immediate beneficiary appeared to be China”- not only with regard to tarrifs but also the reprieve for telecom equipment manufacturer,ZTE Corp,which had been caught in breach of Iran sanctions.All the US appears to be getting is a vague promise from China to buy more commodities-food and energy-from the US.

      More interesting than this trade spat to me is how the EU is going to deal with the Iran sanctions;whether they accept they are economic vassals of the US or whether they break with US policy.Intriguingly,there’s a lot of high level activity going on between Germany and Russia-four visits by senior German ministers(including two by Merkel herself)to Russia over the past month.

      • alan jutson
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

        Mitchel

        You are surely not suggesting that Mrs Merkel is negotiating for Germany, without including the whole of the EU are you, because that would never do if we were to do the same whilst still Members.

      • David Price
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

        Merkel turned her face away from the West and towards Russia a long time ago

        • Mitchel
          Posted May 22, 2018 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

          Every sensible German knows that Russia is Germany’s natural partner.Plus Germany will almost certainly want to tap into the vast process of Eurasian integration that’s underway ,led by China and Russia.

          The EU is so last year!

  6. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Surely the Americans cannot reasonably expect to export more to China unless they agree that the US shall be subject to Chinese law, which shall have primacy over US law with the territory of the US, and that every Chinese citizen shall have the (almost) automatic right to come and live and work and settle permanently in the US.

    That is how it is done in Europe, the “single market” model, and even if you are only exporting 0.1% of your GDP across a land border to an EU country that is held to be enough to justify your full domestic adoption of supreme EU law.

    Or are the Americans hoping for some special alternative arrangement whereby only US exports to China will have to conform to Chinese requirements, while the rest of the US country and economy and people will not be subject to Chinese law?

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

      And the same for the much flaunted Canadian deal – do they have freedom of movement, ECJ oversight etc?

    • Ian wragg
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Well said Denis. Compare and contrast Trump and the mealy mouthed surrender monkeys in Downing street.
      We are ruled by the very same people Trump is destroying.
      I’m sure to the chagrin of the, BBC and our left-wing media persona, Donald will get a second term.

    • agricola
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Satire is a good weapon when dealing with the obduracy of the EU

    • NickC
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      Denis Cooper, Hahaha, good one. I can see a few Remains on here spluttering into their cornflakes !

  7. agricola
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    Trumps market trader approach seems to resonate with the Chinese. Let’s hope some good comes of it. Not since tricky Dicky Nixon has China responded so positively. A wheeler dealer speaking to the Chinese seems to evoke more respect than years of civil service diplomatic talking in circles.. Trumps saying it as it is with no fancy wrapping appears to get results. One could only hope that our EU negotiation were fuelled with the same directness. Two years on and we are still unclear as to what we are asking for.

    • Adam
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      If Donald Trump’s office allowed it, he could have freelanced for the UK & wrapped up our EU negotiations pronto.

    • Bob
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:46 am | Permalink

      @agricola

      “Two years on and we are still unclear as to what we are asking for.”

      We don’t need to ask for anything, if Brussels want free and frictionless trade, all well and good, if not then WTO prevails.

      • agricola
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

        My view too, but what is the government aiming to achieve. I doubt even they know.

  8. Andy
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:37 am | Permalink

    Talking of trade – I note the Tory hard-right pensioners have sneaked out their post Brexit Dover policy. They are, literally, going to turn the M20 into a car park! Brilliant.

    The southbound carriageway will be used for queues of lorries bound for the EU. These lorries currently do not currently go through customs checks and the M20 is only used in this way when there is serious disruption – usually because of technical or weather problems, or because of strikes.

    Post Brexit everyday is an Operation Stack day – because more lorries will checks. The hard Brexiteers who promised us Brexit would mean less bureaucracy are giving us much mlre bureaucracy. They have finally discovered the existence of this thing called the European Customs Union – which most of them hadn’t heard of until long after the referendum. (But it has the word Europe in it so they know they don’t like – even though they mostly don’t know what it is).

    Separately Mrs May has admitted she would like to pay to access Euratom and other EU science agencies because these things – which fall under the ultimate jurisdiction of the ECJ – actually turn out to fairly vital to Britain’s national interests. The Daily Express will clearly explode with rage about that one.

    Brilliant. You really couldn’t make this stuff up.

    I have never been more confident that we will not only swiftly undo the Brexit car crash but that we will wipe out the Tory pensioners who have given it to us in the process. Bring on the next election. Even Mr Corbyn will annihilate you.

  9. Lifelogic
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    So the government, having encourage wood burning stoves with tax payer funded renewable energy grants for years, now want to stop people using them. Wood burning was always rather polluting as was very well know at the time.

    Will we stop the completely insane bio fuels importation to burn at Drax too? Carbon dioxide on the other hand is not pollution and indeed, on balance, is probably beneficial in greening the planet, increasing crop yields and increasing plant & tree growth.

    Why are we governed by such complete incompetent idiots with zero understanding of energy engineering and science? Are bonfires and is bonfire night to be banned now too?

    When will the UK follow Trump’s sensible lead and abandon the unscientific lunacy of the Paris Climate Agreement and all the rest of the climate alarmist frauds and damaging agreements? As Bishop Curry said at the royal wedding;- Fire to a great extent made human civilization possible.

    • Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

      It will be a brave PM that follows Trump in dismissing the nonsense over alleged man-made-climate-change – The socialist establishment is fully tied into this vague idea, which gets more scientific proof every month that it is a false God.
      If it wasn’t for the lemming effect within parliament, we might get someone to actually review the evidence, and see how wrong the predictions have been – The south of England should have been under water by now, according to the alarmists….
      The UNIPCC has been found out many times manipulating reports to coincide with their political agenda…but our government ignores that.
      OH for rational sensible government that can think for itself.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

      Whenever the UK government comes up with an obviously daft proposal, which is more often than it should if our political system was working properly, my initial presumption is always that it has come from the EU and it is part of the price we all have to pay so 6% of UK businesses can have a rather easier time exporting 12% of our GDP to the rest of the EU, as mentioned here only last week:

      http://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8309#fullreport

      “Brexit: Customs and Regulatory Arrangements in the Future Partnership Agreement”

      On page 15:

      “… businesses who export to the EU tell us that it is strongly in their interest to have a single set of regulatory standards that mean they can sell into the UK and EU markets.”

      There in a nutshell is the fundamental philosophical fallacy which has underlain our mistaken involvement with the EU’s politically driven “single market” model right from the start, that because the 6% of UK businesses who export 12% of UK GDP to the EU want a single set of regulatory standards, the EU standards, that justifies the imposition of EU laws on the entire country and its economy and all its individual citizens.

      And now Theresa May and her Brexit negotiators are going beyond even that stupidity to suppose that the about 0.1% of UK GDP which is exported across the Irish land border in itself justifies complete EU compliance by the entire UK economy.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      PPE degrees ensures that most things politicians do will be useless expensive and probably counter productive.
      Ask any voter about leaving the EU and they probably make a better job of it than our government.

    • Iain Moore
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      We have a per capita CO2 emissions of 10 tons, perhaps they should stop growing our population if they want to cut CO2 output Last year the British state allowed 2.44 million tons of CO2 output to walk across the border. But as the British state is incapable of managing our borders , I doubt it will be able to police what we are burning in our wood stoves. Around here the presence of the British state has been withdrawn, I haven’t seen a police officer in over a decade, so Gove can pull what ever lever he has in Whitehall, as its not connected with what happens around here, we will carry on doing what we think is sensible, regardless of the huffing and puffing and virtue signalling being done in this strange foreign village called Westminster.

    • Andy
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:37 am | Permalink

      While mentioning air quality, can we ban bonfires too? We have a neighbour – predictably a pensioner – who thinks it is fine to burn his filth any time of the day – any time of the year.

      A cloud of his toxic gunk hangs over our house – seeping in through the vents. He particularly likes burning on hot days in the summer – when our washing is out, our doors and windows are open. He also likes burning on wet winter evenings when the toxic filth hangs in the air, choking us all and making my children sick.

      Burning bonfires in a built up area is, perhaps, one of the most grotesquely anti-social acts imaginable. Let’s stick ASBOs on the people who do it. It is mostly pensioners as younger people have no problem using the green bin instead.

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:07 am | Permalink

      Lifelogic

      When one starts digging under the surface into the many beneficiaries of International Climate alarmist drivel, it is easy to understand why it has so many staunch advocates?

      There are those that encourage the unconditional destruction of the fossil fuel industry; Activist scaremongering – championing a “$100 billion a year climate fund” for developing countries; Multi-University long-term Climate Change investigation and research project funding; Left-wing Teachers with limited science knowledge actively teaching climate alarmism to the youth; Wealth redistribution politics. The list is long and varied.

      Climate crisis? Alarmists are installing fear in the usual way, with a combination of bad science combined with false confidence in baseless conjectures, artful omissions and overtly left-wing politics.

      Thankfully, we are slowly wising up to this damaging and costly nonsense, with Trump leading the way. Once the self-serving beneficiaries have been outed, a sensible debate may be achieved.

      I am not suggesting we ignore Climate changes completely, just wishing to ensure the nefarious beneficiaries do not run the agenda?

    • Man of Kent
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      ‘on balance ,is probably beneficial ‘
      CO2 does indeed green the planet, increases crop yields and plant and tree growth .

      The notion that it is also a greenhouse gas may be correct but at 0.04% it is insignificant .

      Water vapour , clouds are significant and also through albedo keep the planet cool .
      The problem with warmist theory is that CO2 has been steadily rising for the past 50 years but temperature correlation is not there .

      Good points on Drax , Paris , wood burners and Bishop Curry .
      The

    • Bob
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

      @lifelogic
      Seems that so many MPs have PPE degrees, and so few have science degrees.
      And there lies the problem.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Tech entrepreneurs are coming up with great solutions to pollution. And whether they feel strongly about it or not (or whether climate problems are real or not), it doesn’t matter. They win. Either because they’re really passionate about it (and that’s key to success in business) and/or because they see a demand in the market for it (which there is whether you disagree with consumers or not / commentator or not).

      Science is amazing. It can solve all our problems (1. the demand for ‘strong + stable’ growth as well as 2. the concerns of many for reducing pollution for the benefit of future generations). But it does need some help: patience, perseverance, creative approaches and so on. Whether people agree or not about climate change, the UK high tech industry mustn’t miss out on the great opportunities of making lots of money in developing and manufacturing green-friendly technology.

  10. Prigger
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Behaviour of the US stock markets indicates they never believed tariffs would be imposed. Chinese stock markets though there was some repositioning bottomed weeks ago. The “safe haven of Japan” turned out to be mere blip, an upward tick without continuation.
    Meantime May and Hammond have been berating Trump at every step and siding with the EU in terms of foreign policy, trade and hippy Green issues.. Actually undermining America in its trade talks with China and positioning on Iran presenting a united UK-EU front just as the Remoaners undermine our negotiations with Barnier.
    The British media have gone along with the anti-American stance of May and Corbyn.
    We need a pro-American government in Westminster not the silent ally of Putin that it now is.

  11. Iain Moore
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    If the Chinese want to be part of international trade, then they should be made to float their currency . It may be not as bad as it was, but the Chinese still manipulate their currency value , which can only be to get themselves a competitive advantage.

    • Andy
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      Like the Germans have done with the Euro.

      • Iain Moore
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

        True, the Euro is a means for the Germans to hide their surpluses, while not being obligated to make any fiscal transfers, as you might expect in a normal currency area.

        • Andy
          Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

          The Germans will never see the bulk of their Target 2 surplus, but their political class are pretending over wise – it will all end badly.

  12. fedupsoutherner
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    Three cheers for Trump. He knows what he wants for his country, puts it first and then goes all out to get the best deal possible. In his book no deal is better than a bad deal. Take note Mrs May and all the luvvies in parliament. While this country is being sold down the river the USA is turning itself around and all for the good.

    I see that councils in England are going to clamp down on wood burning stoves while the government is happy to burn wood at Drax. With all the wood burning for power stations do they actually realise that much virgin forest is being chopped down in Europe? It’s not just the rain forests of Brazil and Indonesia that are being decimated. Now we also have the green eco warriors who all wanted wind turbines and all the other ‘green’ crap up in arms over the fact that turbine blades are being dumped in Africa. What the hell did they think would happen to them all. So many other countries are being affected by green issues detrimentally but it’s all ok with our governments and politicians as long as it’s not on our soil.

    All the time we can get choice on line we are not going to bother to drive into crowded towns and pay a premium to park only to find a limited choice and terrible service. Putting up rates is also driving the smaller shops out of business in our town to be replaced by charities or just empty neglected properties. Amazon is a prime example of how easy it is to shop on line because they offer practically everything I need without having to leave the house.

  13. Adam
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Trade needn’t be a war. Commerce exists to satisfy consumers. If each consumer receives what is needed at the price they & the supplier regard as worth it, there is no contest.

  14. gregL
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Am sorry but I cannot find anything good to say about Trump..as far as I can see the US economy is in runaway mode..things could be better or they could be worse..nothing at all to do with Trump who is busy out there mouthing off against anything or anyone one he takes a dislike to while tearing up international agreements without any consideration as to the consequences.

    So let’s wait to see how this meeting with the North Korean leader goes..if it goes at all?..my take on it is that they, the Chinese and Koreans, have him well weighed up and are playing him like a fish..even Netanyahu has him in his pocket- some dealmaker?

  15. hans christian ivers
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    This is the regime we will be trading if we end up with the so-called “NO DEAL ” with the EU,
    this is really comforting to know and should really secure our future as a trading nation.

    I think I would prefer a deal (46% of our trade for 500 million people as oppose to 54% of our trade with 5 billion people.)

    This would hopefully give us the chance of working on both markets, as the Germans have not had any problems trading with the Chinese (five times as much as our exports to China), being part of the EU as well.

    • Edward2
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 11:45 am | Permalink

      It is not 46% of our trade as you and many remain supporters regularly state.

      83% of our GDP is created inside the UK
      Of the remaining 17% about 40% is with Europe and 60% is with the rest of the world.
      Very different.
      And the figures for our trade with the rest of the world are rising.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

        As is the trade with the EU growing, so thank you for the input , I was referring to external trade so good with a definition sorted out

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Edward 2

        1) I did not vote for remain
        2) Your figures on external trade are wrong.
        3) 2017 figures are exports to EU 44% and imports 53% of extrenal trade
        4) Exports grew from 43% in 2016 to 44% in 2017,

        So I am not sure where you got your figures from, but I would check them again it I were you.

        thank you

        • Edward2
          Posted May 22, 2018 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

          I said about 40%
          I made no comment on how you voted in the referendum.
          I stand by the core figure that remainers often say it is 46% of our trade.
          It is not.
          As I explained.
          Thank you.

    • mancunius
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      I’d prefer to trade with Trump than with a trading partner that uses a permanently undervalued currency, carries on building up trade surpluses and pretends not to notice its own premeditated course of action: when other world traders object, it claims to be part of an economic unit called the EU. When other EU nations want some of the profit, it suddenly puts on the face of an ‘independent Germany’ again, and refuses to hand over any of its ill-gotten gains.
      China used to play that game. Germany has been playing it for far, far longer, and nobody in the EU knows how to stop them.

      • hans christian ivers
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

        there are actually other countries in Europe that have a higher trade surplus in percentage terms then Germany, so I do not buy that German conspiracy theory at all

  16. Trumpeteer
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 1:20 pm | Permalink

    “Airbus confirms amendments to comply with WTO over subsidies
    Reuters Reuters•22 May 2018” following a legal battle by Trump.

    #~If you join a bad boys gang like the EU, you will inevitably come up against legal action and have do pay the price.

    • hans christian ivers
      Posted May 22, 2018 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      this battle on Airbus was started way before Trump by Boing and was not initiated by Trump

      • Trumpeteer
        Posted May 22, 2018 at 6:46 pm | Permalink

        So, Trump is not the only one who sees the illegality of EU company tactics.

        • hans christian ivers
          Posted May 23, 2018 at 6:56 am | Permalink

          illegalities were committed on both sides by both Boeing and Airbus, get your facts right

          • Trumpeteer
            Posted May 23, 2018 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

            “So, Trump is not the only one who sees the illegality of EU company tactics” Read what I write precisely…or try a hobby other than reading which, requires a certain degree of precision and exacting comprehension.

          • libertarian
            Posted May 23, 2018 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

            hans

            Yes but Boeing is just about to open its first ever factory in Europe …. in Sheffield

  17. Chris
    Posted May 22, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    The art of the deal, by President Trump:

    Apparently, “Trump just negotiated a $380 BILLION dollar reduction in our trade deficit with China…”

    and

    from Global Times:
    China will cut import tariffs on full vehicles from 20-25% to 15%, and tariffs on auto parts from 8-25% to 6%, starting July 1: Ministry of Finance

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    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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