President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday morning that he was going to delay implementation of looming taxes on a broad set of Chinese-made goods and sent the stock market soaring.
Just one week ago, financial markets were heading in the opposite direction as his administration officially designated China as a currency manipulator.
In both cases, the literal implications of the policy changes are modest. Instead, the market reaction seems to be about reading the tea leaves as to Trump’s longer-term intentions.
Designating China as a currency manipulator had no automatic consequences for policy in Washington or Beijing. It was simply seen as an escalating move and a sign of hardening hearts, an indication that Trump’s fans in the business community might not be getting the pre-election climbdown from trade war that they craved.
Conversely, delaying the tariffs on a portion of the scheduled-for-tariffing products by a few months does not have a particularly large direct impact on the American economy. Stocks went up instead largely because it was seen as a sign that the previous signs of escalation in the trade negotiations had been read wrongly. Trump seems to remain attuned to stock market signals and nervous about indications that global financial markets don’t like trade confrontation. That gives investors reason to believe that Trump ultimately won’t push trade war to the limits, and that sent markets soaring.
The fact that Trump climbed down in the midst of increasing international attention to escalating protests and crackdowns in Hong Kong gives Chinese leaders a timely propaganda win. But critically, nothing in the vast US-China trade dispute docket has actually been resolved. Trump just blinked a little bit in a mutually harmful conflict that has no obvious endpoint.
Trump is delaying taxes on Chinese-made consumer goods
Last year, the Trump administration imposed a new 10 percent tax on many categories of Chinese-made goods.
The list was carefully constructed to try to focus mostly on things that are sold to businesses rather than products an ordinary consumer would buy in stores because the administration wanted to minimize sticker shock to American consumers while putting pressure on Chinese businesses. Then after some delays, this spring Trump ended up raises that tariff to a 25 percent tax while threatening to go forward with a new 10 percent tax on the rest of Chinese imports.
That new tax had been scheduled to go into effect on September 1, but today the US Trade Representative’s Office announced that there will be a delay until December 15 for “certain articles … for example, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing.”
If you look at the full list, it is, again, basically an effort to exempt normal consumer goods from the taxes. That includes everything from iPhones to “record players, other than coin‐ or token‐operated, with loudspeakers” (i.e., a turntable you might buy for your house but not a jukebox) to baby monitors, watch bands, violins, sleeping bags, badminton nets, cigarette lighters, and diapers. There is a list of products with tariffs going forward in September, which is composed mostly of food and agricultural commodities.
The USTR’s official reason for the delay is that “certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent.”
This appears to reflect the unfortunate Trump era habit of having government officials just tell casual lies about the conduct of public policy. Trump has pretty clearly been worried about a loss of political support from farmers, so he is sticking with tariffs on Chinese agricultural products because that helps farmers. But he’s delaying the tariffs on other consumer products until late enough in the year for retailers to get through the critical Christmas shopping season without any need for price hikes.
In the larger trajectory of the American economy, a 10 percent tax on Chinese imports starting on September 1 and a 10 percent tax on Chinese imports starting on December 15 are not very different. The real question is where is this trade confrontation policy going and why.
Nobody truly knows what Trump is trying to accomplish
China really has been placed under significant pressure by the tariffs.
Officials have attempted to preserve the viability of Chinese exporting companies by allowing the value of their currency to decline, which means that everyday Chinese people are taking a hit to their living standards. There are also dozens of longstanding questions about the basic viability of the Chinese growth model, which is based on very low levels of household consumption with tons of money poured into domestic investment projects — projects that many outside observers believe are saddling Chinese banks with bad debts.
It’s also far from clear that China’s big push to get on the cutting edge of technology is totally working. China’s efforts to build a domestic competitor to the A320 and Boeing 737 has featured delays and massive cost overruns, and the plane still does not seem to work.
But China’s basic negotiating objectives are clear: Officials would like the US to stop implementing the tariffs without China needing to make fundamental changes about how its economy works.
What’s much less clear is what Trump’s objectives are. When it came to renegotiating NAFTA, Trump made a lot of big threats and engaged in tons of overheated rhetoric about how disastrous the original deal was. But the agreement he finally reached involved essentially three tweaks to the NAFTA framework — one that helps American autoworkers, one that helps American pharmaceutical companies, and one that helps American dairy farmers.
Whether that strikes you as a good thing or a bad thing on balance, it’s just not that big of a deal. And it doesn’t change the basic structure of NAFTA as a program to facilitate deep integration of product markets across the US, Canada, and Mexico.
For a while, it seemed like Trump was aiming for something similar with China — talk a big game, wring out a few concessions for a few specific industries, and declare victory.
But at other times, Trump has seemed to want to seriously push for China to genuinely dismantle huge swathes of how its current economic policy works. Trump has also seemed to want to push for China to reduce the bilateral trade deficit with the United States to zero. Either of these would be a tall order, but they’re fundamentally different things, and Trump equivocates between them.
Another idea catching on in some national security circles is that the US shouldn’t be hoping to resolve this at all; proponents believe it would be a smart foreign policy move to “decouple” the two economies so that the US would just be doing less trade with China.
The partial climbdown on tariffs is a ray of hope for business people who want Trump to take a “declare victory and go home” approach to the trade conflict, hence the market surge. The surge itself will be used by some of Trump’s advisers to press the case that he should do a quick deal and enjoy the resulting stock market enthusiasm. But Trump himself has provided very little insight into what he’s thinking, and he’s much too dishonest for anything he says to have much value anyway.
People From Different Professions Showed How Special Their Workdays Can Be
Everyone knows that we spend half of our lives at work, where we are surrounded by a special world that has room for pleasant surprises, funny situations, and outside-the-box solutions for difficult tasks. For these reasons, people really like learning interesting things about different professions.
We at Bright Side love doing everything we can to broaden our outlook and we love seeing someone else’s photos that show an interesting fact or a funny situation that happened at the workplace.
“Hey! I’m volunteering in a bear refuge in Croatia and I felt like sharing a photo of this chillaxing fellow with you guys.”
Summer in Yamal: a worker wears a special suit that protects him from mosquitoes.
“I made a garbage cover to hide stuff in my van.”
Untitled, unknown, chalk, 2019
A colleague from Houston
A policeman’s partner that has finally passed all his exams and is ready to start work
The level of trust between the shop and its customers
What a plumber sees when he needs to change the pipes that were used to supply a building with cold water
Locals were alarmed and called the police when a monster climbed out of Kamogawa River in Kyoto. It was actually a giant salamander.
A delivery guy talks about one of his orders
This fireman is proposing to his girlfriend in the most fireman way possible. And his colleagues are helping!
Here’s what a selfie at your workplace looks like if you are a sailor.
This is a lens for people with really bad eyesight.
The roads in this small town are being fixed, so some delivery people are using alternative modes of transportation.
When you love your work and it loves you back:
This real gold FedEx ring for being a safe driver
A girl that works at a center of wildlife protection with her “pet”
Do any funny things happen at your work? Share your photos or just show us what your workplace looks like.
Full E-book The Secrets of Economic Indicators: Hidden Clues to Future Economic Trends and
Paperback. Pub Date :2012-08-03 Pages: 496 Language: English Publisher: FT Press For years. investors. business strategists. and policymakers worldwide have turned to one book to help them translate the massive flow of economic data into knowledge for intelligent decision-making. The Wall Street Journal called this book … the real deal. saying it miraculously breathes life into economic indicators and statistics. That book is Bernie Baumohl s classic best-seller The Secrets of Economic Indicators. Now. in a brand-new Third Edition. Baumohl has thoroughly updated his classic to reflect the latest US and foreign economic indicators. and brand-new insights into what all of today s leading indicators mean. Baumohl introduces dozens of new. forward-looking economic markers. including those that monitor small business plans. freight traffic shifts. web searches. and even gamblin…
7 Hidden Messages in “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” That Weren’t Meant for Kids
Lewis Carroll’s tale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland had an amazing influence on cinema, literature, and even psychology: movies and ballets were based on it, sequels and remakes were written. There is even a psychological disorder named after the main character: Alice in Wonderland Syndrome (AWS). This seemingly innocent children’s story was the subject of heated discussions by scientists of the 20th century and even Freud talked about it. The point of the discussions was simple: was the tale written for children or for adults?
Bright Side has read the book “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland Decoded” and tried to figure out which parts of the story can only be understood by adults.
1. Alice’s shrinking and growing is a sign of puberty.
When Alice ate a cake or drank a certain mixture, Alice would shrink or grow, and she was scared that she would disappear completely. While there were no actual reasons for the changes in her body in the text, scientists have 3 versions of what could have been the hidden meaning behind that episode:
- Alice’s body changes in a similar way to how it would change as a teenager during puberty. Many people think that Carroll showed the puberty of the character. But why this idea may also be wrong is because Alice is only 7 years old and it is too young to be a teenager.
- Astronomers link the character with the expanding Universe. According to one of the theories, the amount of matter in the Universe is constantly decreasing which will ultimately lead to its disappearance. Obviously, this is why the character was worried about shrinking so much that she would vanish.
- Other people see an indication of hallucinogenic substances, which make people completely disoriented, just like Alice.
2. The pig the character has is an English King.
It is believed that the tale is an allusion to the War of the Roses that took place in England in the 15th century. This time period was full of scheming, betrayal, and there were a lot of chopped heads — just like in the tale.
Assuming the guess is correct, then baby that turned into the pig is a member of the White Rose. And more specifically, it was Richard III who had a sigil with a white boar. Shakespeare even wrote a play about it where he presented Richard in a very bad light.
3. The smell of pepper in the house of the Duchess hides the smell of bad food.
The tale casually mentions that the house of the Duchess smells a lot like pepper because the scullery was adding pepper to the soup. But it may have been a hint at the problem that the food at the time was peppered a lot, to kill the smell of rotten ingredients.
4. Alice is Eve, who becomes a sinner.
The adventures of Alice starts in a quiet garden. It was an idyllic place, green and quiet, and that’s why it reminds many people the Garden of Eden. But Alice doesn’t take an apple, she goes down the rabbit hole and goes into a world that gives rise to incredible changes in her. This theory seems to be pretty logical: children are innocent but when Alice went into the hole (took the apple), she entered the world of puberty, adult life, and became a sinner.
5. Keys, doors, and caterpillars are Freudian symbols.
When Freudian theories became very popular around the world, the tale of Alice turned out to be full of gynecological symbols. The fans of Freud managed to see the symbols in the doors that were hidden behind the curtains, and keys that open these doors. Of course, they couldn’t have missed Absolem — the giant caterpillar that looks like a you know what.
Even though this theory has life, it is not very believable, because people can see these symbols everywhere if they really want to.
6. Walrus and Carpenter are actually Buddha and Jesus.
This is the name of the poem that the twin brothers Tweedledee and Tweedledum read to Alice. The poem tells the story about Walrus and Carpenter, that walk on the beach and call out for oysters to walk with them. The oysters go to the shore and Walrus and Carpenter eat them. Walrus then cries at the end.
There are several interpretations:
- Walrus is a caricature of Buddha, and Carpenter is Jesus. For example, the character Loki from Dogma believes this. The logic is simple: Walrus is fat and happy, so he is Buddha or elephant Ganesha, and Carpenter is the direct reference to the profession of the father of Jesus.
- J. Priestly is convinced that the poem is the story of England’s (Walrus) colonization of America (Carpenter).
- There is a more violent interpretation. Some people believe that Walrus and Carpenter are politicians that kill the masses — the oysters.
7. The poem about the White Rabbit in chapter 12 uncovers the love mystery of Carroll himself.
Some researchers see the reference to the unusual connection between Lewis Carroll and Alice Liddell that was the prototype of the main character. Here are the lines we are talking about:
He sent them word I had not gone
(We know it to be true):
If she should push the matter on,
What would become of you?
This is one of the most sensitive moments in the interpretation of the tale. Some people think that when the girl was supposed to come of age, the writer was going to marry her, but for some reason he had an argument with Mrs. Liddell and he never saw the members of the family since.
Do you want to read the tale now that you have some new knowledge about it in order to find some new hidden meaning? If yes, you can read the original manuscript written by Carroll himself here.
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