(Zero Hedge) Hours after Bloomberg reported that Beijing and Washington are working towards a resumption of trade talks, the Wall Street Journal reported that the two countries have “yet to make meaningful progress” moving forward from an impasse, as the next wave of US tariffs are set to hit as soon as Wednesday.
In every war there is a high price to pay, and this trade war will not be any different. The normal flow of goods and services around the globe is being severely disrupted, and even though this trade war has barely just begun, it is already having an enormous impact on the U.S. economy. Even if we ultimately win this trade war and the Trump administration is able to achieve all of the goals that it is targeting, there will still be a great cost in the short-term. We are going to see businesses fail, we are going to see workers get laid off, and global economic activity will inevitably contract. Heck, at this point even Fox News is calling this trade war “economic suicide”. We live at a time when a delicately balanced formula of economic factors allows us to live a debt-fueled standard of living that is far beyond what we actually deserve. Now we are messing with that formula, and the consequences are likely to be far more severe than most Americans are anticipating.
The trade war has barely just begun, and yet significant ripple effects are already being felt all across the U.S. economy. Once thriving businesses are on the verge of failure, workers are being laid off, and some sectors of the economy are witnessing enormous price hikes. Right now the mainstream media is absolutely fixated on the drama surrounding the recently concluded Trump-Putin summit meeting, but the consequences of this trade war will ultimately be far more important for the lives of most ordinary Americans. As more tariffs continue to be implemented, this will perhaps be the biggest disruption to the global economic system that we have seen in decades. Perhaps you have not been affected personally yet, but for many Americans this trade war has changed everything. For example, just consider the plight of soybean farmer Tim Bardole…
If Americans really understood how much their standard of living was about to change, the streets of our major cities would be packed with protesters by tomorrow morning. For the past several decades, China and other low cost exporters have been flooding our shores with hundreds of billions of dollars worth of cheap goods. This is the only reason why you can go to Wal-Mart and buy a shirt for three bucks. But since we buy far more stuff from the rest of the world than they buy from us, we ultimately have to go back to those other nations and beg them to lend our money back to us so that we can pay our bills. This sick, twisted co-dependent relationship has enabled Americans to live a debt-fueled standard of living that is far beyond what we deserve, and now our rapidly escalating trade war with China is going to bring the party to a crashing halt. On Tuesday, the Trump administration released a list of $200,000,000,000 worth of Chinese exports that will be hit with 10 percent tariffs. Those tariffs are in addition to the 25 percent tariffs that had previously been announced on 50 billion dollars worth of Chinese exports. These new tariffs are scheduled to go into effect on August 30th, and the Chinese have already pledged to retaliate.
Nothing is going to be the same after this. On Friday, the United States hit China with 34 billion dollars in tariffs, and China immediately responded with similar tariffs. If it stopped there, this trade war between the United States and China would not be catastrophic for the global economy. But it isn’t going to stop there. Donald Trump is already talking about hitting China with an additional 500 billion dollars in tariffs, which would essentially cover pretty much everything that China exports to the U.S. in a typical year. The Chinese have accused Trump of starting “the biggest trade war in economic history”, and they are pledging to fight for as long as it takes. As I discussed yesterday, the only way that one side is going to “win” this trade war is if the other side completely backs down, and that simply is not going to happen. So there is going to be economic pain, and that pain is likely to intensify for as long as this trade war persists. U.S. businesses that will be affected by foreign tariffs are already cutting back production and laying off workers, and CNN is reporting that 1,300 products have suddenly become more expensive for U.S. consumers. There will be nowhere that anyone can hide from this trade war, and it will ultimately affect every single man, woman and child in the entire country.