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The Trade War Gamble: It's Not Trump's To Win But China's To Lose

Mark St. Cyr profile picture
Mark St. Cyr

As we sit here today, the "markets" appear to be shrugging off any remaining discontent from the February scare earlier this year. Trade war? Who cares - buy, buy, buy! EU concerns such as Germany, Italy, Greece, etcetera? Brexit? Who gives a sh*t - buy, buy, buy! How about Argentina or Brazil? What about Mexico? Who cares, that's all so Cinco-di-mayo ago. What about Canada? What about it? Unless they're threatening to stop shipping beer - buy, buy, buy!

This has been the overarching consensus expressed via the "markets" as of this past Friday. Or, said differently, in those immortal words of Alfred E. Neuman: "What, me worry?" I would contest: Yes, yes, you should.

Regardless of the political view one may have about the current U.S. president, one thing cannot be understated: the more one tries to frame the unfolding "trade war" kerfuffle via a political view exclusively, the more business-illiterate one shows themselves to be.

This is why when you listen to most Ivy-leagued, Ph.D'd, think-tank economists or academics paraded across the mainstream business/financial media to supposedly tell you something worth listening to for insight, you would be better off just turning it off, because it's all a bunch on nonsensical, "intellectual", gibberish. That is, when a so-called "business show" host tells their viewers the reason why one needs to listen carefully to their guest for relative or pragmatic business insights is because they are a "liberal?" Sorry, you've just lost any remaining business credibility you once had.

Whether one is a liberal, conservative, independent, or a penguin doesn't matter when it comes to business. That is, business is business... period.

The business of politics is a completely different matter, and understanding the difference, along with being to understand and articulate points where they meet and how they can be

This article was written by

Mark St. Cyr profile picture
Mark is one of the very few that can actually make the claim of being a recognized expert and authority and mean it. His insights on global markets, Wall Street, business, motivation, and entrepreneurship have been increasingly sought. His diverse writings appear regularly on, or referenced by, many of the world’s top media sites, blogs, papers of record and more across the web and around the globe reaching millions. With over 165 countries routinely visiting his blog looking for insights and observations, it puts him into that rare category of “Leading Authorities” on the world stage today. Starting his career at age 18 holding every title from janitor to CEO he’s personally overseen budgets, and companies ranging from the local independent, to the larger corporate entity with revenues nearing $100 million annually. Without a formal higher education to rely on he made his way through effort and hard work to be named Vice President of a multimillion dollar corporation at age 23. He held his first position as CEO at 28. A top performer in both sales and management, he has also trail blazed opening ethnic markets and advertising campaigns that included some of the worlds foremost global corporations. Mark also served in such roles as corporate liaison to the USDA. He’s been trained, certified, and was one of the pioneers writing company compliance programs for the NASA inspired HACCP program. He has also worked and consulted within the television, radio, and advertising industry. He is one of the very few with a verifiable track record in correctly calling for caution as others remained oblivious to the dangers across multiple industries - for them only to be blindsided by tumultuous upheavals causing $10’s of Billions (yes that’s a B) of both dollars or market share losses. His first book, A Fist Full Of Markers (2012 StreetCry Media) was launched with no fan fare, no social media, and no advertising to what many marketing skeptics called ” a doomed window” for a launch (just three days before Christmas) to results typically not seen for many that make the so-called “best seller” list. Mark retired at the age of 45 although he continues to actively write, and speak. His articles currently share an audience of millions at any given time, and is still growing. He believes, “Properly articulated actionable advice has no boundary.” All this from someone who is not afraid to admit: He has a hard time spelling cat without spell checker.

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Comments (18)

To hold up Venezuela as a paragon of socialism is a bogus argument. This is a very strange article if not entirely bullshit
Your article is 90% bloviating against academics and 10% postulating that Trump wants to help Main Street. The latter argument is demonstrably false just by looking at Trump’s business practices for decades prior to the 2016 election.
That was then.
@Ben Gee
I understand your patriotism. I am a patriot for America. China is a communist dictatorship. China is a hammer. No western civilization company should be doing business with it.

Bill Clinton created the rise of China as a world power by getting them into the WTO with favorable terms. I actually believe he felt he could bring China into western civilization but it failed.

China decided to conduct war against America. It continues to attack us. We must fight back and win.
Ben Gee profile picture
China is NOT against America. Xi asked the US to joint China to fight against world poverty only did not get a reply.
With the US on board, the war against world poverty would be a lot more effective.
Ben Gee profile picture
China is not against the US. Maybe China was in the past.
The US is China's best customer and want the US to continue to be its best customer.
China can not have a trade surplus with the US without US help.
China will not stop selling if the US continue to buy.
If the US stop buying China will try to find someone else to buy.
Ben Gee profile picture
China is a socialist country and will remain so regardless what the US does.
I honestly have no major issue with the Trump administration taking a strong stand against China. Long overdue imo. But isolating ourselves by going against close allies like Mexico, Canada, the EU, Japan, and also going against China at the very same time, is incredibly risky and counterproductive, but from a geopolitical point of view and an economic one.
Ben Gee profile picture
Nobody win in a trade war, even the ones not involve, the win is temporary. In the long run, everybody loose.
Leftfield profile picture
Harry Truman had a famous quote which may apply in this situation, "I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."

Trump is just facing the obvious about our awful trade situation, that there is now a massive imbalance of trade restrictions that is not unrelated to our massive imbalance of trade, and that this is not free trade. And for once in the US we have a leader who is not sold out to the corrupt interests who profit obscenely by selling us out in horrible deals and who has the courage and love of country to stand up to anything these interests and their willing stooges throw at him.
fishfryer profile picture
Nice write up, very true. The off shoring of manufacturing jobs has taken away our "Main Streets"

Another point is that unskilled labor can become skilled labor in a factory through OJT and apprenticeships. There is very little opportunity for high school graduates that do not want to go to college or cannot afford college, but also don't want to be in construction. Factories offer a carrier path from parts expediter to machinist to foreman or a path in logistics or maintenance. Businesses prosper near factories also. All of this improves the tax base. Automation will reduce the labor force in the next generation factory, but still, many jobs will be created from construction, to supply, to maintaining and calibration to final inspection and shipping. People will still be needed.
Those things you mention are great. But explained how do we compete with their slave labor (comparative advantage)? I don’t know any free person in the states willing to work for $10 per day. The answer is we can’t compete with their slave labor. Instead we should focus on our comparative advantage, e.g. innovation, and creating moats around it. I call that my friend “the art of skinning a fish.”
fishfryer profile picture

I'm a retired engineer, my friends that used to do engineering work in the private sector would say that they have invent new stuff everyday for clients. These clients would then take their idea (that was legally purchased) to china and create products to make millions or billions of dollars. They now do work for the DoD and DARPA, inventing stuff for the military is better, more follow up contracts.

Innovation is great, but you only get pain once for it, then the manufacturing still leaves the country. No offense, when have you ever really innovated anything for a competitive advantage? It's very difficult and not a reliable business model. Many inventions are just luck.
Automation and AI may bring productivity of one $20/hr operator up to that of ten $2/hr assemblers. This is the goal of the next gen factory, and these should be built here.
Your background is telling how you frame the world. You were basically a YES man and NOT a big picture kinda dude. Defeatism has also worked it’s way in your head. Our country will continue to thrive and prosper in ways beyond our imagination long after you and I are gone.
Ben Gee profile picture
I do not believe a trade war will solve anything. US trade deficit is NOT the result of bad deals, it is the result of uncontrolled spending.
One thing the author is right, we will see the result soon, in a few months anyway.
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