How Trump’s Trade War Went From Method to Madness


I’ve been covering this trade war for almost three years now, and oftentimes it looks very chaotic. The China trade deal is
dependent on one thing, do I wanna pick it. If we don’t make a deal with China I’ll just raise the tariffs even higher. Thank you very much. And it’s really hard to think
back to the beginning of it, but how it really started actually seemed like there was a strategy to it. Over the course of the
U.S.-China Trade War, Trump’s aggressive policies
and unpredictable behavior has managed to bring the Chinese
to the negotiating table. We’ve come to a very
substantial phase one deal. China will continue to eat your lunch unless somebody takes a stand, and it just so happens
that it was Donald Trump that took the stand. We’re close. With the promise of that phase one deal looming on the horizon, can
that same aggressive strategy produce meaningful reform in China? I wrote a paper during
the Obama Administration saying people are not taking
China seriously enough, and the President has
to be directly involved for American policy to
actually make sense. I think in some ways it’s better to wait ’til after the election with China. But, I’m not gonna say that. I just think that. Now the President is directly involved and American policy doesn’t make sense. The reality is that the
Trump Administration has done this in a much
more aggressive way than previous administrations have. It was an asset going into this trade war. It may have been a liability in the end. This is a case study of when negotiating tactics
turn from method to madness. We can’t continue to allow
China to rape our country, and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in
the history of the world. President Trump ran a successful campaign of denouncing China’s
unfair trading practices. They take our money, they take our jobs, and we owe them $1.6 trillion. I think it’s important to understand that the President inherited
a very difficult situation, one where we probably
should have addressed some of these problems
with China a lot sooner. But I think the President
had great wisdom and courage to step up and realize that we really can start to make progress. And after becoming President his team began devising a strategy on how they could rebalance
the relationship with China. And this man, Derek Scissors, was part of those initial conversations. The goal starts with we’re gonna focus on intellectual property, which we were trying to decide
how do we get the Chinese to reduce their intellectual
property coercion and theft. They weren’t gonna stop,
but how can we reduce it? How can we show we’re
serious about this issue, change their behavior? And that got pulled into
the President saying, “I want high tariffs. “I wanna reduce the trade deficit.” Which is a completely different goal. Putting tariffs on all firms
doesn’t discourage theft and coercion of intellectual property, ’cause it doesn’t punish the guilty. It punishes everyone. Tariffs are really the big
bazooka in the trade world. You don’t like to use them normally, or if you do use them in the trade world, you tend to use them
for short-term leverage to try and get someone
to the negotiating table. In March 2018 Ambassador Lighthizer, the trade representative, was
testifying on Capitol Hill, and he was kind of laying out
what he called an algorithm. The purpose of your algorithm
is to pick out things to the extent you can
that are in that category. Things that are in the category
have the maximum effect on China and the minimum
effect on U.S. consumers. The initial number that folks at the U.S. Trade Representative’s
office came up with was $34 billion. And the President looks at it and says, “Well, that’s not big enough.” And we’ve seen this a
lot in our reporting, covering this trade war, that the President really
likes round numbers. A second list of $16 billion of Chinese goods is published, raising the total initial
tariffs to $50 billion. And while looking back,
this may seem haphazard, it is part of President Trump’s strategy. And this is just the beginning. I wanna tell you that. This is just the beginning. Donald Trump has always
had two things he’s tried to accomplish
through these trade wars. One is selling it
domestically to his base. He wants to be seen to be
punching China in the nose. And the second thing is his
old art of the deal approach, and that is he likes to destabilize people across a negotiating table. This administration has
kind of prided itself on being unpredictable. Kinda the notion that unpredictability is a real strength in a negotiation because if they don’t know
what they’re gonna do, somehow they’re gonna give you more. But not everyone agrees
with that sentiment, at least in regards to the larger intent of getting a deal done with China. To me they haven’t been
unpredictable at all. I think the President has been saying for two and a half years that he wants to have a deal with China
if he can get a deal that is good and that
is in U.S. interests. And he’s gotten a deal with Korea, and he’s gotten a deal with Mexico, and he’s gotten a deal with Canada, and he’s gotten a deal with Japan. And we’re having these
negotiations with China. Early on the maximum pressure strategy only resulted in the Chinese responding with tariffs of their own, going after areas that could
hurt Trump’s political base, imposing tariffs on the auto industry, pork, and especially soy beans. Once the Chinese stopped buying soy beans the impact on the
markets was pretty stark. Immediately the price collapsed and farmers started getting hit. So when you engage in this
tit-for-tat tariff war the question is really who can live with the pain for longer. And obviously that is a
question of political will, and that’s always gonna be the case. And there’s sort of no way around that. Fortunately for us, President Trump has shown that he has that political will. For the rest of 2018 the two countries would raise tariffs back and forth. The U.S. would go from its
initial 50 billion in tariffs to 250 billion. And China’s total tariffs would now hit 110 billion of U.S. goods. Eventually these tariffs would
have their desired effect. In December of 2018 President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet face to face in Buenos Aires. Start on meeting we’ll be talking about a number of topics. At that dinner in Buenos Aires, the two leaders agree that
they won’t raise tariffs on each other anymore
or at least for 90 days while they try to negotiate a new deal. Over the spring the two
sides keep negotiating, but the Trump Administration seems to be moving the goalposts, or at least that’s how the Chinese see it. One, they refused to lift
tariffs as part of any deal and secondly Trump seems
to be constantly increasing the amount of purchases he
wants to see from China. At one point he goes from
$1.2 trillion over six years to a $2 trillion number and
that just seems both impetuous to the Chinese but also
economically impossible. By April the two sides create a 150-page document, and there’s optimism
that a deal is in sight. And the White House was very confident that this tough negotiating
strategy from the President has really turned out to get results and fixed the issues that they
went into this trade war for. My understanding is that both sides were actually discussing
where the leaders would meet to sign the agreement. However, in the final
stages of negotiating the Chinese began to walk back some of their larger concessions, most importantly, China
didn’t wanna commit to making legal changes for the U.S. And I think what happened here is that China thought that
Trump wanted a deal at any cost and that he was so out
there promising this deal that he wouldn’t mind if they took some things off the table. That’s the point where
I think the President kind of got fed up and the
events in the negotiations led to an entirely disproportionate
response on his part. In a tweet on May 5th Trump suddenly raised tariffs on the existing $250
billion worth of goods and also threatened that he would tax the remaining $325 billion
worth of Chinese imports. That tweet I read on a plane. I was like, okay, I’m
going to buy WiFi now, and I worked the entire
plane ride over there. Days later Trump again
escalated the dispute by placing Chinese telecom
giant, Huawei, on a black list. That was the biggest slap in
the face for the Chinese yet and relations further deteriorated. We’re having a little squabble with China because we’ve been treated very unfairly for many, many decades. But in another face-to-face meeting, this time in Osaka, Japan, Trump and Xi were able to negotiate another truce on further aggression. So covering this we often have deja vus, and think, well we’ve
seen this movie before. They have a truce, it goes
on for a couple months until Trump realizes China, again, didn’t live up to its promises. And that’s when Trump unleashed another series of tweets. So in early August Trump
decides to escalate things again and announces that he is gonna put tariffs on the remaining imports from China. Importantly it’s also for the first time really gonna hit consumers. It’s gonna hit things like smartphones, toys, kids clothes. And this is the first
time that the trade wars are really gonna come home
for a lot of Americans. After a year and a half
of all this madness Trump’s advisors told him if
you want to get reelected, you have to stop this now. We need to find an off ramp. And so they came to him for
the first time in September and said, “Why don’t we
pocket some of these wins? “Why don’t we get
something good for farmers “and do something like a partial deal?” The August tariff threats were split up. And the ones that would
hit consumer favorites were given a December 15th deadline, with the hopes that a deal could be struck by the end of the year. A tremendous deal for the farmers. A purchase from 40 to $50 billion worth of agricultural products. It’s actually hard as someone who’s been following
this for several years to really care about the phase one deal. Agriculture is not going to
solve the trade imbalance, it’s not going to bring back
U.S. manufacturing jobs. For this year if you sign phase one, you don’t sign phase
one, it doesn’t matter, you’re not gonna get any
meaningful economic changes from the Chinese in 2019 or 2020. One of the big questions
around this trade war is was it worth it? The real question is are we gonna get future phases in a negotiation? And are you gonna get some
meaningful changes in China? And a lot of people in Washington, certainly a lotta
long-time China watchers, feel like that’s not the case. I think we’re finally
having serious negotiations with China after many
years of frustration, and I think everyone has
finally started to realize that we have actual
leverage in this situation and that we have the opportunity to improve the type of trade arrangements that we have with China. 20 months and many false dons later, what have we learned about the use of this maximum pressure campaign? And can this strategy of unpredictability really work over the long term? Just so you understand, I’ve
been very mild about it. Very, very mild. There’s a long way I can go. I think, number one, this just shows that trade
negotiations are tough. And one of the kind of
shortcomings of this negotiation has been we’ve kind of
been all over the map. I mean, at some points this negotiation’s been all about agriculture. Other points it’s been all about the structural issues like IPR. The main problem the president has is he wants us to wrap up too quickly. The President wants this done now. He wants to run on it. He wants to say, I solved this problem. So because of that, he has lost patience with the pace of negotiations. And he’s fine with the outcome
of very high U.S. tariffs. That’s one thing everyone
has to understand. The President doesn’t think,
oh, I’ll pressure the Chinese and they’ll automatically give in. He thinks, I’ll pressure
them and they’ll give in or I’ll get to keep the tariffs and the trade deficit will fall. Both are good for me. We’re doing very nicely with China. But I like it the way it is now because we’re taking in billions
and billions of dollars and we’re giving some of that
money to farmers and others. Now that President Trump is on the cusp of signing a phase one deal, will his willingness to
use tariffs really lead to the fundamental economic changes he is seeking from China? If you wanna be a good negotiator some element of
unpredictability is useful, but I think here we’ve gotten to the point where we’re so unpredictable
that other countries are kinda throwing up their hands and trying to decide is it even really, is it even worth doing a
deal with the United States because we don’t even know if the United States is
gonna stick to the deal. I mean, I think you have to remember that two or three years ago we were being told that the U.S. had very little leverage in trade negotiations and
there really wasn’t a lot we could do to get other countries
to accommodate our concern. The reality of it is is
that countries understand that this is the biggest
economy in the world, it’s a great market, it’s an open market, and I think people are
always gonna be interested in making trade with the United States. It’s fair to say that tariffs brought the Chinese to the table, but what have we gotten out of it? And this gets back to not
so much the tool of tariffs but the strategy. If we don’t know our own goals, it’s very hard to have a win at the end.

100 thoughts on “How Trump’s Trade War Went From Method to Madness

  1. If your not manufacturing..time to halt Consumerism, and all those stopping that from happening ARE the real enemies !

  2. China has had a MINIMUM 25 percent tarriff on ALL US GOODS for decades. THAT IS A MINIMUM as some products have way higher tariffs. So I guess thats OK (not mentioned in the video either). I don't understand why NO ONE points this out. The video also talks about blacklisting Huawei…YEP, and did you know CHina blocks pretty much every US company unless you give them intellectual property? And even if they let you in that they will make it practically impossible to make money? I guess thats cool too. Yea, Trump has no reason for anything he does. THANKS BLOOMBERG.

  3. The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party is not interested in the USA, it is interested in putting their population under their sole and perfect control. The only reason they allowed two provinces of China to develop economically was that they realised that hunger and destitution would not give the population a reason to support this gang of professional criminally inclined politicians. The USA does a deal on soy beans because it fears to lose the China market completely, China is already buying an cultivating millions of acres in Africa to become independent from US agricultural products. Once Africa is up and running, it is bye-bye American pie.

  4. (13:20 min. in) "If we don't know our own goals …", I don't understand, there is one single goal and that is re-election of himself, Donald Trump, in November 2020, all else is irrelevant.

  5. 5:27, ok, your graph doesn't start with 0 at the bottom. fair enough, some data needs that.
    But I can't remember when I have seen people just leaving out the labels on the y-axis all together!

    You know that makes your graph less readable, so why do you do it?

  6. Definitely propoganda against trump started again…B aware Americans…china will celebrate if Trump loses in 2020…

  7. Communist China will not back down and will not agree to a mutually beneficial deal until the US knock them out and bring them to their knee. This is a heavyweight UFC fight, and no one will come out unscathed.

  8. In fact, Americans still do not realize how the Chinese view this issue. Now the Chinese generally think that this will be a war, including a series of issues such as trade war and Hong Kong. It is easy for the Chinese to associate with the last century. The war of aggression against China, and what happened in Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Syria, so it is not surprising that China responded so.

  9. A$$hats forget that a HUGE amount of effort was put into the TPP. The TPP would have put together allies who would have been able to deal with the humongous market and manufacturing juggernaut. The stable genius tore an intensely negotiated deal up to replace it with an isolationist, capricious "deal". Well we're seeing that this is a fooked "strategy".

  10. hei bloomberg what happen to the spy chip story you reported last year? any follow up? lol of course not, you are nothing but state department propaganda rag

  11. no one even point out that, in some point this year, the title of the world's largest consumer market shifts from one country to another?

  12. No, you all don't know China's communist ! They can make Chinese into starvation without fear to lose their power. But Trump is facing blames for his right doings. BTW, I m Chinese.

  13. BS-China didn't rape the US-America's multi-billionaire elite have no economic patriotism. They gave China all the economic weaponry to turn the US into a 3rd world nation.

  14. I'm happy that trump highlighted the issue with China. I'm sure that any future president of any party will continue trying to address China

  15. This is such an embarrassing video, we are going to obviously win the tradewar and your organization will be revealed as the scam it is.

  16. Why the fuck is the US so hard up to do business with China . If you are so great just sanction China like you did with Russia and Iran if not just shut the fuck up. The whole world is sick and tired of you mad American

  17. trump couldnt plan a picnic he just acts out whatever meds he's on at the time … he's eating chocolate cake he could care less about the people of this nation. he just wants disruption and chaos so he can rake in millions under the table as any con man would do. while diverting our attention to nonsense as the fed transfers all wealth to the top 1/10 of a percent. Ivanka has made million dollar branding agreements with china …no nepotism or abuse of office there. trumps are a disease. their greed is limitless their morals are those of reptiles. what is different from joe bidens son and ivanka? i dont see anything. except BIDEN DIDNT GIVE HIS UNQUALIFIED SON A FCKN CABINET POSITION.

  18. "Method to madness." Bloomberg News was probably against it from the start, in totem, and largely for self-interested reasons related to its "class". The Chinese backed out at the last minute several times but they put it all on Trump's unpredictable behavior. The Chinese leadership make vague promises in order to placate their negotiating partners while committing to nothing — they are slippery.

  19. Gary Cohen warned The Don about a trade war. Gary said despite his background politically he thought he could join the WH and guide Trump with facts.He left because he realized The Stable Genius 😅 could care less about facts. Gary was 100% correct.

  20. I don't think mr trump intends to resolve the trade war that he started in the first place.  mr trump is a racist, and this is typically the vomit that racists spew.

  21. China GOV is only the Bandit's beater of the communist party, they are never a GOV. Westerners never know that democratic in Chinese means kneel down and beg, more people will kneel down to the communist bandit government. The same as north Korea.

  22. China's corruption transcends the sum of human history. The case billions or trillions of $ are not exposed for a single bandit chieftain. It takes millions of people to work hard for life! Any drug trafficking robbery & stealing & fraud can't be compared. The communist.

  23. The bad ones: Israel, Saudi Arabia and the USA.
    Isolated from allies.
    Easy to read? Ask leaders from countries considered as NATO allies. They know how predictable Trump's tanTrumps are. That the US is "an island surrounded by water, big water, ocean water."
    Never interfere with the enemy when he is in the process of destroying himself.

  24. The globalist elite and their well-paid mouthpieces really don't get it. Americans know that China incarcerates millions of people for their religious beliefs, steals American technology, and murders 70,000 Christians, Buddhists, and Falun Gong members every year simply to harvest their organs. Any American who still supports trade with China is a vile human being. Cut off all ties. Immediately. Try as a traitor and as an accomplice in crimes against humanity the CEO of any American company that transfers American technology to China. Let's start treating globalists and their corporate puppets like the disgusting and inhuman beasts they really are.

  25. Trump never had any method, he's just a con artist and has a string of failures in business as a result. People who have dealt with him know this, they just don't talk about it much, but those who do, oh boy oh boy do they know that he's just a hack. Even the book referenced here is mostly just lies.

  26. A lot of formerly neutral countries, especially in the economically booming Far East, know what the game is, and the backlash will be a favouring of Chinese goods over American ones. You Americans in the tech sector will be the ones to see this most strongly. I believe the strength of a country is primarily to do with the size of it and how technologically advanced it is, so if world consumers shop for China tech then they will become technologically superior. You might have a big military but recall Saddam's 70 soviet tanks against modern British and American ones. You will end up like Saddam!! China is doing it the right way, and building allies across the world and working cooperatively with them, e.g. the BRI scheme is making many countries money. One day you guys will feel small. You see China does not really need American trade. It's helpful to them, but they are building more themselves now. What they decide to build is often cheaper, hence you will just see more competition across more sectors.

  27. When you find out that you can't win a game, the last you can do is changing the game's rules. That's what the US is doing; however, without respecting the side effects on the economy of the rest of the world. We are going to another recession, if we are not in already.

  28. Why does Trump and his daughter's clothing and shoes, etc., are made in China? Actually, I am paying more for goods that are only made in China. So where I am standing, we the American consumers are paying the increased tariff. Hummmmm!

  29. The US is a sore loser! The US is throwing its weight around with impunity! The US is an unreliable partner! In other words, the US is the world's pariah!

  30. What a coincidence. Bloomberg is trashing Trump for his trade policy while those someones during the last 4 or so administrations laid down on the bed and were Chinas ——es. Wake up America !

  31. Chinese tariffs does not have only economic impact but they literally forcing the US farmers to kiII themselves.
    Trump's plan was horrible the sad is that US deep state was ok with that at the beginning.
    American elite killing the Americans to buy more weapons while US debt is still growing

  32. Everything out of integrity is being exposed. It's physics. No escape! The game is over. It ended in the "Fall of 2016". Nothing remains hidden… Up next, CNN closes its doors. Global uprisings. Epstien crimes against humanity tie in all top level controllers across all industries… incl MSM. Big pharma implodes, along with: Hollywood, MSM, Big Tech, globalist governments, Insurance, Religion, Monopolies, Ologopolies, Education, science, and Big Money.

    Globalism is wiped out by 2024. Nothing can stop this… and running for office won't save any corrupt politians from full exposure of truth and justice.

    China implodes and falls behind emerging economies – Hong Kong wins because China is a paper tiger mired in corruption, debt and dark age politics. It will blow apart suddenly, like the days of the Soviet Union and Berlin Wall.

    Every move made that is not in integrity will backfire just like every single move made by the controlling elite since the "Fall of 2016". Bet on it! Huge exposure, disclosures and whistleblowers coming. No escape! Integrity or bust. Bet on it!

    What's spectacular is that this message will not be understood or believed by those operating in their survival-mode paradigm… even though there is a three-year track-record of what is unfolding.

  33. There's no deal. It's a proxy war and containment policy. A lot of sound bites that is really fake and propaganda statistics being spouting out.

  34. Blame the companies in the 'developed world' who shipped their manufacturing to China for cheap labour so they could make larger profits at home. Yes currency manipulation takes place. China also has a agency which encourages IP theft. China Uncensored is really educational.

  35. In the United States We never hear stories like this on left wing media or right wing media. Apparently CNN , Fox news, MSNBC, and many other American national news Network do not report on the general geopolitical spectrum in the world. I know many people in the United States that ignore the fact that China owns g5 technology and China is the number one economy in the world right now. Trump takes over the headlines everyday and that is just a distraction to the public from the grim facts of the geopolitical situation of the world.

  36. I'm not a Trump supporter by any yardstick. But, this is something he is doing right…
    Even if his strategy is indeed 'mad' (as you call it), doing something is still better than all the prior administrations (from both parties) who did absolutely nothing. Because of their backers with hundreds of billions of dollars invested in Chinese manufacturing. (Including Mr. Bloomberg)

  37. I DONT CARE WHAT THE HELL BLOOMBERG HAS TO SAY AT ALL, OUR FARMERS/RANCHERS ARE BEING DESTROYED WHILE CHINA IS COMING AND BUYING UP AMERICAN LANDS!
    TRUMP IS A CRIMINAL AND HAS BROKEN HIS OATH OF OFFICE! HE HAS DISHONORED OUR CONSTITUTION AND NEEDS TO BE IMPEACHED AND HE NEEDS TO BE CHARGED AS A TRAITOR TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FOR EVERY ACRE OF LAND STOLEN AND/OR DESTROYED FOR ALL OF OUR POISONED NATIONAL PARKS AND WATER SOURCES! FOR ALL OF US HE HAS MURDERED BY CUTTING AND STEALING OUR HEALTH OUR PAID FOR SOCIAL SECURITY OR CHILDRENS PAID FOR MEDICAID!! FOR STEALING OUR FUTURES AND OUR CHILDREN!

  38. It's not about money, it's about preventing China from taking over the world, with wealth and technology created by the people it seeks to conquer. Trump's trade war doesn't make economic sense, until you realize it's not supposed to. This is not economics, this is strategy; this is not a trade war, it's a war. Maybe Trump is aware of this, and maybe he's just a puppet; but there are people in the shadows who realize that China is an enemy to Western civilization. They are simply not ready for the responsibilities that come with the great knowledge their culture was unable to develop organically.

  39. Oh look, a billionaire presidential candidate using his 100% biased media company to campaign for public office. I am sure this is what the founders had in mind.

  40. We are still unloading thier ships at our ports. China wins. They are not going to agree on trade nor sign an agreement as long as we continue.

  41. funny bloomberg told his press only
    hit trump leave the other president hopefuls alone i guess this one slipped by or your employee's hate you mr bloomberg

  42. Seriously ''Bloomberg'' only now you start reporting the truth. Calling out the lies and stupidity of an idiot president like trump is absolutely priceless. ''Mexico paying for the wall'', ''Trade wars with China is easy to win'', so far only trumpy's millionaire friends benefited. What a clown.

  43. Corporate America was the downfall of American job losses, they dealt with China for cheap labour and bigger profits, resulting of huge job losses. Tariffs are not the answer, because ordinary Americans are suffering.

  44. hey have u guys ever questioned china’s intention? as a former chinese citizen i was raised and being taught one thing: china must and will bring usa down

  45. It may become a blessing in disguise for countries around the world because they would do less trade with US. Less trade means less demand for US dollar. The US total trade with the rest of the world would fall. So what is the use for Trump to force American companies to manufacture their goods in US ?

  46. Oh Democrat Presidential hopeful writing about Trumps dealing with China as madness? What Mr Bloomberg said about XI "having to do what the Chinese people want".Is he really trying to sell that to the American people? Out of touch with realty. If he becomes president America is gone.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *