“At this point, it’s looking as if Trump’s tough talk on China trade will turn out to be as empty as his tough talk on, say drug prices. Faced with the prospect of actually going toe to toe with powerful interests – as opposed to doing harm to desperate immigrants, poor people who need health care, etc. – Trump keeps backing down, ignominiously. But what happened to all that bluster about trade wars being “good, and easy to win”?
I can think of four reasons Trump ran away:
1. Someone actually managed to explain the economics to him, and he realized that the trade war wasn’t actually a good idea
2. He just lost his nerve, as he consistently does when confronting people who aren’t powerless
3. He was bribed, with China offering sweet deals to his personal business interests
4. The Chinese also have some kind of tape
It tells you a lot about the state of American leadership that (1) is highly implausible, while 2-4 all seem quite possible. And this means that what I’m about to say may amount to overthinking the issue.”
David Lindsay: Yes, thank you Paul Krugman. I agree with this piece. Here are two NYT comments which I recommended.