Trump’s trade war with China and threat of recession both grow

File photo taken in November 2017 shows U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping at their joint press conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (Kyodo).==Kyodo.
Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping

Donald Trump backed down on some of his China tariffs, but it’s not working: A Chinese official said the government will “have to take the necessary countermeasures” against the 10% tariffs Trump is keeping in place for a Sept. 1 launch. Between that Chinese vow of retaliation and signs from the bond market that a recession may be imminent, stock markets in the U.S. and elsewhere fell. “The stars are aligned across the curve that the economy is headed for a big fall,” one bank economist told The Washington Post.

It’s not just random stars randomly aligning, though. “Markets are reacting on the fear that the additional threats of more tariffs by the Trump administration will result in a slower-growing global economy,” an economist from Moody’s told The New York Times. “The risk of recession in the U.S. is not overstated.”

Wednesday night, Trump tweeted the suggestion that China really wanted to make a deal but that the U.S. was holding back for humanitarian reasons related to protests in Hong Kong, as if Donald Trump is ever going to put humanitarian concerns above money if China wants to deal. He also again insisted that China, not U.S. consumers, is paying for the tariffs.

So: China is planning “countermeasures” as Trump’s trade war continues to grow, there are signs of imminent recession, stock markets are falling, and Trump is lying about all of it. That sounds … about right for the Trump era.

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