How gullible is Reuters?
China will likely hit $50 billion in purchases of U.S. agricultural products, U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday after earlier announcing that he would roll back scheduled tariffs on Chinese imports as Washington and Beijing finalized an initial trade deal.
That was their opening paragraph. Fortune had a different take:
The Markets Have Spoken: Phase One Trade Deal Between the U.S. and China Is “No Victory” – From Shanghai to London, stocks rallied on Friday morning as a “Phase One trade deal” was reached between China and the Trump Administration—that is, until the details were announced. By noon in New York, the major indices still trading were swooning, with the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average in negative territory, ceding big early gains. What happened? … Later in the day, the markets’ exuberance was largely dashed by what’s not in the deal. “I think we’re pretty much where we were in May,” says Usha Haley, W. Frank Barton distinguished chair in international business and professor of management at Wichita State University.
From 2012 to 2014, we exported less than $20 billion of agricultural goods according to this reliable source. In 2017, this figure had declined to less than $17 billion while it dropped to less than $7 billion by 2018 thanks to Trump’s stupid trade war. All this deal accomplished was to temporarily avoid even more trade war stupidity. The stock market does not believe there will be any real improvement in the trading between the U.S. and China. Even if there was a complete reversal of the damage done to our agricultural sector from Trump’s idiotic trade policy – the best we could hope for would be $20 billion in agricultural exports to China and not some absurd $50 billion from our Liar-in-Chief. Of course, Lawrence Kudlow is supposed to speak today, so maybe he can mansplain to us how Trump’s stupid trade policy will lead to some massive agricultural boom. Update: On occasion one gets a comment that is too good to pass up:
“From 2012 to 2014, we exported less than $20 billion of agricultural goods according to this reliable source.” That is yearly, if I understand. What period of time does the agreement cover, so that $50 billion could make sense? Surely not in a year.
Brilliant and here was my reply:
I was referring to exports per year with that near $20 billion. But Trump’s babbling? Huh! So maybe Trump has one of those Leninist 5-year plans where we declare success if annual exports are only $10 billion per year. Yes Trump does follow Putin’s lead!
Thanks for the update. I was wondering what the outcome was going to be from Trump’s babbling. To paraphrase a bit as to what farmers and supporters will hear and believe . . . A Farmer’s tale.
“I am just a poor boy
Though my story’s seldom told
I have squandered my resistance
For a pocket full of mumbles
Such are promises
all lies and jest,
still a man hears what he wants to hear
and disregards the rest”
So much for the facts.
Do we have any numbers for the loss of agricultural production caused by natural disasters? I know that the news had features on farms in flood zones that would have a truncated, if any, growing season for their normal crops. Was that big enough to influence exports at all?