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Chinese leaders ‘absolutely confused’ by Trump’s demands on trade

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Rules of Acquisition #79: Every once in a while, declare peace. It confuses the hell out of your enemies.

According to Memory-Alpha its rule 76,

Fun fact the guy who started memory alpha was contacted by Simon peg for help with material on the most recent Star Trek movie.

Must be an outdated rescinded edition of the Rules of Acquisition he's referring to.

Taken directly from the work if Sun Tzu. Trump is a genius.

Pretty sure that quote is from a Ferengi.

I know. I was making a joke. I guess it was shit

7 points · 29 days ago

tell me the last time Trump read a book completely ?

He would've tweeted about it...

It sounds like hyperbole, but a friend of his said the only book he ever saw in his bedroom was one on Hitler’s speeches

Well, he clearly hasn't learned much from it. Hitler's speeches were typically far more coherent.

In the same way that Melania is a great speech writer?

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291 points · 29 days ago · edited 29 days ago

The confusion is hardly surprising. What the Chinese are facing is the fact that what Trump is pursuing with respect to trade is in fact pretty hard to believe.

What Navarro is advising Trump is that every dollar spent by an American on a product made outside the United States is a loss to the American economy. So the point is not to come up with some new terms of trade- the point is to put a stop to it.

All the discussions and negotiations by Trump representatives, and all the arguments they make on the subject, are just so much rationalization to cover this fact.

It's pure mercantalism. We want you to buy from us, but you can't sell to us.

That's why it's confusing. What they say makes no sense. Which usually happens when you are saying something to cover up what you are really trying to do.

It's no different than Trump's immigration policy. His real objective is to stop it, not modify it.

They are blowing smoke because a clear statement of their real goal would cause a bit of an uproar.

No more immigration- at all. Zero. Legal or illegal.

And: no to trade. At all. No foreign goods in the United States. At all. Zero.

The Chinese should stop pretending there's some other objective to all this. There isn't.

28 points · 29 days ago

I thought it was because every negotiation both sides are waiting what the other's gonna do and Trump just bust in with new tariff and demands the Chinese to give free money without even any signs that the tariffs will be put off so the Chinese are like I guess we send tariffs to.

22 points · 29 days ago

The Chinese understand mercantilism (and a lot of their policies are heavily mercantile). I doubt that's really the issue.

The issue is that no-one understands Trump's policies, including Trump himself. He's an idiot.

Being confused is a polite way of saying the other person is a moron.

Im inclined to agree with your position. However, I have heard a competent reason why he wants to have higher export numbers then import numbers at least with regards to China. It is because in order to allow United States companies to sell tech to China, they require the IP (intellectual property) rights which is obsurd. For one reason or another, companies agreed to this, and it has been the trend now for some time. This is one of the reasons China has skyrocketed up the economic ladder. So, through some logic not fully understood by a pleb like myself, the higher export numbers somehow will make things right.

China places strict limitations on foreign businesses who want to operate within China, often requiring them to do so by cooperating with a local Chinese company.

Or they just block foreign companies completely, to give local and government tied businesses a monopoly - see literally any Chinese tech company like Tencent.

Exactly, this is why the West is now making a big deal about it. It has caught up with them, and they see that these rules in which China plays aren't fair to the countries with the technologies. What if all countries took China's position on foreign business?

Stealing technology helped every technological country get where it is. It seems an intrinsic part of national development for some countries, such as the US in its earlier years, lest we forget.

-24 points · 29 days ago(17 children)
22 points · 29 days ago

Probably a reference to the textile industry way back when

33 points · 29 days ago · edited 29 days ago

Unites states(in no way special or alone in this) has stolen IP till it no longer has to. Way before ww2. The movie industry is located in Hollywood in the early daya specifically to circumvent patents.

It didn't pull itself up by its bootstraps. It rose on the shoulders of giants.

Again, like everyone else who has ever aspired to move from the bottom to the top of the pile.

-7 points · 29 days ago(0 children)
32 points · 29 days ago · edited 29 days ago

Industrial machinery designs for steel and textiles, which were the equivalents of semiconductors and software back in the 1800s

25 points · 29 days ago

Textile ip alone that US stole from Europe was in billions. Tea and Porcelain ip Europe stole from China was even more.

22 points · 29 days ago

Samuel Slater stole a British design for textile machines and is known as the father of the American Industrial Revolution.

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I already gave you the more entertaining example(which you ignored)

So now I'll give you a more significant one.

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Naw, we used unlicensed shovels.

Uhh, that settles it then. Just start a war when you want new IPs.

Wont need too. Did the United States have a war when it took care of Soviet Union? They were once significantly more powerful than China is today. Look who their partners are. The trash of the world. Iran, Pakistan, Russia. Why? Because they are the only people that will do business with them. They are already a pariah and haven't even made it to the top yet.

Oh yeah, Saudi Arabia and Isreal are such outstandingly moral trading partners

Geopolitically speaking, morals are an obstacle, not a goal.

Well of course you don't need to, look at China today.

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Not that i think they should do it as it would destroy the economy but slowly weaning themselves off of Chinese manufactrers this could be fixed, but that is a lot of money , damn even the latest tax cut for the mega rich would not help, maybe taking 70% of the military funding would help but over a decade or two and even then business would have to invest trillions which they would object to.

Isn't the concept of IP rights inherently rediculous?

Not at all. If you spend hundreds of millions to develop a new type of screen for example, let's say a fully flexible display. Do you really expect to start selling it without any protection to the research investment and allow your competitors to take apart your product, copy it, and slap their own brand on it? Who would want to research anything then?

You're overlooking the fact that it would be better for the owner, not the consumers. More money is funneled into the IP owner's hands and there is less collaboration to make the next step in research. I'd say there is even incentive to hold onto the next step and instead squeeze the product you have now. It's like Why not have everyone selling it to everyone (that can actually manufacture it) and let perfect competition take over in order for everyone to progress.

0 points · 29 days ago · edited 28 days ago

Not for artists and composers.

Also cases relating to the medical world.

Edit: Glad we could have had this discussion through the mere usage of downvotes, and not any response.

So... this is more than just political and economic ideology. China’s culture going back a thousand years has never allowed the idea of the individual to own “knowledge” the idea of Intellectual property does not translate culturally.

It come back to the western idea of leadership “ the divine right of kings to rule over the people” VS “the Mandate of Heaven to rule for the people as their king”

In the west when things go bad like a famine, the kings do not starve, it’s the wicked people that starve.

In the east when things go bad like famine, it’s a sign from god to the people that their king is wicked and he no longer has the mandate from heaven to rule.

You could switch the “right to rule over people” and “right to rule people as their king” with absolutely zero consequence there. The analogy does not work. A trick is a trick.

You could peice out parts interpreting it anyway you want. However in whole the context does not switch out.

It does. It doesn’t matter if you pretend that God says you can rule everyone or pretend that Heaven says you can rule over everyone. Kings and Emperors still rule and common people still suffer.

So, the diffence is in who is responsible for things going right and wrong. You’re ignoring the statement in its entirety.

In the west it’s interpreted as the king always have the right to power, ordained by god, regardless if his people suffer.

In the east the king loses the right to power, ordained by god, when his people suffer.

No, that’s incorrect. European kings absolutely, constantly, lost power because of their poor performance.

That’s true, however they Ideology of the church and the European kings themselves ruled with the idea that Nobles attained their postion from god to king. No populace of people overthrew their ki;g until the French Revolution. All kings for 900 years preceding lost power to other people claiming the divine right to rule from god.

The idea that the

The divine right to rule was little more than a facade, and the Church clashed with various kings all the time.

1 point · 29 days ago · edited 29 days ago

This is bullshit, you're looking too deep into history to try and justify the rampant IP theft in the Chinese market. It's like trying to claim that we drop bombs in the middle east because some thousand year history trait is responsible.

In China, the Chinese are totally part of the IP game. The Chinese make applications to IPs, Chinese companies sue one another for IP theft and such, and the Chinese courts have even upheld IP rights in many lawsuits. The only difference here is that China requires foreign companies to set up a joint company with their own people and have themselves control a majority stake. In that sense, any IP applications technically belong to China. It is a forced technology takeover in exchange for market access. Another issue is that the Chinese courts do not generally enforce IP protections well, unless you are linked to the big wigs in China. If the Chinese do not believe in IP rights, why do they demand it from the Western companies? Explain this.

It would be a lie if you were to insist that the Chinese somehow is not a player in the intellectual property game. They very much are, and they would sue in America without a second thought if their own IPs are compromised.

Let's not try to use some ridiculous history links to justify the flouting of IP rules because that's just lazy. You're going on a tangent here.

It would be a lie if you were to insist that the Chinese somehow is not a player in the intellectual property game. They very much are, and they would sue in America without a second thought if their own IPs are compromised.

It’s a socialist society. Do you not understand that they put the goverment and community above the well being of the individual. If the western technology company doesn’t want access to the largest market in the world they are not being forced to go there.

Let's not try to use some ridiculous history links to justify the flouting of IP rules because that's just lazy. You're going on a tangent here.

Let’s not pretend to that history reflects current day status quo? Lol. If you thinkhistory does not reflect culture ideology, I have a group of very angry evangelical Americans that would like to have a word with you.

We drop bombs on Iraq becuase of a 500 year old cultural concept in western civilization called colonialism. We feel we have the right to benifit and have access to other nations natural resources and we will bomb those nations who don’t give us access on our terms.

You’re getting lazy bay refusing to accept that China and even India have the ability to flout western cultural norms becuase they have huge markets that we all want access to.

1 point · 28 days ago · edited 28 days ago

It’s a socialist society. Do you not understand that they put the goverment and community above the well being of the individual.

It really isn't, not to the extent of rejecting intellectual property system and rights. Can you cite any example of China actually demanding to abolish any IP system? China prevents foreign companies from owning and operating without Chinese majority stake because they want to protect their industries from external competition. It is not a cultural factor that you have naively claimed it to be.

As I've said, you were trying to rationalize a situation based on cultural difference, the fact is that the situation is a result of economic and market control factors. The Chinese are not people who are disconnected from the world, they know what intellectual property rights are, and they do make use of them.

When you claim that they reject it simply because their culture is different, it is because you have a shallow understanding of how the Chinese people really are. That misunderstanding caused you to think of them as a group of people who stray from the norms when the fact is that they are active participants in the global system, just like us. The only difference is the state of the Chinese industries and markets, the fact that China has not yet developed a fully advanced economy that could take advantage of the intellectual property rights. They are going to do so in the future, why do you think Chinese put so much into their R&D? They want to catch up to the advanced economies. When they finally do, do you really expect them to tell you that their IPs are worth nothing because they are a 'socialist society'? The opposite will happen. They will file lawsuits and demand that people who have violated their IP rights make compensation.

Intellectual property is not a uniquely Western concept. It is a system which protects the research investments of entrepreneurs. You can head over and tell Alibaba or Tencent that IP rights are bullshit, they'll just laugh and brush you off.

You are naive to think that IP rights are essential for business. You don’t seem to understand ethnocentrism. You’re mistaking western cultural property concepts with Eastern property concepts. China does not need to adapt western ideas of property. We need to adopt China’s ideas of property.

It’s super difficult to understand you’re own cultural weaknesses when you’ve never studied outside culture, so don’t feel bad that it’s over your head, it’s common thing that’s happens to lots of people.

I can understand where your coming from. However, Capitalism, Corporation, Globalization radically changed things. Because something has been done in the past, doesn't mean that is the correct way in the future. Obviously, this has worked for China up until recently. However, now that it is a major issue for United States and Europe, you will see serious changes in either the way China does business in this regard, or economic loss.

So... just because the west does things the way they do, doesn’t mean it’s right. Your right! Obviously this has worked for the west in past but you will see them change things to remain competitive in the future.

China is already on the way back to the top of the economic heap. The west will eventually accept the idea that innovation is not something you guard, it somthing you give away and receive back benefits better than what you could have had had you Bogarded.

0 points · 29 days ago · edited 29 days ago

But that is the problem, innovation won't come from countries where people or businessess can't make the most money from it. The reason this has worked in China isnt because they have so many smart people they just out innovated the world. They literally stole technologies from other places. What happens when there is nothing left to steal? Do you think people will want to make inventions and technologies in a country that will own that technology, rather than go to another country and profit significantly more from it?

9 points · 29 days ago

And yet we have lived in an era of astonishing technological innovation, the whole while it was all being stolen, copied, and reverse engineered continually. Not just by China - everyone knows tech companies rip each other off continually, and national borders mean nothing.

Just saying, claiming that innovation won't happen unless its protected is disproved by innumerable examples. You can say its not fair that it happens, and then argue that we're going to create a global system of fairness to replace what we have now...but I don't really see that.

Do you think people will want to make inventions and technologies in a country that will own that technology, rather than go to another country and profit significantly more from it?

Yes. Doesn’t matter. The barriers of the world are falling for the better of all mankind. When we start seeing us as one people, tied together for economic prosperity the world will be a better place. Nobody should have the right to technology that can make the world a better place. History tells us that the first to market will always profit immensely.

2 points · 29 days ago

History tells us that the first to market will always profit immensely.

The computer mouse, Google glass, the flying car, Betamax. History is not with you.

The producers that are able to bring together the most efficient logistics and meet what the market is ready for, on the other hand, do tend to be better off. There are some arguments about "created market need/want" (ie Apple Watch), but I think most of those are still tenuous.

None of those were first to market...

One of your suggestions is funny in ironic sort of way. Beta max failed against VHS, because Sony refused to give away the intellectual property that was in their recording devices.

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Did Norman Borlaug patent his wheat and grain production technique or like Monsanto with patents or give it away ?

0 points · 29 days ago

Perhaps this is a play by influential elements behind Trump to revoke the CCPs mandate from heaven?

Jam a stick in their spokes and see what the people do. If you get it right, you get either the leaders capitulating to your demands or they're replaced by revolution.

This sort of shit is cia bread and butter - though if this speculation gas a grain of truth, it would be their most ambitious to date.

Yeah, not so much. Trump got his $500 million dollar bribe. The industry’s that trump is targeting are mostly industry that China is trying to build up for their domestic market.

2 points · 29 days ago

It's actually 4m roughly for branding to a 3rd party. The loans were to other 3rd parties near the planned branded hotel.

Look it up.

The branding is the small the beans in any construction project. It’s the consultation and inspection fees that they make their money on.

2 points · 29 days ago

Correct. And the one running all that, as far as I've been able to tell, isn't associated with Trump beyond buying the branding. Do you have more information?

The idea is to obfuscate the profits.... Trump is great at money laundering. This is what he specializes in. If it was easy to do we wouldn’t have a special investigation into how he was elected.

2 points · 29 days ago

That all sounds very good. What evidence has been offered so far on this theory?

0 points · 29 days ago

In the east when things go bad like famine, it’s a sign from god to the people that their king is wicked and he no longer has the mandate from heaven to rule.

That didn't seem to remove the communists from power when they ran down unarmed students with APCs in Tiananmen Square. Or when Mao's plans directly caused the starvation of millions of his own citizens.

Let's both be honest. Every people and nation has changed from how it was a thousand years ago, some just have more issues with backsliding than others. China with their consistently bad track record of human rights abuses is not exactly a shining model of how things should be done.

China has a bad record with human rights. But they are making progress.

The USA has equally a bad record for human rights. But we are making progress.

China is a totalitarian state. The US is a liberal democracy. You are spouting deluded propaganda from a totalitarian state.

China is a totalitarian state. They don’t pretend to be otherwise.

The USA is a totalitarian democracy. We pretend to be otherwise. Why does the USA have triple the incarceration rate of China?

Why is everyone here still pretending Drumpf is trying to accomplish anything other than using the US economy to blackmail the Chinese into giving Ivanka patents?

It's pure mercantalism. We want you to buy from us, but you can't sell to us.

This describes much more accurately the status quo for China's protectionist policies of it's own markets, particularly with respect to technology.

They have always leaned this way not just for tech but for everything. But a lot of it has been subtle, which is how they boiled the West alive. You can get away with a lot more when it's subtle.

Trump admin on the other hand is being very heavy handed like a heavyweight with boxer with knockout power telegraphing his punches. Other countries see it coming and will cover up to minimize the damage and throw sneaky counters. They just want to ride out the round (Trump's presidency).....they can play the long game.


Beg, Borrow or Steal: How Trump Says China Takes Technology

This covers the bulk of it. But generally if you want to provide tech services you have to do it through the great Firewall of China, which insures uncompetitive service, or partner with and give all of your IP and technology to a Chinese company.

If you don't, they will just form a local company, outright copy or steal your technology, and sell it in the Chinese market, while trying to compete in foreign markets directly with you.

Pretty much all foreign car companies have had to make similar arrangements in China, where a Chinese company owns at least half of their joint company in China.

-16 points · 29 days ago(More than 31 children)
24 points · 29 days ago · edited 29 days ago

Uh what? The US has far greater 'know how', just not the production capability. The Chinese can't even produce simple ballbearings or alumina catalysts as well as the US. What China has is not great 'know-how' or quality, but cost-effective, mass production capability. In fact, the United States, Taiwan, and South Korea design and produce many of the chip components that are assembled in China with their cheap labor.

And logistics, and resources (rare earth metals), the latter would have to be imported. NON-AMERICAN-RARE-EARTHS? My god, why not to slam tariffs on em ?! Wait ...

Or you could tariff China while doing deals with Australia and Chile or wherever the other deposits are...just saying

Or loosen mining regulations and extract rare-earths domestically.

Not in the volume that you'd want for a global industry, surely?

Of course as a citizen of one of the countries with rare earth reserves I am completely objective and non-biased in my evaluation

wherever the other deposits are

Oh, like North Korea. Wait.

That's why I said "other deposits" ie not those subject to Chinese or Korean control

There is a tremendous amount of process knowledge in a company like Foxconn to create that "cost-effective mass production capability" you seem to be dismissing.

ah, yes, but there it is. americans, for the most part, expect cheap shit quickly. convenience over everything. if the middle class is dying as people say it is, then there will be an increase in a reliance on cheap garbage as only the wealthy will be able to buy high quality foreign/domestic goods. and domestic goods will only happen if companies are willing to spend a shit ton of money to produce it

Will automation help? How green could they be?

Unless you've got a route to the middle class through production jobs, which would allow you to buy the higher priced local goods. It's possible to make it work with the current population of America, but it's going to come at the expense of alienating other countries who will all be trading with each other and growing faster.

There is no expectation. China has positioned and subsidized its way into this role. Market economics chooses the cheapest, and China is the cheapest, if that shifts all else shifts too.

2 points · 29 days ago

Manpower is cheaper in Vietnam than China right now - quite a few news stories have looked at the protests of Chinese workers to the loss of their factories as their jobs move into Vietnam where the cost of labor is lower. And just like many nations don't like doing business with China due to quality control and the consistency of their know-how, they don't like leaving things to the Vietnamese and spend quite a bit to move their managers over there.

I think you're both right and wrong about your assertion that economics chooses the cheapest. In the rush for the greatest profits, the inclination is to aim for the lowest costs - however, you sometimes have issues with quality control and shipping. Sometimes even though you pay more up-front it's still a better idea to keep at least a portion of your manufacturing local even when SE Asian and African markets open up to certain manufacturing. There will come a point when there is no further market to exploit for cheaper labor with compliant governments who just want more money this quarter.

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1 point · 28 days ago · edited 28 days ago

The biggest problem is america does not have the manufacturing know how that China has.

The majority of these factories were built in conjunction with American partners and American companies.

What's funny about this comment is, it wasn't ten years ago people were saying exactly the same thing about China.

The reality is, the extremely complicated manufacturing and technology still is made in America: Microprocessors in particular.

And America still is the second largest manufacturer in the world.

China is trying to develop this manufacturing locally in a campaign called "Made in China 2025."

It's really odd to think that China would be pushing such a campaign if they were already in possession of this critical know how.

The reality is assembling a phone is something that was done in the United States to a partial capacity until fairly recently, when Chinese assembly became just too cheap and appealing.

It woudl take decades just to be able to manufacture every part for a mobile phone in America.

The reverse is actually true for China, this is why ZTE went bankrupt, because the reality is the most sophisticated pieces of hardware in the majority of their devices are actually not manufacturered in China, nor do they currently have the technology or "know how" as you put it, to do so.

But the biggest barrier is american business who are making a lot of money by having there products built cheaply in various eastern countries

This is the biggest barrier, and the biggest driver so far towards manufacturing in China.

It has been massively massively profitable. So much so that companies like Apple, with a 1 trillion dollar value, have had nearly all of their assembly work done in China for the last five years.

might be when trump's actions increases there prices too much for consumers.

The question is will it truly raise prices that dramatically, when the fairly recent trend of outsourcing manufacturing and assembly didn't actually lower consumer prices dramatically to begin with?

The fact of the matter is, ten years ago the vast majority of these things were manufacturered in Germany, Japan, or the United States.

And as manufacturing has moved to cheaper locations, consumer prices have stayed relatively the same, while corporate profits have sky rocketed.

Deflation hasn't been a thing for decades.

I mean what would you rather buy an apple phone for $3000 or an equivalent android phone for $300

Even considering prices were to rise as dramatically as you say, even locally manufactured Android phones like BLU can actually be quite a bit cheaper than foreign manufactured phones, like the iPhone.

The reality is Apple sells the iPhone at several times the cost of production, and if it were simply manufacturing costs driving prices in phone markets, everyone would be buying Android phones already.

It obvious.

absolutely accurate

Peter Navarro sounds like a moron. What is his educational background?

2 points · 29 days ago

Putin is shutting the US government down with style.

so Trump wants the US to become an export economy... we are literally going back a step.

He wants the US to become more like China, when the developing world (due to common sense) wants to be more like the US

see this is what happens when you take daddy money to college and don't actually pass any classes. econ 101 would've been a crucial prerequisite for the position of presidency...

Or a system where the party could replace a failing one

Where's the no legal immigration part coming from? I haven't heard anything about that.

-30 points · 29 days ago(27 children)

I agree they’re wrong, but bringing up that woman and her story doesn’t reinforce that. While tragic, it was used to help Trump smear illegal immigrants. His whole enforcement concept is about painting them as the bad guys.

They’re failing miserably. You see, they targeted resource industries, and because they came out the gate with such heavy handed tariffs, the opposing sides are just gutting exports instead of yielding. Even more problematic was Trump always approached it as an intended trade war, even toward our allies and best trade partners, which shot talks in the foot from the start. He made it easy to make him look like the instigator and the offender. He’s approached every intent here horribly. The only upside is, we might recover some internal resource manufacturing, but we’re definitely going to lose much more than we gain on the course we’re on.

Well didn't one his is staffers say they would focus on immigration from white nations? Pretty sure they will make it harder for South Americans to legally migrate.

-12 points · 29 days ago(0 children)


No sarcasm. I believe this monster and his cadre of evil scumbags are hurting many many people and they should be stopped at any cost.

-23 points · 29 days ago(0 children)

Respect? What has that cunt ever respected? You have to earn respect, and he doesn’t even come close.

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I wonder if the government can grant a large stimulas package but made of US Bucks. Like Disneybucks can only be spent on Disney products, US Bucks can only be spent on things made in the USA.

Are you talking about just legislating mandatory quotas that a very small maximum of Product A be made abroad and bought by US companies? Or even more simply mandating Product A must be made locally?

Nothing like that. Just that the average person gets in the mail a gift card with their stimulas money already on it. They can use it anywhere, but only to buy things made in the USA. And yes there would have to be extra programing so stores can automatically see what applies based on the bar codes of products. And Amazon would ideally make a "made in USA" filter. Which they should anyway for all countries for anyone who wants to support local businesses.

Legislated quotas might be possible, but it's unlikely that the US, with all the budget problems it's already got, would throw even more money at trying to subsidize purchasing things in the US. More likely they'd have a prominent politician (as Bush Jr, and Obama both did) go out and tell people to ignore the doomsayers and go out and spend money.

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61 points · 29 days ago · edited 29 days ago

The whole world is confused. Days after days we think that presidency couldn't possibly get any more grotesque, self-destructive and fucking stupid but we keep being proven wrong.

Has it occurred to you that, perhaps, he really doesn't care?

If only there was an item of clothing that would clearly let us know

To be fair I think at this point even Trump is confused by his own demands

Hey china, get in line.

14 points · 29 days ago · edited 29 days ago

The best approach is to be the brick wall that he is shouting at and to ignore him completely. He is so scatterbrained that within a day he will be shouting at someone else.

He is to be ignored. Truly the Emperor has no clothes.

7 points · 29 days ago

Please never make that reference towards that booth-tanned fat man.

The emperor has no attention span.


24 points · 29 days ago

Join the club.

I've been speaking to Chinese people in Europe about Trump. They just say he's insane. They think he's an idiot. They understand his demands in the sense that they understand they are the demands of someone who is completely mental.

So the Chinese people in Europe think the same as anyone else in Europe then.

So is Trump

Welcome to the club

Everyone in the world is confused by Trump, every politician is simply overthinking everything Trump does, by looking for some deep complex justification for his actions. However, the unfortunate reality is that there is no deep calculated rational explanation for his decisions, they are often arbitrary, and no more than a troll on the international political stage. He's a joker, and not a good one.

Of course they dojn't understand him.

He can't put together a coherent sentence in English. What chance does anyone have to understand him once his incoherent babble gets translated into another language?

So is all of Canada. Just FYI. No idea what he really all.

8 points · 29 days ago

So is all of Trump. Even Seizure Donald doesn't know what he wants. He just wants, without any direction or purpose. Just a general sensation of want.

He's all of the seven deadly sins in one. Greed, sloth, lust, envy, wrath, pride, gluttony... He's a fucking paragon of every single one of them.

Well, it's concrete that he wants to be financially enriched. And he wants to feel like he's getting the approval he never got from his father.

That he's not earning any of that respect isn't even on his radar, which is why I think he's genuine when he indicates he feels besieged. It's his fault, but he doesn't realize that.

3 points · 29 days ago

It's simple. Our idiot president wants China to buy all the stuff they can from the US and China gets nothing.

Of course, this only means you have to promise him something that directly benefits himself or his family and he makes any exception you ask for.

International trade is easy! /s

Yes. In the garden, growth has it seasons. First comes spring and summer, but then we have fall and winter. And then we get spring and summer again.

Being there?


Well done sir. A fine novel and film. And eminently relevant. Chance is the opposite of trump. Neither is self aware but trump is evil and chance is good. Wonderful.

Thank you. Though, as you point out, there is a malevolence to Trump, the lack of self-awareness is comparable to Chance, at least in my estimation. I don't think Trump has any real plans/schemes/intents beyond what arises spontaneously in his mind from moment to moment. He then is, for whatever reason, compelled to give voice to these random ideas. As with Chance, some observers interpret this as insightful genius.

Brilliant. I like you. You seem bright. And nice.

The good old bluffing technique is going to fail when other countries find a long term strategy to deal with this guy's craziness.

9 points · 29 days ago

Longer than the short term strategy of waiting his term out?

Trump's influence will probably last longer than his term. I think he and his base are creating a new ideology in American politics.

8 points · 29 days ago

This is the problem. They try to find logic where there is none. There is no method to this madness. Of course the Chinese don't know what Seizure Donald wants. Trump doesn't even know what Trump wants. He just wants. No direction, no purpose. Just a general sensation of want. Trying to find more behind any of this will only confuse you.

Just a black hole of neediness, a man fueled by the constant need to be adored, and the nagging truth that he is not worthy of adoration.

Cause hes got mental problems

How can anyone not be confused by this demented flip-flopper.

He wants a bigger bribe.



He's either 5 moves ahead or an absolute incompetent boob .... we can't tell which.

Yes we can...

-16 points · 29 days ago(13 children)

No we don't.

-25 points · 29 days ago(0 children)
15 points · 29 days ago

extremely successful multi-billion dollar international businessman

Showing a little bias yourself. His 'international investments' amount to licensing out his name to anyone willing to pay. He doesn't do due diligence on those licensees, who have a tendency to fail to complete projects and walk away with investors' money.

It's also very questionable as to what his net worth actually is. We know he's been financed for a lot of years by Deutsche Bank because American banks won't lend to him. We also know Deutsche Bank has some very shady ties to Russian oligarchs.

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Did I ever say anything about luck? I said he was a lying, narcissistic asshole. He won the election by calling his competition names, interrupting constantly during every debate so his 'base' sees he's not politically correct. He fueled hatred and divide through the country and STILL acts as if he's on the campaign trail. News flash, he won the election, which means he leads 100% of the country. The problem is he doesn't give 2 shits about the 51% of the people that didn't vote for him, constantly lying to his base to further their hatred of the Democrats and refuses to acknowledge the fact that he's making up 80% of the shit he says.

It's all ludicrous and I 100% do not need to support him.

8 points · 29 days ago

about the 51% of the people that didn't vote for him

Closer to 73%, as I recall - Voter turnout was ~60% and he got 40-something percent of that, which comes out around 27% percent of eligible voters actually voted for Trump.

-13 points · 29 days ago(0 children)

He had a 25% chance.

That’s actually pretty high, usually it’s 50%

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14 points · 29 days ago · edited 29 days ago

He's beyond incompetent. He's a total idiot. Yes China steals IP and puts up millions of barriers for international companies to sell products in China including total bans on a huge range of products in the high tech sector, and need to be sanctioned for it.

But you need the entire world to come together and agree on multilateral action against China to actually accompllish anything. He's done the literal opposite of that.He's gotten the entire world to come together and take action against the United States due to his stupid global trade war bullshit that has absolutely nothing to do with China.

The end result of this can be predicted a mile away. Trump will accomplish absolutely nothing and will just antagonize every trading partner the US has, pushing the world economy to diversify as much as possible away from the US. The complete opposite of what is in the interest of the country.

It's already too late. He's already fucked up. Retaliatory tariffs from major trading partners are already in place (the EU) or are very imminent (July 1st) from huge swathes of the global economy.

2 points · 29 days ago

Even buffoonery seems like an insufficient explanation for the total of his actions.

I can't really falsify the arguments some have made that he's going off a playbook by a certain foreign dictator who would benefit from the US being cut off from its allies. However, I'd think he needs a lot of coaching for that because he doesn't seem the type to maintain focus for long enough to cause the damage he has if it's all intentional.

But you need the entire world to come together and agree on multilateral action against China to actually accompllish anything.

This was actually the goal of the TPP. Yes it had plenty of other problems but the end goal was to create a trans pacific free trade region and then if China wanted in, they would have to agree to break down all these structural issues and respect IP. The idea being that the TPP market was so big that China in the end could not afford to not be a part of it. It was a multi decade project to take on China in an alliance, not the US against China. Of course all Trump saw was that it would mean the other countries in the alliance could import into the US more freely which he hated of course.

So yes we had 14 years of negotiations to do exactly what you suggest (TPP negotiations started in 2002) and Trump tore it all up. Don't get me wrong, I do have issues with the way the TPP was negotiated in secret, and there was some troubling portions, but it was still being hammered out.

26 points · 29 days ago

you're giving him too much credit.

0 points · 29 days ago

Your reading it wrong. There's zero credit there.

It's just an acknowledgement of two possibilities and our near global confusion.

To understand my comment you need to think along the lines of a third option .

Occam's Razor

Depends on your definition of the direction "ahead". I agree he is 5 moves, somewhere.

To the extreme right

Hey now fascist Germany trade with many people openly throughout the war. Trump is off in his own world.

Hardly. The man was a New York Democrat for decades.

When has he ever thought ahead?

-1 points · 29 days ago · edited 29 days ago

The funny thing is, China could easily win this thing, simply by pretending they are losing. All they need to do is publicly say, Trump is the winner and the best trader in the world. Let the US have a 25 billion surplus. Throw him a big party, invite Kim, and Putin. Play pin-the-shoe on the Canadian. Everyone wins.

How is China winning on this scenario exactly?

Because, currently they are winning at the moment without any tit for tat taxes being levied. And instead of getting into it with Trump and going back and forth, trying to show they wont be intimidated by America. They could just say Ok your the best, here have this token shiny star. Someone feels like the winner, and there you go.

1 point · 29 days ago(1 child)

I knew it! I'm now a winner too! The best winner there ever was! Everyone wins! hurray!

You are correct. However the Chinese politicians have fomented such a tide of nationalism to deflect from their own corruption, that it would be a tough sell to their people. They’d have to get the people in on the joke, and that’s a pretty nuanced play in populist politics.

They could do that easy just tell them in Chinese, trump cant speak ching chang chong!

They aren't THAT confused!

Maybe they should have talked to Putin.

We didn't Manifest Destiny all the way to the Pacific coast to NOT trade with China. Get your goddamn head on straight, Trump

The Chinese just need to get in sync with DTs pattern of bowel movements. He's a much more amenable person after a good flush.

2 points · 29 days ago

Then why does he always seem to produce more whenever he speaks?

it’s hard to know what his priorities might really be.

He's just trying to confuse the enemy. Old battlefield tactic.

33 points · 29 days ago

Ah good old fashioned American tactics. "The Enemy cant possibly know what we are doing if we dont know ourselves."

Got us through the Civil War and both World Wars! I'd say it works.

I believe there is a term in psychology for this mode of thought. It translates to, ‘no... he can’t be this dtupid’.

I am in no way a trump supporter but he's up to something...

I mean, I could think up half a dozen scenarios for this sort of thing with 2 or 3 being somewhat reasonable, but I don't think anyone outside of the White House knows what, precisely he is up to.

For reference, the reasonable-ish options that I can think of are that he really is nuts (or listening to an idiot), that it's some sort of CIA-style plot to destabilize China, or that this is over China's notorious lack of IP protections.

0 points · 28 days ago

Trump's top man handling negotiations with China on trade is the same guy who forced Japan make concessions over their mercantilism in the 80's. There's is actually some substance behind all of the madness believe it or not.

-15 points · 29 days ago(2 children)

stop stealing all our intellectual property.

Yeah, I hate it when China 'steals' our IP.

China Approves 13 New Ivanka Trump Trademarks in 3 Months, Adding to Conflict of Interest Questions

Trumps are so busy MAGAing that they forget which country they're supposed to be focused on.

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