Aug 25, 2019

Cory Diary : A War that shouldn't have started ...

Trump twittered to increase taxes to 15% on $300B and remaining ... etc. This is in response to Chinese PRC increase tariffs on American products.

Frankly, the import of American goods to China is far lesser than China exports. Any increase in tariffs now is like whipping a dead horse after several rounds of retaliations. In all it's purpose, China latest response is for local consumption mainly FACE and probably upholding President Xi power base. Unfortunately, President Trump aren't the type who can lose face either. Furthermore this help America interests and his voting base to provide reason to further isolate China from America Economy to prevent a China near term rise to challenge America power presumption.

( LKY has said before as long China has peaceful development provided The PRC Chinese holds their horses they would reach their Super Power status. What a wise word said so long long ago. The key meaning therefore is "Provided" which appears no longer able to uphold Economically in Trade and Militarily in South China Sea)

With Tariffs card played out, China only left with mainly Currency or Financial instruments to continue the game. They have chosen currency which is the start of RMB weakening. This will be a down slope trend. So anyone holding to Forex exposure could be at risk. In reality, there could be upheaval in the market. And selling US treasuries to protect will likely to happen. This is a dual sword as it will weaken USD and further improve American business competitiveness that Trump has been begging Fed for.

Meantime, in any MNC industries, after such a long period of tariffs gestation, most are ready to switch to alternate countries on the go. There will be some pain but it would help to spread the wealth to regional countries rather than consolidate manufacturing base to a single country to benefit from. This will happen as is not just intellectual protection and fair trade. Is about containing China rise and ensuring America continues to be the only super power.

Maybe if China has cooperated early in the game, the extend of the damage to Chinese economy could be managed. I think we could be at a point of no return now and any compromise will likely requires China to give up a lot more such as FaceBook, Google, Twitter, U-Tube, Whats app market access in-additions to all the original complains. Meanwhile America still have more cards in play. HK Special status, more Tariffs, Supply Chain Value-add percentage and controls, debt limits and lastly if Fed is to cooperate, Interest rates.

The damage is clear based on current DJIA vs Shanghai Index comparison. And this is before expected coming Monday slide in Asia time. But the pill will be very hard to swallow. Finally, the argument of American consumers pay more is irrelevant as this will only reduce consumption slightly as the cost delta to operate outside China is likely to be around 5% increase. This could translate higher in the market but is not going to be out-of-the-world pricing.

This probably explains why Trump is so willing to proactively engage in the trade battle for Supremacy. Even if China can wait till Oct'20 which appears more remote now with the elevated crisis on the economic impact,  Trump failure to be re-elected do not guaranteed any discontinuation in current policy for Trade War is probably the largest misnomer among the media today.



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