In a bit of welcome news on the trade front, a possibility exists that Trump’s trade czar, Peter Navarro, is being shoved to the sidelines.
At a fiery White House meeting, a Civil War Over Trade erupted with Navarro taking it on the chin.
A civil war has broken out within the White House over trade, leading to what one official called “a fiery meeting” in the Oval Office pitting economic nationalists close to Donald Trump against pro-trade moderates from Wall Street.
According to more than half a dozen people inside the White House or dealing with it, the bitter fight has set a hardline group including senior adviser Steve Bannon and Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro against a faction led by Gary Cohn, the former Goldman Sachs executive who leads Mr. Trump’s National Economic Council.
At the center of the debate is Mr. Navarro, a firebrand economist who has angered Berlin and other European allies by accusing Germany of exploiting a “grossly undervalued” euro and calling for bilateral discussions with Angela Merkel’s government over ways to reduce the US trade deficit with Europe’s most powerful economy.
The White House declined to answer specific questions about the internecine dispute. In a statement, a spokeswoman said: “Gary Cohn and Peter Navarro are both valued members of the president’s economic team. They are working together to enact the president’s economic agenda, protect American workers and grow American businesses.”
According to people familiar with White House discussions, Mr. Cohn and others have seized on Mr. Navarro’s public comments — and widespread criticism by economists of his stand on trade deficits and other matters — to try and sideline him.
That has led to discussions over moving Mr. Navarro and the new National Trade Council he leads out of the White House and to the Commerce Department, headed by another Wall Street veteran, Wilbur Ross.
Mr. Cohn has also been featuring more prominently in discussions over the renegotiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement with Canada and Mexico, one of Mr. Trump’s top trade priorities.
Mr. Navarro’s case has not been helped by his interactions with Republicans in Congress. He was criticized for being ill-prepared and vague at a closed-door briefing he held with Senators last month to discuss Mr. Trump’s trade agenda and angered some Republicans as a result.
People familiar with the White House battle over trade said that Mr. Navarro, who did not respond to a request for comment, was cutting an increasingly isolated figure in the administration.
He has been operating with a very small staff out of an office in the Old Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House, while Mr. Cohn has been adding staff to his NEC base inside the president’s residence itself.
This is excellent news, assuming the trend continues. The sooner Navarro is gone, the brighter the future of US trade policy will be.
- Disputing Trump’s NAFTA “Catastrophe” with Pictures: What’s the True Source of Trade Imbalances?
- Killing the Trade Golden Goose: Farmers Rattled by Trump’s NAFTA Rescinding Plans
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
Navarro doesn’t stand a chance in a fight against the army of DC political globalists who promote the NWO. I bet they have every one of his phones tapped just waiting for a faux pas so they can drop the hammer.
Who the F could survive in that den of vipers?
If Trump throws Navarro overboard that’s the first sign that he’s gone to the other side.
It’s more likely that Bannon and Cohn are the real forces squaring off. Letting Navarro go would be a pawn’s sacrifice, but in the eyes of the public his dismissal would be significant due to his official title.
It’s good news indeed, but civil war? Chaos more like it. There are more crazy types around trump excluding himself of course the chief architect of crazy, there is bannon, there is scaramucci a complete failure in finance but shamelessly relentless in the pursuit of fame. Perhaps Jarred and Ivanka can convince trump and his group to move to maralago and play pretend president so that the goldman guys can make America great again, then i would be truly optimistic :).
It didn’t take long for Trump to pull an Obama and hop into bed with the Goldman crowd, who I’m sure use small words when explaining to him why it’s good (for Goldman and Wall Street) to move American jobs overseas. It hasn’t even been a hundred days yet and Trump has already gone from working class hero to billionaire asshole. Obama will be proud that Trump is continuing his legacy.
Stuki Moi said:
That’s what happens when the idiots come out en masse, to vote for a candidate whose only qualification is an unusual fluency in idiotese.
Ron J said:
If you like your plan you can keep it.
I think we’re going to have a completely dysfunctional 4 years with populists battling country club repubs inside the admin with dems, MSM, mad pussies etc attacking from the outside and Ryan & McConnell frittering R majority power.
Rs are hell-bent on dismantling O’B care without any vision for an improvement.”Anything would be better than Obamacare” isn’t the right answer to a very difficult question. If they botch this they’ll be out of office and we’ll have single payer national health care like everybody else. Don’t think they’ll get 50 votes in senate on this even with Pence.
The Flat-Earth Society Repubs had better figure out that they can’t beat something with nothing, especially when the ‘something’ is a new entitlement. Hill Republicans, esp. those in the House, have never–NEVER–figured out to govern. I guess the fact that the party was in the House minority from 1955 to 1995 is still in their DNA today. If they keep screwing around, they’ll give away a House majority that should prevail for many years to come. Every member of the so-called “House Freedom Caucus” (a.k.a. the Homicide-Bomber Caucus) needs to be primaried and defeated in 2018.
What conservatives want IS to replace Obamacare with NOTHING, just like it was before they created it. Republicans have bought the progressive illness that healthcare is a right that must be forcibly be funded by those with jobs. Progressives have created yet another entitlement from whole cloth that now has become an irrevocable feature of our society.
So, as a resolute opponent of ObamaCare, I want to make sure I have this straight: ObamaCare is an entitlement, just as surely as social security and medicare.
Your “solution” is to repeal an entitlement?
Look, I don’t like it any better than anyone else does, but repeal will be widely perceived as mean-spirited and a move against poor people, whether we who remain opposed to ObamaCare agree with that perception or not. FWIW, let’s not forget that medicare, too, “is a right that must. . .be funded by those with jobs”. . .and by those who own businesses and/or live on investment income.
Dimocrats specialize in buying votes by giving away other people’s money. That’s who they are, that’s what they do. That is another reason that they have led the charge to allow illegals into this country: they know that most illegals have no job skills. Dimocrats want them in the U.S.–WITH A PATH TO CITIZENSHIP–so that they can create yet another constituent voting block totally dependent on productive Americans to support them. . .even as those illegals refuse to learn English.
If conservatives in Congress want to do something productive, they should set in motion the process to amend our Constitution with a provision that (a) English is the official language of the United States, and (b) everything that the federal government publishes–ballots, road signs, websites, I.D. cards, publications, etc.–MUST be printed in English ONLY. That’s a change the country needs, and it’s a fight that we can win. Our nation will be the better for having that Amendment.
Medex Man said:
Just because the liberals wanted a new entitlement program (obamacare) doesn’t mean the country can afford to keep it.
When the #%$( hits the fan, when creditors won’t buy US certificates of confiscation anymore and the Fed has to monetize all of it… that is when it will begin to dawn on the priviledged few inside the beltway that they have killed the goose that lays the golden eggs.
Silly political opinions from voters (both parties) aside, Congress cares about their perks and their self importance. Its about their egos. That’s it. Don’t be naive enough to think anything else really matters to them.
Entitlements and debt service will overwhelm the federal budget by 2020 — leaving zero room for all the catered meals and privileged existence that Washington DC enjoys (to say nothing of the military spending).
We already saw Washington make Medicare means tested. Social Security benefits for “the rich” are already confiscated to pay for medicare — and “rich” can be anything the politicians want it to mean. They are not on Social Security or Medicare or Obamacare.
The cancer is bigger than the host body now, and the cancer is growing faster than the host.
Paul Ryan is afraid to just kill Obamacare because he would be expressly admitting the country can’t afford it — or any of the other special interest spending that makes Congress’ way of life possible.
I doubt the people who actually have to pay for health costs will concur — which is why I tend to ignore liberals and media outlets.
Its the economy stupid. Your own crook explained it to you years ago in his campaign slogan.
Medex Man said:
PS @anonymous — while you are so sure (and cocky) of yourself about “everybody else” having single payer health systems, have you bothered to actually look if anybody else’s system is solvent?
I only ask because they spend half as much (they have fewer hospital presidents / fund raising staff making six / seven figures)… and yet their systems have out of control costs just like the US system.
You are so filled with partisan hatred and media propaganda that you obviously haven’t bothered to research a damn thing about the foreign systems that you want to ram down everyone else’s throats against our will.
Yup, I said it you hypocrite. You and your freedom crap depends on bullying and forcing yourself on people who don’t agree with you. If your idea was as good as you think, you wouldn’t have to force it on everyone else.
C Jones said:
You should of added “also the weaker Trunp becomes.”
Flynn out, Navarro sidelined… pretty soon Bannon will be moved to one side…
And then all you’re left with is a another weak president that will do nothing against the vested interests.
That’s the type of change you can believe in – no change.
As long as Bannon remains, there is some hope. I am not sure Trump has any idea what to do exactly. He wants change but not sure what type. Knowing something is wrong is not the same as knowing the solution, just look at healthcare. Above all Trump wants to win.
Victor Adam Smith said:
That all may be true…
However you can not correct in 1 month things that have been created and corrupted for the past 28 years.
He needs to make that clear to the country.
Managing expectations, critical.
Stuki Moi said:
And that will always be an insurmountable problem with clueless so called “pragmatists.” No matter how many times they and their dittoheads keep repeating that being “ideological” is some sort of liability.
When things are as completely, 100%, irrevocably effed up as they are in our not nearly little enough progressive dystopia at the present time; you need a solid ideological rudder to navigate. Otherwise, you’ll just be blown around like a leaf. By whomever have the funding and connections to whip up the strongest wind gusts in their own favor.
Which will, by definition, be the ones who did the robbing. Not the ones who got robbed.
Well in the wider picture of events, there is no ‘trade deficit’ as the money earned is reinvested in the US, i.e. something is bought in return.
That does not mean it is OK.
From a strategic level, imagine a country/region that prints money ( say EU), buys up US assets/business/gov. while at same time devaluing Euro, and those Euros return to EU via consumer spending and ‘trade deficit’, so ruining US competition due to the devalued nature of Euro.
You could paint the picture another way, starting with US goods being too expensive due to efficient foreign production, rewards of which buy out US economy and take jobs.
Or another way US dollar too strong, where is NIRP.
But the point is that there is unhappiness 😒 over the arrangement, people partly voted Trump to change the equation. They seem to want US wealth to be made in USA, not instant riches by selling off their country, much as European countries did with/after Euro.
I don’t find a problem with that stance.
Jon Sellers said:
Jacked up military spending, the beautiful wall is now a chained link fence, Obamacare-lite, now the trade platform being dump. And we haven’t even reached 100 days. Trump may be the weakest President ever. Sad!
At least he is trying instead of quietly undermining America like Obama.
Jon Sellers said:
Trying what? He’s saying one thing and doing the opposite.
Victor Adam Smith said:
How do you win an 10K marathon?
Pin Wheel said:
Corporate Globalism also has a foreign affairs angle to crush Russia to prevent it from becoming the EuroAsia link, thereby creating a super continental power house that would ultimately displace the U.S. as the world’s dominate power. If Trump lets Goldman take over trade policy, he will be flipping on both fair trade and detente with Russia. It’s a twofer.
Looks like Mish and the Goldman group will be happy with change that assures that the wonderful trade policies of the last 30 years stay in place.
With these, they can continue to strip the middle class of the last of their wealth and keep the serfs firmly in their place.
Good news indeed
Mish is a stock broker, you think he cares about working classes?
Trader Joe said:
Mish & the Goldman boys have a common thread…care to guess what it is?
Victor Adam Smith said:
Co-opted? Just like Trump routinely “co-opts” and trolls his opponents?
– The problem for one Mr. Peter Navarro was that I expect the EUR/USD to go (much) lower. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the EUR/USD at 0.80 or lower.
I see people seeing what they want to see.
What I do not see is Navarro sidelined. .
Victor Adam Smith said:
……and maybe some “self-projection” going on as well?
The ENTIRE article was hearsay attributed to “people close to” the situation. All war is deception and Wall Street is good at the latter and profits from the former. I put exactly zero stock in the article. Maybe true, maybe lies, worthless.
Germany would export less to USA and to European countries if they had their own deutschmark instead of Euro.
Germany has benefited from Euro being lower than a deutchmark would be and because of german efficiency Germany has slaughtered local industries in several european countries and gotten more market share for german products because in an euro-euro-trade other countries are unable to compete whereas in deutchmark-lira trade or deutchmark-franc trade both Italy and France would have fared better and have more production in them and more jobs in them.
The ONLY country that has benefited from Euro is GERMANY.
If the Wall Street is the only thing that matters crowd wins the trade argument Trump will have betrayed his election promises and offshoring of jobs will continue.
It is funny that Mish does NOT see that the consumer demand is FAKE and based on continually increasing debt so the debt mountain funds the consumer demand despite continual destruction of well paying jobs and continually increasing debt levels that pull more and more demand forward.
The Wall Street at all costs model of trade is BROKEN and it is breaking americans.
The consequences of offshoring jobs and huge trade imbalances should be made visible by stopping the continually increasing debt levels for both government, states, companies and consumers.
By cheering “free trade” in the current setup one is cheering Wall Street and the oligarchic behavior of bankers that are stripping all value from the economy and leaving just debt.
The current paradigm was based on commoditising labour.
Like it or not that will change with more automated production.
Change is due, Trump or no Trump.
When you say “benefited” are you talking long term or short? Germany has benefited in the short run but they have become rich on debt…assuming that they will someday be made whole. Nations like Greece have seen their economy suffer because of a declining economy that produces nothing because they didn’t have to….they got all they needed from Germany…with debt. So Greece has gotten a world of effectively “free shit” because everyone knows they will NEVER repay their debts, and Germany sold a world of shit that they basically gave away for IOUs that are worthless. I’m not sure how ANYONE wins from this…in the long run.
If America really ramps up our energy market, begins exporting coal, importing less oil, the trade deficits will start coming down. Then Trump will tout his victory even if trade is not changed at all.
russ cohn said:
You could not more wrong in your comment
Our stupid trade policies have resulted in an almost $4 trillion trade deficit with China since 1985, the required transfer of large amounts of technology and the loss of a huge number of jobs even beyond the number reduced via automation.
It helped provide the financing for China to become a major military power with air power estimated to be on par with the US.China has militarized unoccupied islands in the South China Sea and refuses to abide by rulings in international legal disputes.
The group that Mr Navarro has lost to is the Goldman Sacks group within the administration.
Do you actually think that this is a good result?
The article is purely hearsay and yet Russ Cohn references, “The group that Mr Navarro has lost to…” USE DISCERNMENT when reading articles attributed to no one and nothing. It’s a psy-ops piece and you bit. Spit it out.
Joseph Constable said:
China is a police state. When Chinese vacation to Tinian they can use a non censored internet provided at hotels, restaurants, and cafes. When doing so they are scared. They are afraid it might be a trap.
I wouldn’t do anything to help the country that wants to make Taiwan a prison island. We will be at war with them sooner or later. Their goal is to dominate us. It will lead to war.
Like I said previously, my friend who owns what may be the highest tech manufacturer in the world, is buying his highest tech production equipment from China. Some lesser equipment from Europe. None from the U.S. My friend’s customers, really clients, are all the aerospace military contracting companies.
Victor Adam Smith said:
Thank you John. That about your friend is very insightful.
Stuki Moi said:
And what are they suppose to buy from the US? China produces stuff. Europe produces high end stuff. And America produces bonds, laws, regulations, bomb craters and pieces of paper with some dead President’s face on them.
Lawyers, regulations and assorted financial scams should not be knocked, as they lower the real USA trade deficit and are wrongly excluded from trade deficit statistics. The USA does not need to export real goods and services to Germany, as USA regulations can directly loot and plunder German companies like Deutsch Bank and Volkswagen. All that is missing is the skull and crossbones flag, replaced by regulatory legalese. Note that Deutsch Bank recently recapitalized to replace what was looted by USA legal and economic regulatory warfare. Remove WWII legacy USA occupation troops from Germany, and USA side of economic trade ledger instantly improves. If the inevitable massive EU debt default happens soon, the German enemy will be in the financial toilet and Trump can celebrate victory without need for a trade war.
Stuki Moi said:
At a wide enough macro level and in a short enough term, 99% of America starving from being inflated and regulated out of the ability to compete, may look a-ok as long as an ambulance chaser and a guy from Goldman between them make up for their lost salaries, and can live a comfortably surrounded by Mercedes cars and Miele appliances. But it’s hardly a functional and stable economic state.
There is nothing those countries produce that America can’t.
Things are changing, and the pigs are squealing, as you would expect.
Stuki Moi said:
You’d be surprised.
But even assuming you are conceptually right, there’s plenty of stuff those countries produce that America in it’s current decrepit state cannot produce nearly as efficiently.
It’s impossible for American workers to simultaneously compete, and provide for their families, as long as the vast majority of their value add is diverted to keep an entrenched leeching class in ever growing splendor, whether by way of pumping up their “asset prices,” their union benefits or their “entitlements.”
USA works with China out of self-interest. USA needs to get over its anti-Chinese racism (has a long history with Chinese deportation laws) and smug superiority. Nixon and Kissinger knew what they were doing in foreign policy with China trade. Both sides benefit. Plus it helps if China has a better, stronger or more effective Police State, as it lets the USA and EU lesser police states look better by comparison. Always good to have a bigger bogeyman out there. China is not stupid enough to kill the Hong Kong or Taiwan golden geese benefiting the mainland economy. People doing business with China and making big profits from that trade are hypocritical when they moan and complain all the way to the bank with their loot. It sucks. USA and China will not go to war, as USA knows it cannot win a hot war (USA could not beat North Korea in 1950s) and China knows that a hot war will end export industries. Rhetoric and Theater suits both sides.
Todd Fisher said:
I agree with most comments here. The alt media who jumped onto the Trump wagon while leaving their brains behind will be humiliated, and likely cease to exist when this administration comes crumbling down. People need to see Trump for who he really is, he’s all about Trump. Period. He won not because voters like him, but because Hillary was down right awful. I’ve said from day one, Sanders would have destroyed Trump in the general election.
Most of our government are entrenched agency employees who have their own way of doing things and their own agendas. That’s what will crumble this administration.
Ron J said:
The MSM who jumped on the Hillary train, have humiliated themselves, not to mention exposed themselves as propagandists, not journalists.
Trump beat every candidate that went up against him. You under estimate him against Sanders.
Unlike Trump, Sanders NEVER held a job other than in government, so yes, he would have been a PERFECT presidential candidate. How else can we have a society that is based upon Utopian theory, rather than the brutal reality of life?
Progressives will not be pleased until every facet of our economy and society is under their direct and irrevocable control….and even then, they STILL will not be happy….who would be?
You are as transparent as the “elected” representatives in the US Congress, most of whom are nothing more then highly paid lobbyist whores.
No one is going to interfere or disrupt the “global monopoly” known by many names, but certainly recognized as the “New World Order”.
The 1/10th of 1% have complete control of our “shadow government” AND its “Agencies”, including the NSA, CIA, FBI, FEDERAL RESERVE, US Military, etc., not forgetting our other MONOPOLIES such as the MEDIA, MEDICAL, AGRI BUSINESS, DEFENSE Industry, etc.
As the PARASITE grows and grows and grows, the REVERSAL becomes IRREVERSIBLE, and the HOST becomes the PARASITE, and the PARASITE becomes the HOST.
Congratulations are in order. We as a nation have already arrived at that moment, and I am sure YOU need to be recognized, in some small way, for whatever part you have played in spreading the gospel according to David Rockefeller and associates.
But remember, Mish, the “wheel” does turn and grind, if ever so slowly.
Merchandisers gored by goyim trade adjustment.
Obama started his Presidency as a far left social worker. He quickly found out where they wanted him to be. It looks like they are moving Trump to the middle at rapid speed.
Absolutely, without a POTUS the system run as is.
Put in a POTUS and the POTUS changes, not the system.
Sometimes we must be satisfied with at least a change in direction or even momentum. Trump has at least changed THAT.
Medex Man said:
The uber-liberal Financial Times (which Mish quotes for this post) is still fighting the last war.
For decades, the federal government has expanded its spending like there was no tomorrow. Spending grew at least as fast (and often faster) than the economy that has to pay for it.
Now, baby-boomers are fantasizing about retiring (dream on spend thrifts!). Foreign economies have become worthy competitors, the US is no longer the only game in town. Meanwhile, federal, state and local governments have tens of trillions in off balance sheet debts — promises that cannot be kept.
Washington is struggling to adapt to an era where new spending initiatives by necessity have to compete for funding with past unfunded promises. Most promises cannot be kept, regardless of which empty suits are in power.
Trump has been through a bankruptcy. Wilbur Ross has been through dozens. Pretty sure that is where actual experience stops.
Congress can’t balance their own personal check books, and Goldman survives on regular taxpayer bailouts.
Just because the entire executive committee of IBM thought Lou Gerstner was crazy didn’t change the fact that IBM was months away from bankruptcy. IBM’s beloved pension system ended. Staff levels went from 400K to 100K as whole divisions were sold off or mothballed. Gerstner is credited with saving IBM, even if he didn’t save the extra 300K extra jobs there. Ditto for crazy lunatics like Lee Iacoca saving Chrysler (at least for awhile) and Jack Welch saving GE (at least for awhile). Bethlehem Steel and Eastman Kodak avoided crazy leaders, elected “safe” CEOs — look where that got them.
I think its foolish to base one’s understanding of the US government on the dim witted opinions of FT writers and yester-year’s spending ways.
If the red tape bureaucracy “defeats” Trump — and they keep things at GM going status quo, is that really a victory? I don’t think the writers at FT have a clue.
Medex Man said:
GM in 1970s was *THE* global car company. It took $200 billion in multiple taxpayer bailouts to “save” GM (sort of). UAW membership is barely a shadow of its former self, while pensions have been dumped into the PBGC (and paid only in part). GM’s market share went from over 50% to smaller than 15% — both Honda and Toyota are bigger (and possibly Hundai, Tata, and VW depending on whom you ask).
Now the question should be: who in the world has a spare $300 TRILLION (with a “T”) to bail out the dip sh!ts in Washington DC? A printing press might hide some of the losses, but by itself the printing press won’t cut it. Most of the world has their own debt problems, not to mention reasons not to bail out Uncle Sam.
Wilbur Ross works through bankruptcies for a living. Trump had a bad experience of his own, and has used other’s bankruptcies (see golf club in Scotland for example) to further his own interests.
The rest of Washington has no idea what is happening, and the FT even less.
“This is excellent news…”
It would be excellent news if only some other important things Trump wanted – like detente with Russia and repeal of Obamacare – were not being shelved along with this. Who knows? Before long, Trump may be in favor of amnesty.
Wow. I guess my comment is never going to make it out of moderation. And I didn’t even use any curse words – with the notable exception of Goldman Sachs!