Trump Hoping China Will Switch Tariffs Away From GOP Base

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Bloomberg reports that China and the US are planning to keep all the tariffs they imposed on each other during Donald Trump’s trade war. However:

China is considering a U.S. request to shift some tariffs on key agricultural goods to other products so the Trump administration can sell any eventual trade deal as a win for farmers ahead of the 2020 election, people familiar with the situation said. The step would involve China moving retaliatory duties it imposed starting last July on $50 billion worth of U.S. goods to non-agricultural imports.

….The people didn’t specify which other goods would receive higher tariffs instead of agricultural products.

Hmmm. What kind of goods would Trump actively like to see hurt by Chinese tariffs? Via Tyler Cowen, Bill Bishop tells us:

Talk is going around DC that the US and China may keep the original $50B in tariffs, but that the Trump Administration has asked the Chinese to move theirs away from targeting the GOP base to less politically sensitive sectors, even proposing alternative industries to the Chinese side.

If it’s away from the GOP base, then it’s probably toward the Democratic base. Maybe Trump will ask China to target all the stuff made in the Democratic districts of California, the state he hates with the heat of a thousand suns. If his trade war is basically going to last forever, he might as well get some personal satisfaction out of it, amirite?

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This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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