The Dow closed down nearly 400 points yesterday amid mounting concerns about Trump’s trade war. After his administration announced the delay of some tariffs on Chinese imports, all of those losses were recouped.
It’s worth noting that Trump frequently brags about the strength of the stock market during his presidency. It has become a key talking point for him on the campaign trail, and he does not likely want to give it up — even for the sake of his trade war.
The Trump administration was facing backlash over its proposed tariffs from US business owners, some of whom had taken down job postings after the policy was announced.
The Washington Post reports:
Trump’s escalating trade war has spooked business executives. There’s already been a noticeable decline in business investment as corporate leaders say Trump’s tariffs and unpredictability are creating too much uncertainty, dissuading them from spending large sums on new buildings or equipment. Now there are early signs that business leaders are beginning to pull back on hiring, too. …
The United States had 7.3 million job openings in June, down from a peak of 7.6 million in November, according to the latest Labor Department data. While the decline is modest, economists are concerned hiring could dry up quickly as companies see no end in sight to Trump’s trade war and they look to cut costs. The reduction in job openings is also widespread across many industries, signaling how cautious companies are becoming.
Just this morning, Trump was falsely claiming that China would bear the cost of his trade war.
But the decision to delay some of Trump’s tariffs until Dec. 15 indicates that certain members of his administration understand the burden US consumers will face once this trade policy goes into effect.
The news of the delayed tariffs on items like cell phones, laptops and video game consoles will certainly come as a relief to US retailers, who have expressed concerns that Trump’s trade war could impact holiday sales.
But as a Politico reporter noted, the administration’s decision to delay the policy appears to fly in the face of Trump’s repeated (and false) claim that American consumers will not bear the cost of his tariffs.
The Trump administration also announced that certain Chinese imports would no longer be subject to the 10 percent tariff.
“Certain products are being removed from the tariff list based on health, safety, national security and other factors and will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent,” the statement from US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer notes.
The tariffs were originally set to go into effect on Sept. 1 and impact $300 billion worth of Chinese imports.
Trump administration delays some tariffs against China
Robert Lighthizer, the US trade representative, announced today that some of the Trump administration’s tariffs against China will be delayed until Dec. 15.
“Products in this group include, for example, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing,” the statement from Lighthizer’s office reads.
That means that US consumers likely won’t face increased prices until after the holidays, as all of those products will have already been shipped from China by Dec. 15.
The Dow spiked 400 points on news of the delayed tariffs, which were set to go into effect on Sept. 1.
Trump mentions red flag law in connection to Cuomo video
Continuing to mock Chris Cuomo for lashing out against a heckler, Trump oddly suggested the CNN host shouldn’t be allowed to carry a gun.
Red flag laws have been enacted in a number of US states and allow judges to take away firearms from those deemed dangerous. But Trump has sent mixed signals about whether he backs such laws.
Echoing Trump, Sanders accuses Washington Post of bias (without evidence)
Bernie Sanders might have finally found something he and Trump can agree on: the alleged bias of the Washington Post.
Without citing any evidence, the presidential candidate claimed the newspaper was giving him negative coverage because of his criticisms of Amazon. (The retail giant’s founder, Jeff Bezos, owns the Post.)
Speaking at a town hall in New Hampshire, Sanders brought up Amazon’s low tax bill. “See, I talk about that all of the time,” Sanders said. “And then I wonder why The Washington Post — which is owned by Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon — doesn’t write particularly good articles about me. I don’t know why. But I guess maybe there’s a connection. Maybe we helped raise the minimum wage at Amazon to 15 bucks an hour as well.”
The Post reported last month on conflicts between the unionized organizers of Sanders’ campaign and senior staffers. The organizers were complaining that their salaries equated to an hourly pay of less than $15, which the senator has long said should be the federal minimum wage.
The president has previously attacked the newspaper as the “Amazon Washington Post” and falsely claimed that the outlet is working as a lobbyist for Bezos’ company.
The Post’s executive editor, Marty Baron, issued a statement denying Sanders’ claim. “Sen. Sanders is a member of a large club of politicians — of every ideology — who complain about their coverage,” Baron said. “Contrary to the conspiracy theory the senator seems to favor, Jeff Bezos allows our newsroom to operate with full independence, as our reporters and editors can attest.”
Fourth NRA board member calls it quits
Another member of the National Rifle Association’s board of directors has resigned, the fourth such departure in the past two weeks.
Professional sport shooter Julie Golob published a letter to her website announcing her resignation. “I am proud to have had the opportunity to represent the members of the National Rifle Association but I can no longer commit to fulfilling the duties of a director,” she wrote.
She also apologized for not completing her three-year term and noted that it was “not a decision I made lightly.”
Golob’s departure is the latest sign of upheaval at the gun lobbying group, which has been pushing back against the expansion of background checks or red flag laws in the wake of the El Paso and Dayton shootings.
The NRA’s president, Oliver North, was fired earlier this year, and its top lobbyist resigned after becoming embroiled in an alleged scheme to oust CEO Wayne LaPierre.
Gun-control groups celebrated the signs of trouble at the organization. “Now another board member is calling it quits,” said John Feinblatt, president of the group Everytown for Gun Safety. “At this rate, they may be answering subpoenas rather than paying for political ads in 2020.”
Trump mocks CNN’s Chris Cuomo after ‘Fredo’ comment
Trump has joined in on the discussion about Chris Cuomo after the CNN anchor lashed out against a man who called him “Fredo,” referring to the dimmer-witted son of Vito Corleone in “The Godfather.”
“Punk ass bitches from the right call me ‘Fredo.’ My name is Chris Cuomo, I’m an anchor on CNN,” Cuomo told his heckler in a video shared on Twitter last night. “Fredo is from the ‘Godfather,’ he was a weak brother and the use of it to an Italian is disparaging.”
After the video emerged, Cuomo’s network stood by him, with a CNN spokesperson saying, “We completely support him.”
Cuomo even got some support from another cables news host and a frequent critic of his, Fox News’ Sean Hannity.
But Trump was much less compassionate, echoing the heckler’s use of “Fredo” and saying Cuomo “totally lost it.”
Democratic attorneys general push back against Trump’s overhaul of the Endangered Species Act
Good morning, live blog readers!
The Trump administration is already facing pushback for two significant policy changes announced yesterday. One would penalize green card applicants who use public benefits, and the other would overhaul the Endangered Species Act in ways that critics fear will accelerate the extinction of many plants and animals.
Massachusetts and California have announced that they will go to court in an effort to prevent the changes to the landmark conservation bill. “We will not let the Administration attack our most rare animals and plants,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said. “We are suing.”
Both attorneys general cited a United Nations report from earlier this year estimating that more than 1m species across the globe face the threat of extinction. The dire warnings provided the latest demonstration of how far-reaching – and potentially devastating – the impacts of Donald Trump’s policies could be.
Here’s what else the blog is keeping its eye on:
- Trump will travel to Pennsylvania today to tour the Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex and give a speech on energy policy. Judging from his Twitter feed, he is currently watching Fox and Friends.
- Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg will speak at the Iowa State Fair.
- National security adviser John Bolton is still in London meeting with UK officials.
That’s all still coming up, so stay tuned.