President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on Mexico may be shelved for the time being, but his trade war is very much still in full swing — and according to data from Goldman Sachs, the Chinese tariffs are now starting to push up consumer prices on everything from furniture to appliances to auto parts, hitting Americans in their pocketbooks.
While all of this is terrible news for the country, it could be good news for Democrats’ election prospects, writes Neil Irwin of The New York Times‘ “The Upshot.” In fact, he argues, it gives them an unprecedented opportunity to unite the center-left and populist left on free trade — an issue about which they are generally at odds.
“In battleground states mostly in the Rust Belt — Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — 39 percent of registered voters said they thought Mr. Trump’s trade policies were good for the economy, versus 47 percent who thought they were bad, according to a May Quinnipiac poll,” writes Irwin. “You can imagine a trade pitch from the 2020 Democratic nominee that goes something like this: ‘I’ll work with allies to keep pressure on China over its unfair practices — but not with open-ended tariffs on thousands of goods that are a tax on American consumers and invite retaliation against American farmers. I won’t use tariffs against countries that are our close partners. And I’ll use trade policy to try to boost well-being for American workers, rather than using it as a cudgel on unrelated issues.'”
“It could prove a potent way to knit together a Democratic coalition that depends on both traditional labor-left voters in the industrial Midwest and college-educated suburbanites who are more comfortable with globalization,” suggests Irwin.
If there were any issue on which it would be possible to realign the public this way, it would be trade, says Irwin: “Political science research suggests that the public tends to drift away from any president’s view on an issue when a big change is enacted.” Moreover, “trade is an issue in which America’s views are not strongly anchored” — Trump was able to swing his own party in favor of protectionism in 2016 when he took aim at President Barack Obama’s Trans-Pacific Partnership.
In an environment where Democrats are convinced they need an economic message to weaken Trump, this could well be it.
Trump’s racist attacks on Dem lawmakers are a test run in case he faces Kamala Harris in 2020: MSNBC contributor
Speaking with host Alex Witt on Sunday afternoon, an MSNBC contributor speculated that Donald Trump's racist attack on four female Democrats -- none of whom are white -- was a test run to see how far he can go attacking Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) should she be his opponent in the 2020 general election.
According to Democratic strategist Don Calloway, Trump may not have a grand strategy, but he's in "campaign mode" which brings out his barely concealed inner-racist.
"I'm not one to ascribe a strategy to the president when it's clear he's not a deep thinker, but he is, however, in campaign mode," he explained. "I see this as a good campaign device for him to gin up his base, fueled by the xenophobia and race-based hatred."
Trump’s trade war with China has led to foreign investments in the US drying up: report
Not only are U.S. manufacturers and farmers feeling the devastating brunt of Donald Trump's ongoing trade war with China -- among other countries -- now the New York Times reports that foreign investors no longer see America as a safe bet to park their money.
According to the report, "the once steady flow of Chinese cash into America, with Chinese investment plummeting by nearly 90 percent since President Trump took office."
With the report stating, the drop-off "stems from tougher regulatory scrutiny in the United States and a less hospitable climate toward Chinese investment, as well Beijing’s tightened limits on foreign spending," one analyst blamed the increasingly hostile trade relationship between the two countries.
Here’s how Trump hopes to recreate his 2016 presidential win — and how Democrats can send him packing
Writing for CNN on Saturday, election forecaster Harry Enten explained how President Donald Trump's recent, racist behavior lies in his desire to recreate the same electoral conditions that gave him a victory in 2016 in the presidential election next year.
"The Trump strategy is pretty simple: 1. Drive up the unfavorable ratings of his Democratic rival as he did in 2016 in order to compensate for his own low ratings. 2. Bank on an electoral college/popular vote split as he did in 2016. 3. Use a campaign of racial resentment to drive up turnout even more among groups favorable toward the President," wrote Enten. As he noted, Democrats have excellent odds to flip back Michigan and Pennsylvania, but they will have to work harder to win back any of the other states Trump flipped from the 2012 Obama camp — in particular Wisconsin, which was the closest state after those two.