US-China Trade Talks: What's Really Being Discussed
Writing this post is depressing for me, because I know I wouldn't be able to sleep at night were I someone on the inside of the China-US trade talks.
The tariffs and the bans, and everything that comes with a trade war have real world consequences that impact real people, sometimes destroying the life's work of someone, done without any remorse or consolation.
The problem between the US and China comes down to the difference between the value of the US Dollar and the Chinese Yuan. Simply put, China needs to keep their currency devalued in order to keep their exports attractive to buyers. The US Dollar on the other hand is facing the consequences of being a reserve currency for the world, in that the Dollar just so happens to be more attractive than the rest of the fiat currencies, despite the US Dollar being a dumpster fire at this point with less than 3% of its purchasing power left. But, every fiat currency is a dumpster fire, and the US Dollar just so happens to be the safest dumpster fire to buy as a safe haven, which itself is very dangerous for the global economy.
The only safe buys right now (in my opinion) are cryptocurrencies and precious metals like gold and silver. Everything else is overvalued by an insane amount. Real Estate (which is normally a solid safe haven for wealth) is in a massive global bubble, thanks to Billionaires and Multi-millionaires trying to find safe havens for the money that governments throw at them through bailouts and tax breaks (especially the Trump tax break). If you see your house price rising in the US, you can thank Trump for that, but you can also thank him when your house value gets destroyed later. That's the con, give a little now and take everything later.
So back to the trade talks, and what's really being discussed.
The two currencies are both at loggerheads, and the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods are an attempt to balance out the value difference of the Yuan and US dollar. The Euro is a problem for the US as well, but that will be an uphill battle for the US Dollar, far more than the Yuan in my opinion.
When negotiators get together to try and work out a deal, you have to understand that what is really being discussed is the impact on the local populations, businesses and quality of life for the people on each side, and how willing each side is in sacrificing people (ultimately) to come to an agreement. The impacts are not always immediate either.
Anyone with observational skills and at least a background in basic psychology knows that Trump has a personality disorder and lacks empathy, remorse, or any of the normal human traits that exist because of mirror neurons and proper upbringing. Trump clearly has/had neither, but luckily he's not in the trade negotiations (one would hope), because if he were, he would have no qualms throwing Americans under the bus to achieve a goal. There's no guarantee that won't be the end result anyway. But that's Trump's style, accept it for better or worse, because that's what his supporters like about him: he doesn't give a shit about anyone, even them. Sadly, the working class in america that voted for Trump are also the first on the chopping block, as rural communities are often more self-sustaining in the long run, while cities and developed areas need trade to survive. Literally. Without the free flow of goods and services between large cities, especially between different nations, a large city like New York or London will figuratively and maybe literally burn to the ground. This is one of the reasons why I live in a more rural area, and why I call large cities "bee hives."
So, what is each side willing to sacrifice to make trade work in the long term? There is no one-sided negotiation, not in trade talks. Maybe Trump is accustomed to the private sector where you can bully a business partner, or leverage them into working for you at their own expense (as immoral and unethical as that is), but Trump's private business tactics have damning consequences in the real world. He's being impeached for that very reason right now, as you cannot extort or blackmail other nations without paying a huge price. The rest of the world has never had a great opinion of the USA, but there was always a sense that because the USA was a "christian nation" (I use the term loosely and somewhat cheekily) and that there was an in-built sense of morality behind everything the US government did. Sadly, this illusion has been destroyed over the past 3 years, and the world is silently condemning the US for it's behavior, especially when it comes to morals and doing the right thing.
But aside from that growing dilemna for the US, what is each side willing to sacrifice, and more accurately, who? In the US we're already seeing farmers slaughtered on multiple fronts, and we're seeing industry struggle to stay alive. Even more alarming, most of these Americans are probably unaware of the full story, either because they only watch Fox, or MSNBC, or CNN, and don't actually receive the full story that they might be trying to find. I can't claim to have the full story, and I absorb copious amounts of news from a lot of difference sources every day, more than I probably should, and I still have more questions than answers.
At this point, negotiations are likely way beyond each side saying what they want. Rather, each side is constantly weighing the impact of their own offers and the offers of the other side, hearing what the other side doesn't want, and rinse and repeat. With each successive round of talks, the fate of Billions rests in their hands. The models and calculations have to be precise, and they also have to account for any changes in the economy that were unexpected on either side. The US economy is deteriorating faster than projected, but then again so is China's. The difference between China and the US is that President Xi in China has personally visited all the different provinces in China and signaled to them to brace for the long haul, and to take measures to stretch out food and resources preemptively. This is possible in a Communist nation, where everyone takes a small hit to their quality of life at the same time, while in the US the opposite is true. Those with the most wealth in the US are actively soaking up wealth wherever they can, which puts a damper on the bottom 99% who live paycheck to paycheck, or are living on credit to get by, hoping for better days soon. The worst hit in the US are rural areas and industrial cities first, but slowly the wealth erodes until only the upper crust have comfortable lives, and even they are grumpy and stressed these days, if you haven't noticed. They probably don't care enough to spread their wealth to the rest of Americans, at least not without something in return. They didn't get wealthy by being generous, after all.
I wish I could be more detailed, but sadly I'm not a fly on the wall at the negotiations, and as I said I probably wouldn't want to be there for reasons of conscience. From a global perspective, if there was one government and resources were spread out evenly by population density, everyone would have more than enough. Sadly, we don't live in an ideal world where we all get along. Just watch the reaction of some narcissists here on Steem when they get down-voted for abusing bid bots. Those with a conscience and working empathy get it, and change their behavior, while the narcissists lash out and cry "whoa is me."
Now take that reaction and scale it up to 7+ Billion people. Now consider that there are cultural and language barriers, as well as different expectations between different nations. The US suddenly shifted it's expectations from being amicable to being hostile in a short period of time, and the rest of the world has to adjust to this bipolar shift in sentiment. The US has become accustomed to the perks of having a global reserve currency, and the rest of the world has already decided we need a new global reserve currency, but the US obviously disagrees. Quality of life for most Americans will suffer if and when the US Dollar is dethroned, and if we're being honest the US Dollar is dethroning itself more than anything by making itself too attractive for investors that are running scared.
I guess my goal for writing this post is to help others understand that what is at stake is their quality of life. The people in government making the big decisions will not be impacted by the consequences of those decisions, with the worst outcome being that they don't get elected next time, but they still get their life time annual 6 figure pension after they leave office, so don't feel too bad for any politician that gets ousted, because they're set for life regardless.
Instead, worry about yourself and the people you care about. If you're more worried about some idiot on television or some politician than you are your own family and friends, you really need to rethink your priorities in life. People are the most valuable thing in your life, whether you can see it or not. Once they're gone, they're gone. Luckily, most of us don't have to negotiate the fate and even the life of Billions of people.
That is a job I would refuse up and down, because there are no moral choices left.
Thanks for reading. stay safe and keep your head up.