You Can’t Eat Debt

Col Von Luger: Flyers are gentlemen, not peasants to dig in the earth. So I am surprised.

Group Captain McDonald: The English have always been keen on gardening.

Col Von Luger: Oh Yes, but flowers? It this not so?

McDonald: You can’t eat flowers

Col Von Luger: Good Point

The Great Escape 1963

 

I must confess that I was concerned when President Trump started slapping Tariff’s on China having been taught from youth that tariff’s had been one of the underlying causes of the Great Depression and knowing that China has been a great holder of our debt.

His confidence in his ability to manage our trade problems apparently has not been misplaced:

China will exempt some agricultural products from additional tariffs on U.S. goods, including pork and soybeans, China’s official Xinhua News Agency said Friday, in the latest sign of easing Sino-U.S. tensions before a new round of talks aimed at curbing a bruising trade war.

This development is of some disappointment to those looking to defeat him politically but not to producers of Pork and soybeans:

“The importance of this market to U.S. pork producers is clear,” said National Pork Producers Council President and North Carolina hog farmer David Herring. “U.S. pork exports could single handedly make a huge dent in the trade imbalance with China.”


An outbreak of deadly African swine fever, which has cut China’s pig herd by a third since mid-2018, has propelled Chinese pork prices to record levels and left the country in need of replacement supplies from overseas. U.S. pork exports to China so far this year have largely fallen short of expectations.

Ed Morrissey sees what it means.

The concessions on pork and soybeans are significant, much more so than a two-week delay in tariffs. It signals that China can’t afford to deal with a lengthy trade war, especially not this year. They may not like it, but they still need to trade in order to feed their massive population, and China might have to get used to fully opening their markets and complying with agreements to do so.

President Trump, being more successful and more experienced in business than myself and recognizing that checking China’s expansion without military confrontation was a vital American interest apparently understands one of basic facts of life, a fact that he as a person who was born to wealth might not be expected to remember.

The most imposing nation no matter how large a standing army or how broad a shadow it casts on their neihbors, is impotent if it can’t feed it’s people.