Alternative Visions – Us-China Trade War: Hiatus or Blow-Up?

In the introduction, Dr. Rasmus provides final comments on the reliability of US stats (jobs, GDP, wages) affecting part time, discouraged workers, temp jobs, multiple job holders, labor force drop out, disability and census workers, as well as the main data points of full time and u-3 unemployed. (see jackrasmus.com blog for print version of the discussion). The remainder of today’s show focuses on ‘What’s really behind the US-China trade war’ standoff? Is it temporary or will it descend into a deeper trade conflict? Rasmus offers background on the origins of the Trump trade war with China since August 2017, and its evolution through 2018 up to the present break off of negotiations this week. Why (and how) the US negotiators ‘moved the goalposts’ in the past week and threw new demands at the Chinese as they were preparing to come to the US this past week to finalize a deal. Trump’s claim ‘they renegotiated the agreement’ this past week is his cover for the US actually doing the renegotiation, moving the goal posts with new demands as the Chinese team prepared to come to the US.  The question is raised: do the neocons driving US trade negotiations (and US foreign policy in general from Korea to Venezuela to Iran to Europe) really want a deal? Or are they intent on sabotaging one? What will other business factions (bankers, multinational corporations, farm sector) in the US negotiations now do? Rasmus concludes the show with a brief discussion of why the term, ‘Neoliberalism’, as used by many critics of US policy since Reagan falls short of the full meaning.  A broader term must include economic restructuring, a new economic policy mix, political institutional change, and ideological legitimization. Neoliberalism as really the intensification of domestic economic class war plus intensification of inter-capitalist global competition.


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