RNA - Etler, a former professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Thursday while commenting on US President Donald Trump’s speech at the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday where he said the US will increase tariffs on China in case the first step of a broader agreement isn’t reached.
Etler said, “Trump recently gave a speech at the Economic Club of New York in which he threw cold water on the prospects for a ‘Phase-1’ trade deal with China. As is his wont, Trump threatened to scuttle the impending trade deal if Beijing doesn’t accept US trade terms, stating that if a deal isn't reached, ‘We’re going to substantially raise those tariffs,’ he added, ‘We will only accept a deal if it’s good for the United States.’ This is Trump’s Standard Operating Procedure, as a deadline approaches take a hard-line. This adds allure to the ‘strong-man’ image Trump wants to project. But, as has been repeatedly shown, it’s all bluff and bluster. It allows him to accept a deal that does not meet his objectives while claiming that it did.”
'Deceit behind Trump’s message'
“The deceit behind Trump’s message is that the US economy is not doing nearly as well as he suggests. Most of the economic gains he heralds are the continuation of trends inherited from the Obama administration or the result of a one-time corporate tax cut that jacked up the US stock market. The economic ‘boom’ Trump ballyhoos has been great for corporate executive’s bottom line but has left most Americans holding the bag. While the officially reported unemployment rate is historically low, the jobs created are of low quality, wages have remained stagnant and many people have to work two or three jobs to keep their heads above water,” he added.
“On the other hand, Trump downplayed the negative impacts on the US economy that the tariffs have imposed, including a dramatic increase in farm bankruptcies and an equally dramatic downturn in US manufacturing. Trump’s claims that the trade war with China is bringing manufacturing jobs back to the US is simply contradicted by the facts as evidenced by the recent steep decline in the Producer’s Manufacturing Index (PMI), a measure of the prevailing direction of economic trends in manufacturing,” he said.
“Trump’s assertion that the Chinese economy has taken a bigger hit from the tariffs than the US and that China needs an end to the trade war more than the US does, is also contradicted by the facts. Chinese PMI statistics have remained stable over the duration of the trade war and have recently begun to rise. The recent Chinese Single’s Day shopping spree also broke all records, garnering $38 billion in sales. While Chinese import/export data has shown a recent decline, the trade imbalance with the US has grown, not lessened, surging to a 6 month high in September 2019. Overall, the Trump initiated trade war does not seem to be having its desired effect,” the analyst noted.
“Interestingly, the non-manufacturing or service industry in China is growing much faster. This is a result of a planned Chinese effort to reduce its dependence on exports and thus manufacturing in building up its consumer market. In the latest report, Chinese consumption is now contributing more than 70% of the economy. In addition, the high tech manufacturing PMI is at a healthy 53.7%,” he said.
“These two indicators are important. The fast-growing Chinese middle class is a market that the US cannot ignore if it wants to sustain its own economic growth, particularly as the US middle class is hard-pressed by the rising costs of housing, education, and health care. The accelerating growth in high tech means China is obtaining self-sufficiency and moving away from dependence on unreliable US high tech suppliers. In addition, China is achieving its goal of quality growth by investing in environmental protection, social welfare, increasing wages and higher living standards. This is the result of having clear goals and long term planning led by strong and clear-headed leadership, something clearly lacking in the US which is stymied by political infighting and corporate profit-seeking,” he said.
“While China invests in infrastructure, education of its people and science and technology R and D in order to give its citizens a better way of life, the US invests in unaffordable and wasteful military spending and foreign wars,” he observed.
“This is the reason why the American Dream is dying while the Chinese Dream of home ownership, higher wages, and better living conditions is alive and well,” he said.