Looks like Peter T. Johnson at USA Today might be coming around on the Trump Tariffs. In an article posted at 6:15 PM yesterday, well after the stock market closed down 600 points, he writes:

If reports are true that the Chinese did reverse course on new commitments protecting U.S. interests related to intellectual property, competition policy and currency manipulation, the aggressive American response could well prove justified and effective, despite the obvious and well-documented risks to such an approach.

After a short review of traditional approaches, he goes on to say:

But in these unique circumstances, the administration could actually get what it wants and more quickly than its critics might think.

A lot of this assessment is tied up in the unique being that is President Donald J. Trump. U.S. national politics has rarely seen his like and International Relations haven’t seen this from a U.S. President since Teddy Roosevelt. The biggest aspect of that is Trump’s unpredictability, which is likely driving the Chinese negotiators and advisors to Xi flat out nuts. You’ve got to believe the riskiest job in the World has got to be an advisor to Xi or worse, Kim, who has to predict just what President Trump is going to do next. This is why Chris Wallace’s constant return to his question regarding the end date of U.S. tariffs was so out of line.

Side note: After yesterday’s 600 point decline, the market is, as of this writing, up 240 points. As always, after the emotion, cooler heads prevail.

Mike Ford is a retired Infantry Officer who writes on Military, Foreign Affairs and occasionally dabbles in Political and Economic matters.

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