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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

New Report Shows How Americans Pay For Trump’s Trade War

Farmers have been filing for bankruptcy at record rates, economic growth is stalled, and manufacturing is in a recession — all contrary to Donald Trump’s promises that he would return the economy to four percent growth and be the “greatest jobs president God ever created.”

Now a United Nations report released Tuesday “finds implicit evidence that the cost of the tariffs has been generally passed down to United States consumers.”

“US consumers are paying for the tariffs,” said Alessandro Nicita, an economist at the U.N.’s trade agency, “in terms of higher prices.”

The report only analyzed the first six months of 2019 and does not include Trump’s September tariffs. Economists from University College London and the London School of Economics expect the new wave of tariffs to cost middle-income American families almost $500 a year, as electronics like washing machines and televisions — as well as basic foods, like pork, cheese, and beer — all become more expensive.

CNBC reported in May that the cost of Trump’s trade war with countries like China and Canada is “equivalent to one of the largest tax increases in decades.”

Trump first started his trade war with China in April of last year, when he levied tariffs on Chinese products like shoes, airplane parts, and batteries. He also put a tax on foreign steel and aluminum. The Chinese government responded in kind, imposing its own tax on American goods, especially machinery, electronics, and agricultural produce.

Trump has claimed that his trade war would lead to more jobs for Americans and make the U.S. richer at China’s expense, but that hasn’t happened.

And China’s retaliation has hurt American farmers in particular, who have lost billions because of falling Chinese demand.

“Trump is ruining our markets,” Bob Kuylen, a North Dakota farmer, told CNBC in August. “No one is buying our product no more, and we have no markets no more.”

“There’s no incentive to keep farming, except that I’ve invested everything I have in farming, and it’s hard to walk away,” he said.

Factory workers have fared poorly too.

Tens of thousands of jobs have been lost in Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Industries Trump promised in 2016 to revitalize — such as automobiles, steel, coal, and mining — have faced downsizing, bankruptcy, and closure. Manufacturing’s tough times, which now qualify as a recession, are largely due to Trump’s trade war.

Diane Swonk, chief economist at Grant Thornton, told NPR that Trump’s trade war is a key contributor to the slowing U.S. economy, which is now growing half as quickly as Trump promised on the campaign trail.

“Businesses don’t know where to place their bets and don’t know where to invest when they don’t know where the next tariffs are going to come from,” she said. “That’s been one of the biggest weights on the U.S. economy.”

Published with permission of The American Independent.

‘Lock Him Up!’: Eric Trump Targets Hunter Biden At Rally

At Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Minnesota Thursday night, Eric Trump led the crowd in a chant of “Lock him up!” against Hunter Biden.

At the event, Trump baselessly accused former Vice President Joe Biden’s son of embezzlement and suggested the infamous chant Trump supporters have used against Hillary Clinton since the 2016 campaign should now be applied to Hunter Biden.

“Maybe ‘Lock her up!’ goes to ‘Lock him up!'” Trump said.

The audience obeyed and picked up the chant.

Trump’s performance at the rally is the latest example of his personal crusade against Hunter Biden. While the rest of the news-cycle has been focused on impeachment, Trump has spent more than a week on a Fox News offensive, complaining that the media is unfairly critical of him and his siblings while letting Hunter Biden off the hook for nonexistent crimes.

In the past week, he’s gone on The Ingraham Angle, The Story,” and Hannity.

On Oct. 7, Trump joined Fox & Friends to argue that the media has unfairly targeted him despite his “scandal-free life.”

“I’ve lived a totally scandal-free life, I’ve lived an incredibly clean life,” he said, “and they go after me, and they go after Don, and Ivanka, and Barron, and Tiffany, and our children. For what?”

He made these same arguments in op-ed he wrote in The Hill earlier this month, accusing the media of “viciously” attacking his family.

“But can you imagine, if they were willing to try and destroy a ‘kid’ who dedicated his life to pediatric cancer and philanthropy, what the media would say if I had secured a $50,000 a month job on the board of a Ukrainian company, with no discernable duties, in an industry I knew nothing about, in a country where I did not even speak the language?” he wrote.

This, he insisted, is a “double standard.”

Trump claimed that in less than a decade he “raised more than $20 million for terminally ill children at Saint Jude Children’s Research Hospital.” Despite that charity work, he said he “was viciously chastised by the Democrats and the media who relentlessly tried to manufacture stories about me, my mission, and my intentions with the charity.”

However, Trump has hardly led a “scandal-free life,” and his charity is under investigation.

A 2017 Forbes report found that the Donald J. Trump Foundation gave $100,000 to the Eric Trump Foundation in order to cover the cost of fundraisers held at Trump properties, a move that turned charitable donations into profit. The Forbes report prompted the New York attorney general to launch an investigation into the Eric Trump Foundation and to expand the already-ongoing investigation into his father’s charity.

In the past Eric Trump had claimed that all money raised for his charity “obviously goes to the children of St. Jude.” The foundation’s website also assured donors that all donations went to supporting St. Jude. But the Daily Beast reported in 2018 that his foundation spent $145,000 of the $1.8 million it raised in 2016 on covering the cost of fundraisers at various Trump properties, including Trump National Golf Club in Westchester County, Trump Golf Links Ferry Point, Mar-a-Lago, and the Trump SoHo, now called the Dominick.

The Donald J. Trump Foundation, of which Eric Trump was listed as an officer, along with his siblings Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, dissolved in 2018 under the weight of the New York State’s attorney general’s investigation. Eric Trump’s foundation remains under investigation.

But to Eric Trump, it’s Joe Biden’s son who deserves the media’s scrutiny for debunked conspiracy theories — and now jail time, too.

Published with permission of The American Independent.