March 30, 2022

Biden's War Against International Trade.

If there is one overriding dimension to President Biden's foreign policy, it is his War Against International Trade.

From cutting off oil pipelines both between Canada and the US. To an attempt to do the same between Russia and Europe. Choosing sanctions against Russia, and potentially China is a direct blow to trade with those countries.

Throughout the world, Biden has sought to punish our “enemies” with various forms of sanctions and restrictions. But what he, and his Administration, seem to forget is that we are reliant upon these “adversaries” for our own fully functioning economy.

If this wasn't so perverse, it would be almost comical. Imagine a country that desperately needs foreign oil, telling one of our largest suppliers, Russia, that we're going to impose sanctions on them.

Ludicrous.

I believe that this Thursday, the 31st of March, we will see our last shipment of Russian oil. The impact of yet higher prices and shorter supplies should begin shortly after that.

Insanity.

Now, yesterday we got yet another reminder of just how disastrous this policy has become. Yesterday we saw the February Goods Trade Numbers.

Now there are two ways that US Trade is measured. And this is admittedly confusing. We measure both total US trade, which includes both goods and services.

And we measure US trade in just goods. Things that are made and produced by other countries, and sold to America. Yesterday's reading was for the Goods Trades.

And, as we discussed yesterday, what we feared came true. US Goods Trade Deficit for February came in at a mind-numbing $106 Billion dollars. The second-highest deficit ever recorded.

Second only to January of this year. And a clear indication that, as a country, we have stepped up our need for overseas goods, by another 20-30%.

Look for a 1.3 to 1.4 trillion dollar deficit in Goods Trade this year.

Bottom line, we are totally dependent upon overseas goods. And, if possible, becoming even more so.

And while we might assume that our main import is oil. It's not. In fact, oil ranks only third, on the list of things we import.

Our number one import is consumer goods. You know the pots and pans, refrigerators and televisions, and all the modern appliances that make our life easier. We don't make that stuff anymore.

If, as I believe, Biden is shutting the door on international trade. Then we can all expect those common everyday consumer goods to get much more expensive, and much harder to purchase.

Our second major imports are Capital Goods. The major purchases that individuals and businesses need to keep things moving. Of course, automobiles top this list. But industrial machinery and high-tech equipment are also on the list.

That American industrial powerhouse, you may remember,  is at least 50 years behind us.

Today America is the largest consumer market in the world. Unfortunately, America is steadily diminishing as a maker of goods.

A nation of consumers with fewer producers.

This has produced the most lopsided economy ever. And that's what's reflected in that Trade Goods Deficit. Over 100 billion dollars worth of goods per month that we import. Goods we can not, or will not make ourselves.

And it's not just trinkets and toys. Our trade deficit consists of very real products and commodities that we need day today.

This economy simply won't function, without the energy, capital goods, and necessities that we are totally reliant on others to make for us.

It has been a grand experiment in just how far a country can go, in letting others produce what we really need to live.

Unfortunately, that experiment is coming to an end.

Single-handed, Joe Biden is going to show us, what these trade deficits really mean.

That our consumer society is extremely vulnerable. Subject to the whims, of our suppliers. The very nations that Biden has now sanctioned.