Money does not grow on trees, as the saying goes, and nothing cashes in banknotes faster than trading. For thousands of years, ports and city markets determined the way human life shaped in every corner of the world, creating value for goods and products. In today’s world, global markets are connected with one another through international networks and it has become possible to find and purchase all sorts of products in any part of the world. On a grander level, global trade has given birth to a new age of financial transactions, through the use of company shares, government bonds and stock market exchanges, cementing the fundamentals of the current global financial paradigm. Technologies such as stock trading apps and market watch software are also easily accessible for millions of interested parties, further helping grow trade networks and the associated financial markets. Time equates money these days and it is solely up to the individual to find applicable ideas and utilize the existent resources to cash in, much like in a game of poker, making focus and concentration integral subjects of concern.
Along with the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the US came chaos and uncertainty with the recent developments observed in Wall Street having alerted numerous authorities to seek explanations. According to the Fox News host Neil Cavuto, only one person should be seen as the sole proprietor of all responsibility: Donald Trump himself. Currently, the stock market is depicting a positive trend and people are indeed making money but it all comes with a moral cost. The president has recently come forth with his assertion that the stock market would collapse if he were impeached, creating a general sense of confusion in the markets. Cavuto believes that Donald Trump is using his authority to exert pressure on the free markets, the stock exchange included, leading to the birth of the biggest moral hazard ever known to investors in recent years. The president’s history is a dirty and suspicious one for sure and it has become a habit for him to silence people and push them around, according to the host, but more importantly, Trump loves to create illusions and disregard their consequences. As a result, Cavuto believes that the stock market’s short gains will be replaced by a long-term financial recession soon, if the president does not give up on his habit of interfering with its processes. The moral concern is that Trump’s words and actions are subjective and therefore manipulate investors, both small and large ones, and no regime can cease to exist forever on lies. As the administration will lose power in the years to come, such an immoral approach will surely leave scars in the American society and disaffect the performance of stock market trading for future players.
In related news, the Trump administration’s trade war against China has given the president a significant political boost as “almost half of what China sells to the US is now subject to tariffs,” between 5% and 10% for products ranging from handbags to textiles. While the American public believes that such a policy will help domestic producers, on the Chinese side of things, several industries are facing consequences already. The Chinese steel industry is having a nightmare at the moment, as China used to supply steel products worth more than $200 billion to America, with most of such goods currently being recycled in various part of the country. Although Hebei Huayang Steel Pipe company’s sales manager Steven Yue is confident that the US will lose more than China in the long run, the short-run effects of such tariffs will surely push several middle and small sized investments out of the game. In addition, Yue points out that the American interests in China will surely be targeted by nationalist Chinese economic policies in the years to come, as a reasonable retaliation strategy, and the two countries will come head to head with one another under undesirable conditions. The Chinese businessmen are currently irritated by the fact that Donald Trump’s political discourse is one-sided and therefore destructive, referring to decades long investment projects contributing to the American GNP. Another major complaint is that the US has not acted according to WTO regulations, making up its own rules along the way, which can be considered as a violation of international law.
The Trump administration on the other hand is considering the issue as part of a large scale global economic war and is currently seeking to mend ties with countries neighboring China, such as South Korea. After signing a revised trade pact with the country, the American president spoke to the press and stated that it was “a great day” for America and South Korea, hinting that numerous other deals were in the works. The US is also demanding political support from South Korea regarding the de-nuclearization of its northern neighbor, hoping that the economic benefits the new trade pact brings will be used in support of American policies. The negotiations between the two countries began in 2012 but were abandoned after significant political opposition emerged in the US, leading the Trump administration to reconsider its involvement. The new pact will necessitate South Korea to keep up to 50,000 American cars exempt from local safety regulations and make customs more permeable for American pharmaceutical exports, while also improving its pricing policies for such products. In addition, South Korean trucks will be subjected to 25% US tariffs until the year 2041 and a portion of the country’s steel production will be exempted from the 25% tariff imposed by the American government on imported steel products. Currently, the two countries exchange $155 billion worth of goods and services and therefore both sides have significant interest in improving the currently failing economic conditions. While South Korea’s economic interests are undebatable, the US seems to be getting a significant political boost against its arch enemy, China, which the country will surely use against Chinese policies on international turf.
On a local scale, namely in Southeastern Asia, Taiwan’s position is improving as a potential trade and political partner for China. Although the two nations have been known to engage into political disputes in the past, Taiwan’s rise as an independent democracy has made it harder for China to imitate the country, turning the two parties into ‘frenemies’. Today, China is Taiwan’s top trade partner, with the relations between the two countries totaling $130 billion, as opposed to the feeble $8 billion in 1991. Chinese citizens frequently visit Taiwan for holidays and the tourism sector between the two countries is showing signs of further growth, following Taiwan’s legal gesture of increasing the number of visits allowed per year for Chinese citizens. Technological partnerships are also quite vast between China and Taiwan, with Taiwan investing more than $11 billion into key Chinese sectors, such as computers, satellites and automobiles. However, such close ties also mean mutual problems as the Taiwanese economy has been known to undergo crises in conjunction with such crises emerging in Chinese markets. Although political opposition still exists in the country against such a partnership, the Taiwanese public has been forced to accept the situation given China’s enormous population and market size. Naturally, American companies such as Apple have already taken advantage of the situation and invested into Chinese companies utilizing Taiwanese technologies. Foxcon and Pegatron, the two largest Chinese suppliers for Apple technologies, are growing at fast speeds on a daily basis while Acer is also continuously expanding its production line through new plants and factories in China.
In America, the effects of such an economic warfare have already begun to be felt by the consumers as experts predict that it will get progressively harder to protect popular products used by the American public from tariffs. The Trump administration is currently putting off intelligent discussion by claiming that consumers will not even feel any difference, given the high numbers of import products sold in American markets today. However, prices are rising daily and several key products such as washing machines are becoming unaffordable for millions of American homes. Since several other key products such as t-shirts and smartphones are not subjected to tariffs as of yet, the upcoming years will have the final say on the validity of these policies. The political discourse used by the president seems to focus on the notion that China has been taking advantage of the United States for a long period of time and it is time to stop the trend. In addition, several American politicians have echoed the misleading idea that such tariffs are only being imposed on companies with minimal impacts on consumers, which is a farce from the very beginning. As the markets develop higher prices for household products, every American home will face significant adverse effects that will reduce their purchasing power. As retaliations continue, the tariffs which began by targeting $50 billion worth of specific import products moved to include $200 billion worth of Chinese products such as food, tools, housewares and consumer electronics. The American public will surely feel the effects of such an ongoing economic war as early as this Christmas when market prices will be significantly higher than usual and crucial products such as clothing and electronics will be off the limits for the majority of holiday shoppers.