What Summer Doldrums?

(Originally Posted August 5) Summers in Washington are best characterized by the afternoon rush and early evening empty streets. Last week’s frenetic news cycle put to rest hopes of a quiet August.

On Thursday, President Trump announced that the U.S. will impose a 10 percent tariff on more than $300 billion worth of Chinese imports on September 1 (USTR List 4). The President’s decision surprised nearly everyone, and it occurred only days after high-level talks in Shanghai ended 40 minutes ahead of schedule. The fact that the meeting concluded abruptly was the first sign that something was terribly amiss. According to reports, the President overruled U.S. Trade Representative Ambassador Lighthizer in making this decision. Markets tumbled worldwide despite the Federal Reserve cutting interest rates by a quarter point on Wednesday.

USTR is scheduled to publish the finalized List 4 in a matter of days. An exclusion process will then be initiated soon after. No summer doldrums here.