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Donald Trump caught the financial markets off guard when he suggested at the NATO meetings that any kind of trade deal with China could be at least a year off.


I seem to recall a series of tweets and headlines using phrases like "great progress" and "going very well".

And then this little nugget drops.

Let's not forget that it was less than a week ago that we got this famous quote from the President...

...which led to headlines like this.

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And, of course, lest we focus solely on recent headlines, it was just back in October that Trump announced that a phase one deal had been completed and just needed to be signed.

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Trump even decided to delay the October tariffs in recognition of the new deal. According to Trump, the Chinese, apparently so excited about this deal, didn't even wait for it to be official.

But, alas, it all appears to be off the table again. Yes, a phase one deal could still be reached within the next two weeks I suppose but that seems like a real long shot.

Regardless of the fact that the White House wasn't telling the truth about any kind of deal being completed (if it was ever even close to begin with), the strategy of waiting until after the election to complete a trade deal seems completely counterintuitive to what would be most beneficial for him personally, namely to get re-elected.

We know that the cost of tariffs is negatively impacting economic growth worldwide. We know that consumer spending will eventually be impacted, even if it isn't currently, because tariffs just accomplish the goal of raising the costs of goods and services for consumers.

In most cases, the economy is the number one factor in a president getting re-elected (although, to be fair, Trump isn't like most presidents). If the U.S. economy begins a noticeable decline in 2020 on top of his already high unpopularity numbers, it's going to be difficult seeing Trump make it to a second term.

Predictably, the stock market dropped swiftly on the news.

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We know that Trump likes to use the stock market as a measuring stick for economic success.

There's this...

And this...

And this...

And this...

And this...

And this...

And this...

But wait!

What's this I just heard?