The one thing that can be said with absolute certainty about the historic first meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in is that it took place despite Donald Trump’s policies towards North Korea, not because of them.
In drawing up its list of tariffs on $50 billion of Chinese products the Trump administration carefully tried to avoid one of the chief bad effects these tariffs will have on the US population by excluding many consumer goods from the list. This was clear proof the administration feared the hostile reaction from US consumers as prices went up on these imported goods in US shops. But by concentrating on trying to lessen the impact on US consumers the Trump administration has necessarily increased the negative effects on US jobs and particularly US manufacturers and farmers.
In recent weeks there has been a significant turn by the Trump administration towards a new international offensive, primarily focused on China, but with stepped up polemics also against Russia and Iran, and threats of escalated action in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.
On 14 February 2018, seventeen people – fourteen students and three staff – were killed at a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. It was the deadliest high school shooting in US history, and the eighth deadliest mass shooting overall.
*** Trump’s protectionism: Aiming at China, killing jobs
*** Trump’s concedes to talk directly with North Korea
On Friday 2 February sharp turmoil, which had been building for some time, shook US financial markets.
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