While investors might not feel it right now, tariffs do have some upsides. The most direct one—revenue for the US Treasury. US Treasury income is surging because of the recent tariff hikes on Chinese goods. The rolling 12-month sum of customs duties collected by the Treasury (through the end of June) was $63 bn, almost double the sum of the same period last year. If Trump enacts another round of planned hikes on September 1st, the US will likely collect $100 bn in tariffs this year.

FINSUM: This is a good number, especially at a time of major government over-spending. However, it must be remembered that the large majority of this bounty will be eaten up by aid paid to US farmers as part of tariff relief efforts.


The first round of the second Democratic debate occurred last night, and it was full of fireworks. Candidates ramped up their attacks on one another, with most of the aggressiveness directed at Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren for their Medicare for All bills that would create an entirely government-run healthcare system. Other candidates criticized the plan as “fairy tale economics”.

FINSUM: We again think that the debate last night showed why Republicans are most likely to win this election—many in the party recognize the need to play more toward the middle to win the race.


It has been a very bumpy run for US-China trade talks this year, but after a significant hiatus, China will again return to the negotiating table with the US in September. The most recent round of talks, in Shanghai, just concluded without an agreement, but there were some signs of life, as China buying US farm goods was discussed. The negotiators only stayed in Shanghai about 24 hours.

FINSUM: This seems to us like quite an intractable issue. We do not expect a forthcoming agreement any time soon.

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