Is Trump withdrawing from the Middle East to better focus US efforts against China? From Michael Every at Rabobank via zerohedge.com:
Tipping points are funny things in markets and in life in general. Sometimes you see them clearly ahead of time, sometimes only in hindsight. Sometimes you still don’t see them even afterwards. But they are there regardless.
Most Americans have paid no attention at all to developments in China aside from not liking tariffs. But touch basketball and suddenly things get serious! Daryl Morey, general manager of the Houston Rockets, recently tweeted support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and the immediate reaction was China–an avid NBA market of 500m–banning the team. Morey deleted the tweet and made a very humble apology, as did the Rockets, which didn’t assuage Chinese fury; but it did create a backlash against the Rockets from the US public, who are pro-democracy, and from US politicians, who are anti-China, and whom are noticing that the outspoken-on-domestic-politics NBA runs a training camp in Xinjiang(!) Indeed, there is new focus on the issue of US firms ‘having to kowtow to Beijing’. Is it a tipping point in US-China relations as trade talks begin? Hard to say. But it’s a discussion the average American will be part of for once.