‘If Your No. 1 Trade Partner Is in a Recession, It’s Going to Affect You’: Graceffo on China’s Economy

In this special episode, we sat down with China economic analyst Antonio Graceffo. He talks about the current inflation, if China is involved, and how China’s economic outlook would be felt by U.S. consumers.

Graceffo said: “First of all, if we have supply chain disruption, this increases the price of goods. And of course, we import a tremendous number of our goods, or percentage of our goods, from China. So anything that’s been disrupted, of course, the price is going go up. One of the things a lot of people miss with China is that they look at the trade between the United States and China in finished goods and finished services. But what they forget is that China does a lot of processing. So a lot of minerals and raw materials that are extracted, maybe from Africa or Latin America or elsewhere, and even from the United States—there are minerals we extract here that we send to China for processing—so if the zero-COVID policies are shutting down those processing plants, or the shipping and things like that, it drives up the prices of those things. And it’s not just finished products, it’s also what we call ‘inputs.’ So you might have components that are made in China. Even goods that you typically believe are made in America might have components from China.”

He added: “We’ll definitely feel it in terms of higher prices. Inflation though, but people are mistaking higher prices with inflation, and it’s not exactly the case. The higher prices because of the supply chain disruption, yes, but the inflation is caused by reckless spending on the pandemic and the pandemic spending. Inflation comes from the government printing money or the government borrowing money and spending money that it doesn’t have.”

We also sat down with Aryeh Lightstone, former special envoy for the Abraham Accords and author of “Let My People Know.” He touches on how U.S.–Middle East relations tie into the current fossil fuel tensions, the steps that need to be taken to ensure American troops aren’t sent back there, and more.

Lightstone said: “Clarity is the number one name of the game. And to be clear, who are our foes? And that’s Iran, and that’s China, and that’s Russia. And you can stand with them, or you can stand with us. Now, who are our allies? That’s Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and others. And we’ll stand with them. Two very clear examples to that: when Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, sustained a drone attack from terrorists funded by the Iranians, we, the United States of America, did not rush to condemn the attacks, we didn’t rush to provide aid, we didn’t rush to provide additional defensive alignment. We waited, and we listened. That’s not how allies treat each other. When the Saudis received relentless drone attacks against civilians and against the number one energy producer in the world, Aramco, and we’re not doing more in order to prevent that from happening—in fact, we’re taking the Houthis, who are in Yemen, who are primarily responsible for those drone attacks off of the terror watch list or off the terror list, not only are we not helping our allies, we’re actively hurting our allies.”

“And when our allies get mixed messages, they have to act in their own best interest. None of these guys, none of these countries want to run to the Chinese. They don’t want to run to Russia, they don’t want to run to Iran. But if we’re not there and we’re not dependable, where are they going to go?” he added.

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