Trump + Biden = ?

Last Friday, the Biden administration issued a bombshell, in the dry bureaucratic language of export control regulation. In an interim final rule filed by the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security, a set of rules called the Export Administration Regulations (EAR) were amended “to implement necessary controls on advanced computing integrated circuits (ICs), computer commodities that contain such ICs, and certain semiconductor manufacturing items.”

In plain English, it was a kneecapping of the Chinese tech industry, depriving it of the advanced chips—and the means of making them—vital for everything from smartphones to self-driving cars.

Wow, folks. Of course, we have to thank Trump for starting the trend and normalizing nation-state protectionism but this is taking it so much further (and yay to that):

The Trump administration, for its part, targeted Huawei Technologies Co. and its fellow Chinese telecom ZTE Corp. with what were at the time unprecedented sanctions. The Biden administration has essentially expanded those measures to the entire Chinese tech sector,

There are very clear continuities between the Trump and the Biden administrations. Both are radically different from the Bush and Obama administrations. Both are enormously more pro-nation-state than Bush and Obama. They are still not even remotely as pro-nation-state as I’d like them to be but the shift is stunning.

There’s so much screeching and propaganda on social media that you’d think Trump and Biden were from different planets. People buy into the hype, get emotionally invested, and don’t see what’s under their noses. Remember COVID? How did their policies differ? They didn’t. Leave it all to the states, don’t do any federal mandates, and wrap things up whenever possible without intruding on the states’ decisions in any way. The Trump policy flowed so smoothly into Biden’s, nobody noticed a change.

Unfortunately, both are intensely bad on immigration but that seems unavoidable at this moment.

I’m observing this with great interest because if the US sticks with the nation, that’s a mega important development.


21 thoughts on “Trump + Biden = ?

  1. “very clear continuities between the Trump and the Biden administrations”

    Was talking about this with a colleague (also American with a long history in a large bureaucracy). We both agreed that was the case and he definitely puts it down to institutional continuity.
    People at the top come and go but the bulk of work (and operational decisions) are made by those lower down who stay in office for a lot longer.
    There probably was a changing of the guard at some lower level late in the Obama administration or around the beginning of Trump that is responsible for a lot of the changes (another aspect – those in the top positions often rely on those in lower positions to know what is possible and policy can be directed a bit in that way as well).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s exactly what I’m thinking. A pretty major shift happened in 2016 or thereabouts. Maybe a bunch of people retired, I don’t know. But I agree this is institutional and doesn’t have much to do with Trump or Biden as individuals.

      This is a fascinating phenomenon but you have to go beyond the media hype and knee-jerk partisanship to see it.


    2. I suspect that most of the neocon/war on terror people retired when it became obvious their ideology was a failure. Probably their replacements had different priorities.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. There are federal mandates under Biden for the covid shot for healthcare workers (broadly defined) and government employees and contractors. Some relief for contractors was achieved through lawsuits but against the explicit statements of the Biden administration. Trump and Biden said that the shots would not be mandated but only Biden got the chance to prove that he was lying.
    I’m happy to hear that there is anything decent about this administration, really.


    1. “happy to hear that there is anything decent about this administration”

      As I just saw on twitter (paraphrasing) “Trump tweeted and expected reality to change while the Biden administration isn’t tweeting but actually doing things in the real world”

      Liked by 1 person

    2. There was no shot widely available during the Trump administration but Trump is extremely proud of the “life-saving” COVID vaccines and considers them his personal great achievement.


      1. I don’t know if Trump would have instituted an injection mandate or not. As I said, only Biden got a chance to prove he was lying. I did want to correct the statement that there were no federal mandates because there are and they continue to affect millions of people. I agree that Trump has a deluded attachment to his covid shot program.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m confused by your assertions because Biden had National
    Mandates for vaccines and trump didn’t. Even without other differences that was huge and impacted me personally and my kid. I’m very interested in this China decision. But at the same time Biden via Blinken is talking about merging the three countries of North America. How is that pro nation state?


    1. Trump had no vaccines, so he couldn’t institute any mandates. Vaccines started to get rolled out widely in February 2021.

      Trump never fired Fauci. Never opposed any lockdowns. And has heaped praise on the vaccines.


            1. If Blinken said it, there should be a recording, shouldn’t it? A video, sm official statement.

              I don’t watch Tucker anymore because he has reunited with his left-wing roots and I’m not into that.


              1. That and an announcement made prior to the meeting were what I found on Duck Duck Go. Clearly google doesn’t want anyone discussing it. I had seen other repeating from another source but didn’t find it. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the kind or recording that search engines quietly make hard to find. I think Glen Beck covered it also today.


              2. Quoting from text of Fox News piece that included the Tucker video. This is why no video of blinken – it was a “back door discussion” :

                “ The Florida Republican followed up his interview by posting the letter he sent to Blinken online.

                It reads: “During a September 12th press conference after your meeting in Mexico City, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador referred to a private conversation where you expressed support for the ‘consolidation of the North American Region.’”

                “President Lopez Obrador continued to say there was a discussion of a regional constitution to be carried out in furtherance of an economic agenda, indicating such features as open borders, shared technology, and the distribution of oil,” the letter continued.

                “Such a vision of a ‘North American Union’ is entirely out of step with Americans’ vision for our nation. It is nothing less than a war on American sovereignty,” Gaetz wrote. “Our citizens have the right to self-determination and self-rule. As a Secretary of State, your mandate is loyalty to the interests of our people, not the economic development of a narco-state.”

                Concluding the letter, the Floridian requested a response with additional information pertaining to the negotiations and the official position of the Biden administration on such an agreement.”


  4. ” Biden had National Mandates for vaccines and trump didn’t”

    When did they become available? I agree that the mandates are terrible and should be chucked but excusing Trump for not implementing them is a reach…


    1. They weren’t really available to the general public until around the time Biden was sworn in. Healthcare workers in some areas had access from just before the election but were not mandated.


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