back to article 'Not productive for our business'... Michael Dell urges end to US-China tariff tit-for-tat spat

Michael Dell sounded off against the China-US trade war today at VMware's VMworld 2019 conference in San Francisco, branding the ongoing row as "unproductive." During a Q&A with journalists, the CEO of Dell, which owns VMware, added that his American computer-making giant has "had to make some adjustments due to the tariffs," …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    No one wins a trade war and casualties go beyond the targets to just about everyone from businesses not even involved in the trade war to the consumers having to pay more "tax" (that what a tariff actually is) for goods. We (the world) has enough problems without tossing this one in on purpose.

    1. jason 7 Silver badge

      Well the Ginger Gibbon in Chief does, cos it's great distraction from his money grabbing etc.

    2. Eduard Coli

      So the preferred alternative where the PRC gets to rape the US with flat tariffs and a pegged currency?

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Well the US made this situation by taking Wall St's mandate of "Cut costs! Increase profit!" every single day for the past 50 years.

        So tough.

        And so stupid.

        The irony is the corporations' desire to pander to Wall St. will ultimately be its complete downfall.

        If the 99% have no more money, who buys the product? Does Jeff Bezos buy that many Ford F-150s?

        When did you last see Warren Buffett in a pair of slim fit 501s?

        The US got greedy and now there is a bigger boy in the playground.

    3. G Olson

      The US has been on the losing side of a trade war with China for decades. USA politicians have gratefully laid down and walked away all the while pocketing huge sums of money from the US Chamber of Commerce.

      The world can take care of itself; tired of propping you up. Get to work -- if your government will let you.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Yeah, it's amazing how many people think the US Chamber of Commerce is part of the Govt.

        It ain't.

      2. Merrill

        It was US politicians that encouraged businesses to move production to China for geopolitical purposes to counter Russia and to nobble the Asian Tigers who had become too successful and uppity. Of course we had previously moved business to the Asian Tigers after the Japanese had become too successful and uppity. Now the geopolitical mandate is to move businesses to the rest of SE Asia and South Asia, since the Chinese are too successful and uppity.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dell is not a "compute-making giant". It doesn't make anything.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Didn't they make stuff with prison-labour in the the US before they moved that function to China?

      Trade is great, it evens out wealth and helps competition, which is good. However, it requires a level field to work well. Using prison or slave labour is not on. Relocating your plantation to the other side of the world doesn't make you less of a slave owner. If the people were free, it would be a different thing.

      Before we rush to the defense of Dell, Apple and Microsoft, let's imagine Trump setting up the same conditions in the US as are in China. If he did that, maybe Dell could manufacture in the US.

      1. iron Silver badge

        Give him time. The road to workhouses may take more than one term.

      2. MyffyW Silver badge

        Free trade is a level playing field, in that it engenders a levelling of income (observe the rise of the Far Eastern middle class) and brings a clamour for other freedoms (observe increasingly well educated citizens objecting to authoritarian rule).

        Free trade is a covert operation for western democracy hiding in plain sight. No wonder Trump is against it.

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "Didn't they make stuff with prison-labour in the the US before they moved that function to China?"

        They still do.

        Slavery isn't actually entirely outlawed in the USA and being legally imprisoned is one of the ways in which someone can still legally be an indentured or enslaved worker in many states. This is what makes the private prison system particularly repugnant as the companies involved exploit that to the hilt (to the point that judges in some areas have been found to be getting kickbacks from private prisons in exchange for giving harsher sentences...)

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Facepalm

      "Dell is not a "compute-making giant". It doesn't make anything."

      You must include their OEM suppliers IN CHINA to identify them as "manufacturers".

      My suggestion: find alternate suppliers, NOT in China. Pay the tariffs as long as you have to, then reap the rewards of NOT having your company taken over by China and/or your intellectual property STOLEN in the future.

      Dell: you didn't think about THAT, didja?

      Oh, and one more thing, Dell: STFU. You don't understand what's going on. Let Trump *FINISH*. It's working. Reporting your IGNORANCE on these matters is nice fodder for the 'hate-Trump' media, who are ALL exhibiting what Sean Hannity calls "Trump Derangement Syndrome". If Trump cured cancer, ended all worldwide hunger, and agreed to every liberal policy INCLUDING that ridiculous "climate change" B.S., you'd STILL be treating him the same way, because he's Trump. That is what "Trump Derangement Syndrome" is.

      The thing is, China has been bullying the world since the 1990's. They do it through UNFAIR TRADE PRACTICES, and NOBODY ELSE has been calling them OUT on it.

      a) they "dump" their products, undercutting competition, with GOVERNMENT RUN companies. Yes, they're GOVERNMENT RUN by hand-selected "private individuals" "owning" them. China isw a COMMUNIST country. Don't forget that.

      b) they regularly STEAL INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. Some of it is only consumed within China itself, but THEY are a large segment of the world population, right?

      c) they STILL pay SLAVE WAGES to their employees.

      d) working conditions and environmental pollution appear to be WORSE than any 1st world country EVER had in the 20th, let alone 21st century. (I welcome any proof to the contrary, I doubt it exists though)

      e) they openly CENSOR what their people can and can not see, hear, and say.

      f) they quietly support (read: enable) Kim Jong Un's activities, making it HARDER to deal with him

      g) They use "our money" to build up their internal infrastructure *AND* PURCHASE INTEREST IN FOREIGN COMPANIES, which gives them access to RESEARCH and INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY that can THEN be used "back in China".

      h) take a look at what China Telecom is doing with 5G. Yeah. Then think about it for a while.

      I could go on, but THESE are reasons NOT to trust China's government any more. How many broken promises have they made? How many promises have they KEPT? Probably not very many, I don't have statistics on hand...

      SOMEONE has to do SOMETHING. That someone is Trump. That "something" is A TRADE WAR.

      As Musashi would say: Never pick up a sword if you aren't willing to cut.

      icon, because, FACEPALM

      1. Sanguma
        Meh

        "My suggestion: find alternate suppliers, NOT in China. Pay the tariffs as long as you have to, then reap the rewards of NOT having your company taken over by China and/or your intellectual property STOLEN in the future."

        Wonderful idea. Then when Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philipines, etc, also start making headway and likewise also get "uppity", rinse and repeat. Wonderful idea. Only, by the time you get to "rinse and repeat", you'll have squandered so much goodwill, nobody will be in the least bit inclined to listen ...

        "As Musashi would say: Never pick up a sword if you aren't willing to cut."

        Self-inflicted wounds don't get anybody's sympathy.

      2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        @BB - I would have some sympathy with your arguments if the Chinese weren't following the same playbook that the USA used to get to where it is now. You don't get to say "do as I say, not as I do /did" and walk away unscathed.

  3. Norman123

    Trade wars leads to real wars. Our planet is at stake for both.

    We have seen this game in the two major wars. When one economy gets too successful, another may feel threatened and starts a trade war. This is just protecting industries that cannot compete. US subsidize almost all companies through tax loopholes, direct subsidies, and other ways.

    IF a hot war between any two major economies starts and leads to nukes, we all should kiss our dear rearies goodbye. No fan of M. Dell but good job at this instance for knocking some sense in flip-flopping trade warriors.

    Now hopefully other CEOs tell the current power elite to get on with economic competition by helping industries become efficient to compete in price and quality in the international markets instead of erecting mud dikes to hold consumers here hostage to artificially inflated prices and make others bypass us all together, leading to the irrelevancy of our economy eventually.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Megaphone

      Re: Trade wars leads to real wars. Our planet is at stake for both.

      so what do you want to do, ROLL OVER and let "Bully China" RAPE you?

      Grow a freaking SPINE, you're acting like a WIMP.

      This really boils down to whether you want COMMUNISTS in China to RUN YOUR LIFE, eventually. _I_ certainly do NOT. As long as we allow the current situation (see my earlier post) to continue, it will ONLY get worse, and YOUR job might be NEXT.

      And then, YOUR country. And YOUR life.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: Trade wars leads to real wars. Our planet is at stake for both.

        Bully China?

        Not looked much into the USA's history of 'making friends and influencing people' around the world for the past 40 years?

        I'd say the 'poor old' USA has killed more innocent people and children on foreign soil than China in that time. The USA is a far bigger bully to others and bullys don't like it when a bigger bully appears.

        You (and China) are not the good guys in all this. Just two idiots the rest of the world is sitting back waiting for the chairs to really start flying.

        How does that stack up? But from the wording of your post...deep thought isn't a thing.

        Unless I missed the sarcasm?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Trade wars leads to real wars. Our planet is at stake for both.

          "I'd say the 'poor old' USA has killed more innocent people and children on foreign soil than China in that time."

          Far eclipsed by China's Cultural Revolution purge. Between '66 and Mao’s death in '76, the end of the "Cultural Revolution", over 1 million Chinese citizens had been killed, millions more were forced out of their homes forced into the countryside, and tens of millions were humiliated and/or tortured. The Communist Party still denies this happened.

          This is a far cry from US forces having to engage an enemy when said enemy is hiding behind, or in the middle of, groups of their own women and children.

          1. Cloud, what..... Sorry... Um... - you just made that up.

            Re: Trade wars leads to real wars. Our planet is at stake for both.

            1976 is over 40 years ago.

          2. Stork Silver badge

            Re: Trade wars leads to real wars. Our planet is at stake for both.

            I think you missed "on foreign soil"

    2. paddy carroll 1

      Re: Trade wars leads to real wars. Our planet is at stake for both.

      Correct.

      We certainly needed and 'adjustment' on the theft of IP but the historic context is correct.

      War is not good, there are more constructive challenges to pursue.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    sniff sniff my profits are hurting - asia is not licking Delt/EMC anymore and prefer home grown solution.....

  5. Chris G Silver badge

    Little Emporer

    A slight digression but the latest in Orange Orders is one more symptom of what has come to be known (originally in China, I think) as Little Emporer Syndrome.

    The current leader of the free world exhibits all of the character traits but is in the body of an adult.

    I would recommend a spanking but I suspect he already pays for those.

    1. jason 7 Silver badge

      Re: Little Emporer

      If you read his Tweets and imagine them being spoken by a 7 year old boy they make so much more sense.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Caveat Emperor

        Alternatively "Empoorer: the actions of an authoritarian leader in impoverishing his subjects"

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Human rights protesters being massacred in Hong Kong but oh no it’s not productive for a billionaire’s business better look the other way

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      And the rain forest is burning!

      What? We're supposed to discuss the article?

      THE VOICES IN MY HEAD ARE MORE IMPORTANT!!!!

  7. Eduard Coli

    Translation

    "This trade war is ruining our access to cheap labour and even with a tax incentive to bring our crap computers into the US this is getting expensive."

  8. W. Anderson

    It has been ascertained Yesterday - August 26 that there was no such telephone communications from Chinese government to Donald Trump in regard "China wanting to make a deal" on Trade and Tariffs. This was a blatant lie from Mr. Trump, and unfortunately markets are reacting to false information, which can only exacerbate any trade talks that may occur between nations.

    In the long run, USA will lose significant global business as companies like Huawei transition to RISC-V Chipsets, and non-American software - Windows and Android Mobile OS, to Linux / BSD UNIX-like more broadly and Sailfish and other proven Mobile software.

    Unfortunate the Trump administration and a substantial proportion of US citizenry have long been delusional on "software" technology like Linux that is created and moved immediately at will, thinking that Microsoft still ruled the world. Even the Internet as we know it may change with China, Russia and others like Iran, North Korea, Cuba, some Central and South American countries and several African countries moving to such new Internet model that is incompatible with Western DARPA developed communication infrastructure.

    Chaos is at hand, and no one knows how to deal with it, particularly USA administration.

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