Good morning. Here’s what you need to know on this Monday morning.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall into southeast Texas on Friday and dumped nine trillion gallons of rain water through Sunday and will pour another 5-10 trillion gallons by Wednesday. Parts of Houston are completely submerged underwater, and major oil refineries in the area are shut down. Current shutdowns account for approximately 15% of the country’s refinement capacity. As Tropical Storm Harvey makes landfall again directly over Houston this morning, additional oil refineries may shut down or cut back on production, which may lead to gas price hikes across the nation. Energy companies are already asking gas station owners nationally not to increase prices. [source]
Sparking fears of a trade war with China, President Trump recently told Chief of Staff John Kelly, “I want tariffs. And I want someone to bring me some tariffs.” President Trump has sourced on previous hints that he’d work with China on trade if Chinese leaders brought an end to the North Korean. China has since failed to deliver results for several reasons. Asked for comment, the White House spokesperson said, “The president has been very clear about his agenda as it relates to [Chinese] trade. Discussions pertaining to specific tariffs and trade deals are ongoing and have already resulted in many positive developments.” If tariffs against Chinese goods are introduced, China will likely respond with their own tariffs against U.S. products. In a sign that a trade war will escalate, President Trump allegedly said in a meeting that, “I know there are some people in the room right now that are upset. I know there are some globalists in the room right now. And they don’t want them, John [Kelly], they don’t want the tariffs. But I’m telling you, I want tariffs.” [source]
Additional analysis will appear in this Friday’s Executive Intelligence Summary. If you’re not yet a Forward Observer member, then join us to get instant access to our intelligence reporting. Prepared by intelligence veterans, our reporting is focused on threats at home and abroad. Join here.