By Jon Dougherty
Percolating in the background, away from Democratic bleating about “collusion!” and other non-sensical, tinfoil-hat conspiracies involving POTUS Donald Trump, his administration has been making steady progress on one of his biggest policy objectives: Inking a mutually beneficial trade deal with our biggest trading partner, China.
In fact, Beijing’s trade delegation, led by Vice Premier Liu He, is in Washington this week meeting with U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, the president’s chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to hammer out a once-impossible agreement that now seems well within reach.
According to state-run news agency Xinhua, Liu — who met with POTUS Trump on Thursday — says the two sides have reached a “new consensus” on the text of a trade agreement that would end tariffs and avoid a potentially devastating trade war which would no doubt only exacerbate geopolitical tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, through a message conveyed by Liu, told Trump that both sides have made new and substantial progress on key issues regarding trade in the past month, according to Xinhua. Xi said he hopes both sides will continue to work together to conclude talks on the trade text as early as possible, Xinhua reported.
Trump said on Thursday that “we’ll know over the next four weeks” if the two countries have a deal. …
Representatives from both countries have been meeting to address their differences on issues such a trade imbalance and alleged forced technology transfers from American firms to their Chinese partners. Tensions between the U.S. and China have roiled global markets and hit economic activity worldwide.
The South China Morning Post contained additional excerpts of Xi’s letter to POTUS. The Hong Kong-based paper noted that Xi wants an agreement that is mutually beneficial, which is understandable but somewhat haughty, considering the among of economic and strategic espionage and data theft China has engaged in.
“Over the past month, the economic and trade teams of both nations have engaged in different kinds of intensive consultations, and made new concrete progress on the text of the trade deal,” Xi said in a letter to Trump, according to Xinhua.
“I hope the economic and trade teams of both nations can wrap up negotiations on the text as early as possible based on the principle of mutual respect and mutual benefit,” the letter said. “Under the current situation, the healthy and stable development of China-US relations is related to the interests of both Chinese and American people. For that, strategic leadership is needed.”
Unlike the USCMA, which is the renegotiated NAFTA deal Trump also delivered on as promised, this particular agreement with China, unless it is presented as a treaty, won’t need congressional approval, which means the Garbage Party (that would be the Democrats) won’t be able to stop it.
If a real deal gets done, it’ll be a huge feather in the president’s reelection cap, though we continue to believe that Trump wants this deal not because it’s a “legacy” thing but because he really believes it’ll be better for the country.
It’s a #MAGA thing, in other words.
- Follow Jon Dougherty on Twitter at @JonDougherty10