Trade

China Will Give Trump Another Chance to Cave

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

No one expects that this week's trade talks between Chinese and American officials will result in anything substantive, but Chinese negotiators are reportedly going to give the Trump regime once more chance to cave before the holidays.

Chinese officials heading to Washington for trade talks are reportedly open to signing a limited agreement that won't include the structural reforms the White House has been demanding for more than a year now.

The report added that Beijing would offer non-core concessions like purchases of agricultural products in return, but not budge on major sticking points between the two nations.

The unnamed official said, however, negotiators were not optimistic about securing a broad agreement that would fully end the trade conflict between the world’s two largest economies. Both sides are set for high-level trade negotiations in Washington on Thursday.

Separately, the Financial Times reported that officials in China are offering to increase purchases of U.S. agricultural products, in order to reach a partial deal.

If you read between the lines here, this is more less an offer for another truce. China is offering to purchase more American farm goods in exchange for a promise that Trump won't impose more tariffs in December. They're not offering to make changes to laws governing intellectual property or any other structural reform.

Trump has publicly said that he won't agree to a partial deal, but that doesn't necessarily mean that he won't, of course. No one truly knows what's happening inside on the melon on his shoulders.

Even if the two sides do agree to this, you may recall that Trump's last "trade truce" with Chinese President Xi Jinping lasted about four weeks before Trump got a bug up his ass and announced his decision to impose tariffs on all remaining Chinese goods.

If there is no agreement this week, it seems unlikely that anything will prevent Trump from imposing his next round of tariffs on about $150 billion in Chinese goods on December 15th.

  • muselet

    A limited agreement is as much as anyone can hope for. Donald Trump can’t bully China into making any core concessions, and he has no negotiating skills beyond that.

    History tells us that Trump will agree to a partial deal, crow about how the deal is the greatest trade deal ever made, slowly lift (some) tariffs, then impose even higher tariffs after the holidays. Because why should the US be seen as reliable?

    So much winning.

    –alopecia