Economy

Chinese, U.S. Officials Agree to Hold Doomed “Talks”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Wall Street was very excited this morning because Chinese and American officials have agreed to hold trade "talks" for the first time in months, but these could only be described as "talks" if you're feeling very generous.

This appears to a good faith effort on the part of the Chinese because they're actually sending a high-ranking official from their commerce department, but he will meet with a relatively low-level official from the Treasury Department that you've probably never heard of.

A Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen will meet U.S. representatives led by Under Secretary of Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass, the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on its website.

While the engagement was seen by analysts and business officials as positive, they cautioned that the talks were unlikely to lead to a breakthrough given they are among lower level officials and led on the U.S. side by the Treasury Department, not the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

So, why isn't anyone from the Commerce Department, the White House, or even Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin attending this meeting?

We can only guess and my guess would be that they don't feel like wasting their time.

Mnuchin, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow have all held "talks" at one point or another that were actively sabotaged by Trump's trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Trump himself.

These "talks" are suppose to occur later this month and that's amusing because, by that time, another round of Trump's tariffs are suppose to take effect.

  • muselet

    In a White House cabinet meeting, [Larry] Kudlow said the decline of the yuan currency in recent months showed that the United States had an upper hand in the trade war.

    “There may be some manipulation but mostly I think investors are moving out of China because they don’t like the economy, and they are coming to the USA because they like our economy… Their economy looks terrible,” he said.

    Great Ghu. This imbecile is White House Economic Adviser. (For the record, that decline in the value of the yuan is round about 3%. Noteworthy, but hardly evidence of a mass sell-off of Chinese holdings.)

    “Upper hand in the trade war,” my foot.

    –alopecia

    • JMAshby

      “Some manipulation”

      Like Trump regularly talking up a strong, or weak, dollar in all-caps on his public Twitter account?

      (Trump almost certainly doesn’t understand what this means)

  • Aynwrong

    Wall Street has traditionally backed Republicans and I’m betting was, for the most part thrilled when Trump won. They would be getting more tax cuts and wouldn’t have to put up with pesky liberals making sure they obeyed the law and detonate the entire US/world economy. Again. But now now it’s their interests getting batted around like a mouse by a cat. A big, fat, stupid, ORANGE cat.

    I’m wondering now much of the initial thrill is still lingering.

    • Draxiar

      I wonder at how thrilled they were. Sure trump would deep six those pesky regulations that kept them from punking the little people but on the flip they knew he was a terrible businessman that couldn’t get a bank loan in America because he doesn’t pay them back.