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.