Markets surged to a record high this morning based on more happy talk from the White House, but is Trump as "close" to signing a deal with China as he says?
Probably not, but it does appear that his next round of tariffs scheduled to hit the books on Sunday will be delayed.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the White House has offered to place Sunday's tariffs on the backburner while they continue working on "phase one" of Trump's "greatest and biggest deal ever."
(Reuters) - U.S. trade negotiators have offered to cancel a new round of tariffs on imported Chinese goods set to take effect on Sunday as part of an effort to cement a phase-one deal to de-escalate the trade relationship between the two powers, the Wall Street Journal said on Thursday.
The Journal also reported that the Trump regime has offered to cut Trump's existing tariffs, but not eliminate them, as part of a deal.
If their report is correct, it's a good example of Trump trying to have his cake and eat it, too. Trump wants to keep his trade war on the books and relevant throughout the 2020 election, but he also wants to be seen making a "deal" even if a hypothetical deal does not fundamentally change the status quo.
It remains to be seen if China will play ball in exchange for cutting rather than eliminating tariffs.
I don't think they should, but I also don't know what Chinese domestic politics would support right now. My impression is that Trump's offer probably isn't quite good enough to sell it to China's ruling party. Why should they accept permanent tariffs and reward Trump for it?
Trump is reportedly meeting with his crack team consisting of Larry Kudlow, Robert Navarro, and Robert Lighthizer today which means he'll have the advice of at least three people who are almost always wrong.