American and Chinese officials have just concluded three days of talks on trade and if this is the best they could come up with, it may or may not move the needle in the White House.
Trump's trade representative Robert Lighthizer says China has pledged to purchase a "substantial amount" of goods they were already purchasing.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China has pledged to purchase “a substantial amount” of agricultural, energy and manufactured goods and services from the United States, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said on Wednesday after U.S.-China trade talks wrapped up in Beijing.
In a statement that gave few details on the specific outcomes of the latest talks, USTR said the two sides discussed “ways to achieve fairness, reciprocity and balance in trade relations between our two countries.”
China already purchased American agriculture, energy, and other goods and services before Trump initiated his trade war.
In fact, China purchased up to 60 percent of all soybeans grown in America prior to Trump's war, a figure that dropped to literally 0 percent in November of 2018. China also purchased large quantities of American sorghum before imports were cut off in the summer of 2018 following Trump's initial wave of tariffs. China is also a significant importer of American oil and liquefied natural gas.
We can only speculate because Lighthizer's statement is so vague, but it's possible the Trump regime will frame it as a victory if China merely resumes purchasing what they were already purchasing before the trade war started.
It's possible that, at the end of the day when the trade war ends, almost nothing will be different than it was just before the trade war started.
That would not necessarily be a new thing because Trump also declared victory over the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) even though he made no substantial changes to it.