Trade

“it doesn’t have to be in November”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I presume that Trump will sign something with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the APEC summit next month even if it's just a meaningless truce, but we now have our first hint that it may not happen.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross appeared on Fox Business this morning where he said the date for signing an agreement isn't set in stone and signing something next month is not necessarily the top priority.

"It has to be the right deal, and it doesn't have to be in November," Wilbur Ross told Fox Business Network in a television interview. "It's more critical that it be a proper deal that exactly when it occurs." [...]

Asked if he would mind skipping an APEC signing, Ross said: "The key think is to get everything right that we do sign. That's the important element. That's what the president is wedded to.

"Whether it's this day or that day might be interesting to the media, but it isn't the real game," he told Fox Business Network.

I think we can say with absolute confidence that this is "the real game" for Donald Trump himself, not just the media.

There are often significant consequences when Trump does not meet a fake date or deadline that he set for himself or other parties. Trump has responded to previous missteps in trade talks by escalating his trade war because he personally feels ignored when things don't work out the way he said they would.

I expect Trump will sign something with Xi Jinping and we should probably hope that he does because if he doesn't he will escalate his trade war again and it will cost all of us.

Trump will meet Jinping on the sidelines of the APEC summit on November 17th.

  • muselet

    Wilbur Ross’s airy dismissal of timing concerns is particularly galling.

    I very much doubt either he or Donald Trump would be so blasé if an agreement involved their business activities, yet the timing of an agreement involving the two largest economies in the world is treated as if it were a trivial detail.

    This will not end well, I fear.

    –alopecia

  • waspuppet

    They just throw out feeble little slaps (which they think are mighty blows) against “the media” every single time they open their mouths.

    Of all the aspects of Trump’s appeal that I will never understand, the top of the list is this idea that he and the people around them are tough.

    I’ve never known a whinier, more entitled, more pampered bunch of little princelings in my life.