Chinese and American officials are scheduled to hold trade talks this weekend where they will reassess the current status of "phase one" of Trump's "biggest and greatest deal."
The talks are expected to be contentious, to say the least, because they will likely discuss Trump's sanctions on Huawei and ruling party officials as well as China's failure or choice not to meet their purchasing targets.
With all of that said, everything is "fine" according to Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow. China has "stepped up" and purchased what they're suppose to according to "the evidence," Kudlow says, even though that is the exact opposite of what the evidence says.
Asked if deteriorating ties between the world’s two largest economies on other fronts could result in the trade deal being thrown out the window, Kudlow said, “No, no.”
“The one area we are engaging is trade,” he told reporters at the White House. “It’s fine right now.” [...]
“The evidence shows ... they’ve stepped up substantially” on purchases of U.S. goods, Kudlow said, citing what he called “really good numbers,” particularly on commodities. China has increased its purchases of U.S. soybeans recently, but it remains far short of the overall target for 2020. The United States exported just $7.274 billion in agricultural goods to China in the first half of the year, well below the $36.5 billion agreed under the trade deal.
They've stepped up and purchased a lot of commodities, Kudlow says.
Let's take a look at this in visual form courtesy of CNBC:
I don't want to give Kudlow an ounce more credit than he deserves because he was always wrong even before he joined the Trump regime, but in this case he may be aware that what he's saying is not true. But he hasn't been instructed to say otherwise yet.
The current directive of the Trump regime is to boast that everything is great if not better than ever. If and only if Trump himself decides to formally abandon the deal will his lackeys be able to say the deal is dead even if it's been walking-dead for months.
Trump and his yes-men can claim things are "fine" all day, but this is one reason why farm bankruptcies have continued to increase even after multiple bailouts and the signing of Trump's limp deal.
The trade war never ended or even really eased. All of Trump's tariffs are still on the books and so are China's retaliatory tariffs. Imports of American goods are only possible through temporary waivers on tariffs as high as 25 percent or more and waivers are subject to political whims on either side of the Pacific.