Trade

White House: No Review of Trump’s “Greatest Deal”

SK Ashby
Written by SK Ashby

Chinese and American officials were suppose to meet for a review of "phase one" of Trump's "biggest and greatest deal" over the weekend, but the meeting was canceled at the last minute.

Officials who spoke to CNBC off the record say the review was canceled because the political optics of the review would have been for Trump. The review would have showed that China has purchased less than half of what Trump promised.

Whatever the case may be, it looks like there won't be a review before the presidential election in November. Trump's chief of staff Mark Meadows told reporters they haven't scheduled any further talks.

Meadows said the review, mandated as part of the trade agreement with China, had not been rescheduled, but U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer remained in regular contact with his counterparts in China about fulfilling its commitments.

There are no rescheduled talks ... at this point,” Meadows told reporters.

The terms of Trump's deal mandated the six month review. The review was intended to serve as an enforcement mechanism but the White House has now abandoned that mechanism. And you might say that's ironic because during negotiations that stretched from 2018 to 2020, the White House repeatedly called for more enforcement.

For his part, Trump himself may have been unintentionally honest when he said he simply doesn't want to deal with it anymore.

I postponed talks with China. You know why? I don’t want to deal with them now,” Trump said during a briefing on construction of a border wall with Mexico. “What China did to the world was not even thinkable. They could have stopped (the virus).” [...]

Trump struck a non-committal tone when asked if he would pull out of the trade deal with China, saying, “We’ll see what happens.”

China actually did stop the virus at least in their own country. The epicenter of the original outbreak, Wuhan, hasn't seen any new cases since May.

We haven't done that here because Trump still doesn't take the virus or anything else seriously.