No Foolin' This Time We're Close, Really Close to Trade Deal With China


Trump says we're really close to a deal with China but “major, major issues left,” says trade rep Robert Lighthizer.

Groundhog Day US Style

The UK has its groundhog day with Brexit, the US with trade deals.

Trump says ‘this is an epic deal, historic—if it happens,’ but Trade Representative Lighthizer says major issues remain.

Here we go again: Trump Says U.S.-China Trade Deal Close, but No Summit Plans Yet.

The U.S. and China are aiming to reach a trade deal in the next four weeks, President Trump said, though he failed to announce a much-anticipated summit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Mr. Trump and his trade team say negotiations are in their final stages, but caution that daunting issues remain—including when to lift punitive tariffs against Chinese imports, protection of U.S. intellectual property and enforcement of the pact’s provisions.

There are “major, major issues left,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said. “We’re certainly making more progress than we would have thought when we started.”

News of the possible summit announcement upset some of his senior advisers, including Mr. Lighthizer, industry officials tracking the talks said. National Economic Council Director Lawrence Kudlow has also generally opposed setting a deadline.

From the Chinese side, negotiators were willing to go along with a summit, said Cornell University China Scholar Eswar Prasad, who speaks with Chinese officials regularly. “The Chinese have indicated that Xi is not coming unless details [are] worked out in advance,” Mr. Prasad said.

Meaningless Deal

Eventually there will be a meaningless deal. China will buy more soybeans and more Boeing aircraft which it cut back following the recent Boeing crashes.

In other words, Trump will reestablish the previous status quo with a few unknown trade goodies thrown in. China will not not agree to let Trump unilaterally hike tariffs without retaliation, and that has been one of the sticking points.

Regardless of how meaningless the eventual deal is, expect great fanfare over the announcement.

Then expect Trump to take aim at the EU.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (8)
No. 1-5

Hey, and we are absolutely, definitely, going to close the border with Mexico, but, well, not this year. Maybe next year.



Yes, that came in when I was out. No surprise here. I would have been shocked actually if Trump went ahead with that idiocy


China has little intention of altering its course and continues to concede little as trade talks drag on. Their goal is to wear-down the impatient Americans. There is even talk of not implementing the deal until 2025. This is totally insane and shows America has no stomach for playing hardball.

Still, China's strategy is working with the White House delaying their planned tariff increase from 10% to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods. President Trump has tied so much of his success to climbing stock market valuations that he appears to be ready to capitulate and fold like a cheap umbrella. The article below delves into this subject.


How about the one where Trump was going to end ObamaCare and Republicans would put in the "best healthcare system in the world". LOL! Or we were going to have a trillion dollar infrastructure investment program to put middle-class Americans back to work! My take on the Donald:

He never intended to get elected. He was just using the run to increase brand recognition. But he was very canny at picking up what was pissing off working Americans and described policies that sounded good to them. But he either has no intention, or no clue, as to how to implement them.

He has gotten into the China trade issue and found out that American industrialists are 100% opposed to moving manufacturing back to the US. There is no way in hell they are going reduce profits by paying an American level wage and especially there is no way they are going to empower labor unions. You can put tariffs on China, but they'll just move production to some other 3rd world country. And China already knows how to manufacture that stuff anyway and is vastly more competitive.

Having discovered this, Trump is just looking for a way to save face. So, I fully agree with Mish, he'll announce some spectacular victory, with tiny mods to trade today, the big stuff pushed off into the distant future, and nothing of consequence ever happening.

And the ever poorer American people will continue to watch CNN and Fox and vote for tweedle-dee or tweedle-dum. And there's not a thing I or anyone else can do about it. /rant


Trade what?More garbage,soybeans!The 3 pillars of the US economy 1 massive bloated gov't,2 endless war,3 massive welfare/dependency on big gov't.Nothing in the big 3 is tradeable.So yes you are correct it'll be another pretend deal like the nafta farce.

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