Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross says U.S., China 'Miles and Miles' From Trade Deal.

The United States and China are “miles and miles” from resolving trade issues but there is a fair chance the two countries will get a deal, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said on Thursday.

A 30-member Chinese delegation plans to come to Washington next week for talks, he said, as the world’s two largest economies try to meet a March 1 deadline to resolve their trade disputes, but Ross tried to tamp down expectations for the high-level talks.

“There is a very large group coming. There’s been a lot of anticipatory work done but we’re miles and miles from getting a resolution and frankly that shouldn’t be too surprising,” Ross said in an interview with CNBC. “Trade is very complicated, there’s lots and lots of issues - not just how many soybeans and how much LNG.”

More important, he said, were the structural reforms that Washington believes are needed in the Chinese economy, as well as enforcement mechanisms for failure to adhere to whatever is agreed to.

Ross said the two sides were unlikely to resolve all their disputes in next week’s talks, but added, “I think there’s a fair chance we do get to a deal.”

Strategy? Message?

What's the strategy here? Downplay the chances after Trump was so optimistic so the administration can later brag about how tough a negotiator Trump is?

What's the message? We have a good chance of a deal? A fair chance even if we cannot resolve disputes?

Meanwhile

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Perhaps a few more trademarks will close some of those miles.

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The Chinese government has granted Ivanka Trump’s company preliminary approval for another five trademarks this month, as her father’s administration pushes ahead on trade negotiations with China.

Four trademarks, including child care centers, sunglasses and wedding dresses, were approved on Sunday. A fifth, covering brokerage, charitable fundraising and art valuation services, was approved on Jan. 6, according to online trademark office records. The applications were filed in 2016 and 2017. If no one objects, they will be finalized after 90 days.

Revised Message

Somehow we are "miles and miles apart" with China, when we have not even met the team of negotiators because Trump postponed meeting sooner, yet simultaneously, the "US is doing well" with a "fair chance" of a deal.

I believe that successfully covers all the bases.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock