The top US trade negotiation team will travel to China next week but expectations are low as Trump Says China May Delay Trade Deal Until After 2020 Elections

“I think that China will probably say, ‘let’s wait,’” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Friday. “When I win, like almost immediately, they’re all going to sign deals.”

The biggest sticking point from China’s perspective is a U.S. demand to keep the punitive tariffs in place until Beijing actually implements reforms to state-owned enterprises and intellectual property. It’s politically unfeasible for Xi to accept any deal that doesn’t remove the tariffs: Nationalists in the Communist Party are pressuring him to avoid signing an “unequal treaty” reminiscent of those China signed with colonial powers.

U.S.-China Trade Talks Set to Resume With Modest Expectations

The Wall Street Journal also down plays the talks in its report Trade Talks Set to Resume With Modest Expectations.

“I don’t know if they’re going to make a deal,” Mr. Trump said Friday. “Maybe they will, maybe they won’t.”


Among the possible smaller achievements that might be obtainable, close observers say, would be a commitment by China to purchase more agricultural products and action by the U.S. to relax its ban on U.S. companies selling to telecommunications equipment giant Huawei Technologies Co., which President Trump has already agreed to do in general terms.

Progress toward a small agreement on Huawei and agricultural purchases could set the stage for negotiators to tackle bigger issues in a follow-up meeting in Washington, the people following the talks say.

“There are things, besides buying a million bags of soybeans, that China can do on the structural issues that would actually be helpful and would make a difference,” said William Reinsch, a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “But that’s at best 30% down the road of what the U.S. has been demanding.”

I expect some minor deal that Trump will brag about. But the winner will be China if Trump relaxes the ban on Huawei.

The "big" win is always around the corner. When trump wins China will sign big deals "almost immediately".

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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