Trump’s a master negotiator! He can get us better trade deals! Trump and his buddies in the Media announce that a deal with China is almost done!
The U.S. increased tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25% from 10% on Friday following what it called China's decision to back out of key commitments to a developing agreement. China has promised to retaliate against the tariffs, but it is unclear what action Beijing would take.
But wait! Wasn’t Trump about to wrap up a deal today?
U.S. trade talks with China ended Friday as Liu He, the top Chinese trade negotiator, left the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
“They were constructive discussions between both parties, that's all we're going to say. Thank you,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC after Liu's departure. Both Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer shook hands with Liu, who is China's vice premier, as he left the office in Washington.
Uh oh. The “constructive discussions” phrase is being used to describe negotiations. That is negotiator speak for “We got no where.” Or the alternative of “We talked past one another.”
Who could have predicted this? Oh yeah. Anyone who is a Trump critic.
I saw today that the tariffs will go on Chinese goods that have left China now. Because it will take about 3 weeks for some of the Chinese goods to get to the American markets, the Media is going to cling to the fiction that Trump and his fellow grifters can get a deal done within that time frame. This assumes that Trump has the brain capacity to accept a deal.
Frankly, if there is an eventual deal, it will be worse than any previous trade deal with China. As I and many others have noticed about Trump, this is how he does “negotiations”:
- Make the negotiations all about himself and his actions.
- Bully the other side utilizing one blunt instrument. In this case. tariffs.
- When Trump cannot make the other side cave, he will accept a worse deal and declare “VICTORY!”
- Or Trump will declare bankruptcy and walk away scott free.
If a trade deal with China happens in the next three weeks, you can bet it will be to China’s benefit.