Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: South Central Washington State
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Quoted: 63 Post(s)
Regardless of whether folks feel that Trump has the situation in hand, this situation is here to stay. When analyzing trade policy, every US president since since Nixon has sought a trade deal with China. There is also no argument that China's trade policies have been predatory and detrimental to fair world trade. With each passing administration, a deal would be negotiated and China would appear to cooperate only to back out at the last minute citing "a need to reevaluate". Then things would back to the way it had always been until the next administration. This has gone on for over 40 years. Letting them into the WTO was another attempt to show goodwill and to hopefully allow the international pressure of their WTO responsibilities to affect change. This too has been unsuccessful as China has been in violation of their WTO obligations from the start. For better or worse, the Trump administration is the first instance where China hasn't gotten what it wanted (a continuation of the status quo). Thus we are in uncharted territory from a policy standpoint. It is very likely that China will try to delay any meaningful negotiations until the 2020 elections are settled in hopes of a more favorable administration. There is concern in both countries. The concern here is obvious and doesn't need to be discussed further. China is dealing with an administration that it has no idea how to handle. The strategy that has worked for 40 years has not effected the result they want and they are deeply concerned. But they're not accustomed to giving in and will undoubtedly continue the stalemate until they see troubling enough economic indicators to end it.
This is a rough synopsis of my discussion with some of the US trade negotiators dealing with this at a recent meeting I was attending. I'm neither a Trump super fan or a Trump hater. I find both positions idiotic, annoying, and totally unproductive. Thus the rhetoric of "Complete F***ing moron" was not a choice I would pick. Trump is handling this the way he has conducted his business for his entire life. While I'm not saying this is necessarily a good thing, it should come as no surprise to anyone curious enough about the guy to read his book. So for now the new normal will dominate. The rhetoric levels will ratchet up and down. Markets will follow the talk. Trump haters will foam at the mouth and his fans will trumpet his genius. In the end, both sides are not accustomed to loosing and will go to extremes to win. This is here to stay folks, and neither side particularly cares what you think. So turn off the news, and have some coffee.
"Never deliberately make an enemy in life, you'll make plenty by accident." Abraham Lincoln