Trump Signs China Trade Deal, Putting Economic Conflict on Pause
The agreement is a significant turning point in American trade policy and the types of free-trade agreements that the United States has typically supported. Rather than lowering tariffs and other economic barriers to allow for the flow of goods and services to meet market demand, this deal leaves a record level of tariffs in place and forces China to buy $200 billion worth of specific products within two years.
The deal also does little to resolve more pernicious structural issues surrounding China’s approach, particularly its pattern of subsidizing and supporting key industries that compete with American firms, like solar energy and steel. American businesses blame those economic practices for allowing cheap Chinese goods to flood the United States market, putting domestic firms out of business.
Instead, like the presidents who preceded him, Mr. Trump plans to rely on allies and the World Trade Organization to try to push China to change its ways.
“This Phase 1 deal is an extreme disappointment to me and to millions and millions of Americans who want to see us make China play fair,” Mr. Schumer said on the Senate floor. “President Trump’s Phase 1 trade deal with China is a historic blunder.”
The trade deal contains a variety of wins for American industry, including opening up markets for financial services, pharmaceuticals, beef and poultry.
The text outlines what China will buy from the United States during the next two years. That includes substantial purchases from American farmers, who have been hit hard by the trade war.
Of the $200 billion, just $32 billion, or 16 percent, of the purchases will be of farm products such as oilseeds, meat and cotton. Banks, drug companies and the energy industry are also big beneficiaries.
China has also committed to refrain from forcing American companies to hand over their technology as a condition of doing business there, under penalty of further tariffs. Beijing has also promised to refrain from devaluing its currency, the renminbi, to gain an advantage in export markets, among other pledges.
Partisan reporting aside, even the times can't omit the highly positive aspects of the deal (underlined). Bringing Chuck Schumer's perspective into the conversation, or any other politician from either party, is odd since both parties have bent to China and agreed to sign weaker deals for decades, and until very recently, there was nothing wrong and nothing to criticize about those deals, very few politicians were consistently opposing those deals and consistently pointing out their deficiencies (Bernie Sanders is among the notable exceptions). A Bernie presidency will continue to keep China in check and he might just be able to deliver a phase two that Trump can't.Last edited by LurkerJ - on 17 January 2020