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sundin13 said:
LurkerJ said:

I have to point out that this "debacle" has been largely positive as it allowed American companies to diversify their supply chains out of China. These tariffs are the reason countries like India are stepping up their manufacturing game, allowing China to monopolize industrial production has been terrible for all countries, not just the USA. 

Why would you want to allow one country to withhold all the manufacturing power of our most used devices? That's a recipe for disaster, the whole world was willingly allowing Beijing to become their sole provider of their most used goods because of greed, something had to be done about it.

It's good for the tariffs to continue and for other countries with cheap labor to step up so that the competition for manufacturing is resuscitated, and you can't just simply say "it would've happened anyway" because as far as most politicians are concerned, it was a non-issue to continue to concede to China because they wanted that sweet cheap access to their sweatshops. 

Make no mistake, China was hit by the trade war and it's not over, if they want tariffs to be lifted they have to make more concessions in Phase two, and time isn't on their side as other countries will slowly replicate their successful formula, which would be the best case scenario because competition is good.

Not to mention, so far the consumers haven't been negatively affected by these tariffs despite the extreme and the continuous warnings issued by mainstream media outlets. So the longer phase two takes, the more diversified supply chains will become which is better for everyone. 

Evidence that China was hurt by the trade war is not evidence that the US benefited. While global diversification would be a fairly small positive, it would not in any way make up for the real damage done to the American economy over the last several years (relative to how the economy could have been in the absence of the trade wars). That said, I struggle to find much evidence that there was actually much in the way of a global diversification.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/analysis/why-the-us-china-trade-war-has-not-helped-india-analysis/story-bQ74UotjHLBpHmRsoZc2xJ.html

This piece by the Hindustan Times examines in particular why India hasn't really benefited from the trade war, which largely goes against your assertion. It points out several key facts, including that the US/China trade volume wasn't greatly affected by the trade war. Beyond that, it points out that many countries simply don't have the infrastructure to handle this volume. The trade war is very uncertain. These changes would take years to make and many businesses don't really see the benefit in making a huge long term investment that may not even pay off until after the trade war has ended. A much better option would be to directly diversify by building bridges with diverse manufacturing sectors, not by burning the bridges that are in place.

Further, China wasn't the only country that Trump picked a fight with. Many other areas which may have picked up some of the slack were also targeted by the Trump administration (or threatened, which creates uncertainty and hampers investment). These areas include Canada, Mexico, the EU and...India. Yes, one of the reason that the Trump trade war didn't heavily benefit India is because Trump was also picking a fight with India.

And again, even if this diversification occurred, it would not negate the negative impacts of the trade war. Billions of dollars were spent on a bailout for farmers, with many losing significant portions of their crop due to the inability to sell, prices increased for consumers, American companies had to eat a lot of the costs, business investment has been severely hampered and US manufacturing was in a recession in 2019, with large manufactures blaming the trade war and these issues will continue to be a problem as long as these tariffs remain in place.

The strategy seems like it was far too scattershot. Positive effects were nullified by what seemed like a complete absence of any strategy or cooperation between countries...

Thanks for the link above, quiet insightful. While I was wrong on bringing up India as an example, it was speculated to be the biggest beneficiary years ago though, but as the article clearly explains, it didn't happen. I did stress on the fact diversification is a slow process and it won't happen overnight. Asian countries are caught up in a "if only we did more for our infrastructure and we didn't suck" of situation it seems. Looking up countries that have benefited from the trade it looks like Vietnam has done better than the rest of Asia: 

'Investment flows The trade war has also led companies to start or expand manufacturing in Vietnam — accelerating a trend that began years ago when rising costs in China pushed manufacturers to seek cheaper locations. 

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/10/29/trade-war-can-vietnam-replace-china-as-a-global-manufacturing-hub.html

If this trend continues we may eventually end up with the NECESSARY diversification, I just can't see us living in a sustainable world if China becomes the only pair of  breasts we can suckle at. You mention that "A much better option would be to directly diversify by building bridges with diverse manufacturing sectors, not by burning the bridges that are in place", could you elaborate more? I don't quite get your point here.

Moving on from diversification. There seems to be other positive aspects to PHASE ONE of the deal. China abusing US companies by forcing them over their technology to gain access to the Chinese market is a thing of the past, which is great, or at least I think it's great reading this NYT piece:

The trade deal that President Trump will sign on Wednesday includes commitments by China to curtail practices that American firms complain put them at a disadvantage and force them to hand over valuable intellectual property to Chinese firms, according to several people with knowledge of the deal.

As part of the agreement, China has promised to punish Chinese firms that infringe on or steal corporate trade secrets, satisfying a concern of American businesses. China will also refrain from directing Chinese companies to obtain delicate foreign technologies through acquisitions, including halting purchases by state-owned enterprises that “harm” American interests. American officials say Beijing has used the practice to leap to the forefront of advanced industries, like semiconductors.

Another primary concern of American companies — a requirement that they turn over technology as a condition of doing business in the country — is also addressed in the deal. China has agreed not to force companies to transfer technology, which it has done by requiring joint ventures with Chinese firms and forcing companies to license their intellectual property at low prices.

To prevent China from violating the agreement, the administration will continue to have tariffs on $360 billion worth of goods, along with the threat of future tariffs if China reneges on its promises.

The agreement was “more positive” than expected, Myron Brilliant, the executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said at a news conference in Beijing on Monday. He added that striking an agreement had calmed tensions in a long-running trade war.

“We are pleased from what we’ve heard,” Mr. Brilliant said.

Administration officials say the tariff threat gives the deal more teeth than previous pacts with China. But it also raises the possibility that both countries could wind up back in the same type of tit-for-tat trade war that has inflicted economic damage across the globe.

Clete Willems, a partner at Akin Gump who helped to advise on trade policy until he left the administration last year, said the deal would fulfill three of the four major conditions laid out in the administration’s initial report that justified tariffs on Chinese goods. That included a requirement that China not direct its companies to acquire sensitive foreign technology.

Mr. Willems said the deal also contained new language protecting trade secrets, including a promise to set up judicial proceedings and criminal penalties for Chinese entities that steal confidential business information. It would also provide greater patent protection for the pharmaceutical sector.

The one major concern outlined in the administration’s report that was not addressed in the trade deal is cybertheft, Mr. Willems said. China had rebuffed American demands to include promises to refrain from hacking American firms in the text, insisting it was not a trade issue.

“We didn’t fix every single problem with China in this agreement, there is no question about that,” Mr. Willems said. “But what was done is really significant.”

Some analysts have expressed skepticism that a broad threat of tariffs on the overall Chinese economy would really deter Chinese companies bent on gaining a technological edge by stealing trade secrets.

The Trump administration itself has cited China’s failure to live up to its agreements. In March 2018, the Office of the United States Trade Representative detailed a pattern of failed promises by the Chinese government to no longer force foreign companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms. China had failed to live up to that commitment “on at least eight occasions since 2010,” the trade office said.

The first-phase agreement does not address some of the administration’s bigger concerns about China’s economic practices, including its use of subsidies and state plans to build domestic industries that flood the global market with low-priced products, often driving American competitors out of business. Critics say the practice has undermined American industries like steel and solar panels, and could prove detrimental to high-tech manufacturers of electric vehicles, computer chips and robots.

The Trump administration, which had hoped to curtail state subsidies as part of a trade deal, tried to head off criticism on Tuesday morning by announcing progress on a multilateral effort to address these practices.

Mr. Lighthizer met with ministers from Japan and the European Union in Washington, and resolved to press for changes at the World Trade Organization that would ban many of the subsidies that China provides to its industries.

He said the three would work together to restrict a variety of unfair subsidies and funds provided through state-owned enterprises, which the W.T.O. had previously ruled were not subject to its subsidy rules. Both are practices China has relied on.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/14/business/economy/trump-china-trade-deal.html

Did we get China to do everything the western world wants it to do? No. But again, this is phase one, the second phase is, as the article above mention, will involve more countries (underlined).

It's just hard for me to completely brush off the gains just because Trump is involved. The EU has yet to stop China from forcing European Tech companies from handing their Tech, and it's hoping to stop China from doing that by engaging in similar negotiations just like the USA did. In other words, the USA is ahead of the EU on that front, and many others, because the USA had a tougher attitude towards Beijing. Now the EU will start asking China for similar privileges. Let's see how long that would take them.

Finally, this will be worth revisiting years from now once we have some actual results. It just might the worst deal ever, even though it doesn't look like it. 



Machiavellian said:
LurkerJ said:

I have to point out that this "debacle" has been largely positive as it allowed American companies to diversify their supply chains out of China. These tariffs are the reason countries like India are stepping up their manufacturing game, allowing China to monopolize industrial production has been terrible for all countries, not just the USA. 

Why would you want to allow one country to withhold all the manufacturing power of our most used devices? That's a recipe for disaster, the whole world was willingly allowing Beijing to become their sole provider of their most used goods because of greed, something had to be done about it.

It's good for the tariffs to continue and for other countries with cheap labor to step up so that the competition for manufacturing is resuscitated, and you can't just simply say "it would've happened anyway" because as far as most politicians are concerned, it was a non-issue to continue to concede to China because they wanted that sweet cheap access to their sweatshops. 

Make no mistake, China was hit by the trade war and it's not over, if they want tariffs to be lifted they have to make more concessions in Phase two, and time isn't on their side as other countries will slowly replicate their successful formula, which would be the best case scenario because competition is good.

Not to mention, so far the consumers haven't been negatively affected by these tariffs despite the extreme and the continuous warnings issued by mainstream media outlets. So the longer phase two takes, the more diversified supply chains will become which is better for everyone. 

What I am trying to figure out is what exactly did this actually solve.  Will this decrease the trade deficit which Trump touted as one of his main points. Does this solve China backing their companies and low balling products into the marketplace.  This trade deal actually solves none of the things we went into the war for and it smells exactly like the deal made with North Korea where Trump was touting that one but end up being garbage.  The only thing we really get out of this is that China will go back to buying soybeans another other commodities they already was buying from us.  The fact that this deal was put on the table a long time ago by China and Trump turned it down multiple times only means he accepted it now because it election time.  He needed a win which is basically nothing but he will sell it to you as if he climbed a mountain while he was just giving scraps from the table.  This deal changes nothing between China and the US and it definitely doesn't change anything in how Chian operate.

Are you actually trying to figure out what it solves or are you just here to bash Trump? Anyone can bash him, even his fan base. If you actually moved on from that you would find that this deal is trying to change how China is operating. The deal acknowledges that there is more work to be done, but it needs multilateral efforts, and guess what, other parties like Japan and the EU are happy to be involved because they also want to stop China from cheating the market. We should push for more of that. 

Trump thought he could bring back manufacturing jobs, it's not going to happen, the trade deficit is hardly an issue, it doesn't matter if Trump thinks otherwise. However, confronting China is a necessity. While I don't particularity like the world in which the USA is the ultimate superpower, it does seem like it's a better place to be live in that China would create. 



LurkerJ said:

Post removed due to length. See above.

1) Vietnam: Vietnam has benefited, however this has been on a fairly small scale. We haven't really seen much of an increase in manufacturing in Vietnam over the last few years, although like you said, we may not truly see the full effect for several years. As of now, however, it doesn't seem like Vietnam is poised to take over any significant portion of China's exports to the US. As your article states, despite the fact that Vietnam's output is fairly small, it is already running into bottlenecks such as labor shortages, which put them in a situation where they are facing a ceiling of sorts to their capacity to take over Chinese production.

Additionally, this is a continuation of a trend, as your quote states. Companies had already been migrating away from China, and will continue to do so as pay continues to increase in China and it continues to develop. You could argue that any substantial hit to China's economy may slow its ability to continue to provide better conditions for its workers, which may actually deter the natural processes which are already diversifying global manufacturing. You talk about a situation where China becomes the only global manufacturer, but I believe market forces and the natural growth of China would largely prevent that from happening.

As a bit of a side note, the goal of having China drastically step up its imports, may create issues in the diversification of the US' export supply chains. From Fortune.com:

"Basically it would divert almost the entire soybean crop we export to everybody to China," said John Scannapieco, chair of the global business team at law firm Baker Donelson. "We're shrinking our markets. We should be helping farmers to diversify."

As the trade war has shown, without sufficient diversification, producers risk of a sudden reduction of purchases, for whatever reason, which can be disastrous.

2) "Building bridges" explanation: What I mean when I say that the US should have undertaken the task of diversification by building bridges instead of burning them, is that the US should not have sought diversification by attacking the supply chains that existed (which did damage to the global economy as well as US importers, etc), but instead should have sought to develop relationships with areas such as India and Vietnam. Make deals with these countries and with US companies to remove barriers. Create a system of positive reinforcement, which could benefit US companies, benefit the global economy and aid in diversification, instead of creating a system of punishment.

3) Technology: I agree that this is a positive step, however, I see no reason to think that the trade war was necessary to reach this point. From Business Insider:

"Graham Webster, who leads a joint initiative between Stanford university and the think tank New America, focused on China's digital policy, said that Wednesday's deal brought good news regarding intellectual property protection. The pact commits China to crack down on the theft of American technology and corporate secrets by Chinese firms and state-owned organizations.

But this was a small concession for China, and in its own self-interest, Webster said. "The Chinese government was already on a trajectory of becoming more rule-based, and [implementing intellectual property rights] has become a matter of self-interest for the Chinese economy as its companies have become more advanced," he said."

The article goes on to talk about how much wasn't handled in this deal in regards to Huawei, AI, hacking and more.

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-china-deal-tech-cold-war-rages-on-experts-2020-1

Overall, this is a change which may benefit China the same as it may benefit the US. I welcome it, but I don't think the trade war was necessary to reach a deal that benefits China.

4) Other countries: Why did we not undertake these ventures with the aid of our allies instead of hoping they would take these steps individually? There was no reason that the US had to go into this trade war alone, but instead of developing a global, targeted strategy with the weight of the world, we chose to strike out at everyone simultaneously, weakening our position and hurting our allies. Instead of focusing on attacking the EU for the past several years, the US should have brought them to the table as we had trade discussions with China. Again, this lack of strategy and cooperation I think hurt the US' position. I don't think any of the damage inflicted over the past several years would have been necessary if we simply worked with our allies instead of against them.

5) "Worst deal ever": I want to emphasize, that I am not claiming that this is the worst deal ever, as you seem to imply. I am stating that it is a good, albeit fairly minor deal. It will likely have positive effects. My issues are primarily with how we got here.

LurkerJ said:

Trump thought he could bring back manufacturing jobs, it's not going to happen, the trade deficit is hardly an issue, it doesn't matter if Trump thinks otherwise. However, confronting China is a necessity. While I don't particularity like the world in which the USA is the ultimate superpower, it does seem like it's a better place to be live in that China would create. 

Interesting. I agree with you, but I didn't expect you to hold this perspective.



LurkerJ said:
Machiavellian said:

What I am trying to figure out is what exactly did this actually solve.  Will this decrease the trade deficit which Trump touted as one of his main points. Does this solve China backing their companies and low balling products into the marketplace.  This trade deal actually solves none of the things we went into the war for and it smells exactly like the deal made with North Korea where Trump was touting that one but end up being garbage.  The only thing we really get out of this is that China will go back to buying soybeans another other commodities they already was buying from us.  The fact that this deal was put on the table a long time ago by China and Trump turned it down multiple times only means he accepted it now because it election time.  He needed a win which is basically nothing but he will sell it to you as if he climbed a mountain while he was just giving scraps from the table.  This deal changes nothing between China and the US and it definitely doesn't change anything in how Chian operate.

Are you actually trying to figure out what it solves or are you just here to bash Trump? Anyone can bash him, even his fan base. If you actually moved on from that you would find that this deal is trying to change how China is operating. The deal acknowledges that there is more work to be done, but it needs multilateral efforts, and guess what, other parties like Japan and the EU are happy to be involved because they also want to stop China from cheating the market. We should push for more of that. 

Trump thought he could bring back manufacturing jobs, it's not going to happen, the trade deficit is hardly an issue, it doesn't matter if Trump thinks otherwise. However, confronting China is a necessity. While I don't particularity like the world in which the USA is the ultimate superpower, it does seem like it's a better place to be live in that China would create. 

THis deal did not change anything.  Look, I have stated I had no problems with Trump trying to tackle China before, the problem was always his methods.  First and foremost he tried to showboat that he was going to force China to conform which is the dumbest political move period if anyone knows just a little bit about China.  You state other parties like Japan, EU etc but he never included them and he doesn't include them now going lone cowboy route.  Hell the TPP was one solution where everyone was trying to rein in China together but he pulled out.  There were already international plans to reign in China but since Trump never pay attention or read anything by time he infomed himself he already walked away.  Stop trying to give credit to something he was to simple minded to even understand was already in motion.  

The fact is that after turning down the same deal China offered many times he finally caved in.  He showed weakness as they now know he had to go with that deal because he had nothing to sell the American people because it's election time.  He gained nothing in getting China to change anything on how they do business and it really doesn't matter if you call it phase one or whatever because China has no need to ever do a phase 2. 

If Trump thought he could bring back manufacturing jobs back to American then he was a fool and did not listen to multiple experts on that manner or as any snake oil salesman you sell people on something you know will never happen.  

I agree that China definitely needs to be reign in but do I believe Trump and his administration is smart enough to make it happen, HELL NO.  If he really wanted to reign in China then he would have included the international countries who all deal with China to put real pressure on them no go it all alone believing that trade wars are easy and China will just cave in because we are the big US.  After this whole mess the trade deficit grew and only thing accomplished is that nothing.



Machiavellian said:
LurkerJ said:

Are you actually trying to figure out what it solves or are you just here to bash Trump? Anyone can bash him, even his fan base. If you actually moved on from that you would find that this deal is trying to change how China is operating. The deal acknowledges that there is more work to be done, but it needs multilateral efforts, and guess what, other parties like Japan and the EU are happy to be involved because they also want to stop China from cheating the market. We should push for more of that. 

Trump thought he could bring back manufacturing jobs, it's not going to happen, the trade deficit is hardly an issue, it doesn't matter if Trump thinks otherwise. However, confronting China is a necessity. While I don't particularity like the world in which the USA is the ultimate superpower, it does seem like it's a better place to be live in that China would create. 

THis deal did not change anything.  Look, I have stated I had no problems with Trump trying to tackle China before, the problem was always his methods.  First and foremost he tried to showboat that he was going to force China to conform which is the dumbest political move period if anyone knows just a little bit about China.  You state other parties like Japan, EU etc but he never included them and he doesn't include them now going lone cowboy route.  Hell the TPP was one solution where everyone was trying to rein in China together but he pulled out.  There were already international plans to reign in China but since Trump never pay attention or read anything by time he infomed himself he already walked away.  Stop trying to give credit to something he was to simple minded to even understand was already in motion.  

The fact is that after turning down the same deal China offered many times he finally caved in.  He showed weakness as they now know he had to go with that deal because he had nothing to sell the American people because it's election time.  He gained nothing in getting China to change anything on how they do business and it really doesn't matter if you call it phase one or whatever because China has no need to ever do a phase 2. 

If Trump thought he could bring back manufacturing jobs back to American then he was a fool and did not listen to multiple experts on that manner or as any snake oil salesman you sell people on something you know will never happen.  

I agree that China definitely needs to be reign in but do I believe Trump and his administration is smart enough to make it happen, HELL NO.  If he really wanted to reign in China then he would have included the international countries who all deal with China to put real pressure on them no go it all alone believing that trade wars are easy and China will just cave in because we are the big US.  After this whole mess the trade deficit grew and only thing accomplished is that nothing.

I'll start by the usual disclaimer: I am no trade expert here, in fact, I only took an interest in the whole thing in 2019.

One of the few things that I read repeatedly is that the future of global trade will heavily revolve around bilateral agreements just as much as multilateral agreements. China & the US will have many of those on their tables in the future. The US can pinpoint common goals it shares with the EU/Japan/UK and get involved in multilateral talks as well as going on a one-on-one fight with China. I don't see the problem in bringing on other countries to achieve goals the USA can't achieve on its own. 

As for TPP, the most popular 3 politicians in 2016 ran against it, including Hillary Clinton. It seemed that the US wasn't gonna go forward with the deal regardless of who got elected. Fast forward to 2020, it looks like the democratic nominee has been opposing these sort of trade deals since his infancy, and he is running on a platform that vilifies trade deals because it results in the "outsourcing of American jobs". In other words, Americans are voting for candidates hoping that someone will handle trade deals differently. There is a communication gap between the policy makers & people, if you want to avoid this lash out against deals that are supposedly helping the country, policy makers need to spend a lot more time explaining why they're signing them. 

We obviously don't agree on everything but since it's hard to predict what's gonna happen next I suggest we revisit this conversation years from now if we're still around, we'll have more facts to deal with by then. 



sundin13 said:

1) Vietnam: Vietnam has benefited, however this has been on a fairly small scale. We haven't really seen much of an increase in manufacturing in Vietnam over the last few years, although like you said, we may not truly see the full effect for several years. As of now, however, it doesn't seem like Vietnam is poised to take over any significant portion of China's exports to the US. As your article states, despite the fact that Vietnam's output is fairly small, it is already running into bottlenecks such as labor shortages, which put them in a situation where they are facing a ceiling of sorts to their capacity to take over Chinese production.

Additionally, this is a continuation of a trend, as your quote states. Companies had already been migrating away from China, and will continue to do so as pay continues to increase in China and it continues to develop. You could argue that any substantial hit to China's economy may slow its ability to continue to provide better conditions for its workers, which may actually deter the natural processes which are already diversifying global manufacturing. You talk about a situation where China becomes the only global manufacturer, but I believe market forces and the natural growth of China would largely prevent that from happening.

As a bit of a side note, the goal of having China drastically step up its imports, may create issues in the diversification of the US' export supply chains. From Fortune.com:

"Basically it would divert almost the entire soybean crop we export to everybody to China," said John Scannapieco, chair of the global business team at law firm Baker Donelson. "We're shrinking our markets. We should be helping farmers to diversify."

As the trade war has shown, without sufficient diversification, producers risk of a sudden reduction of purchases, for whatever reason, which can be disastrous.

2) "Building bridges" explanation: What I mean when I say that the US should have undertaken the task of diversification by building bridges instead of burning them, is that the US should not have sought diversification by attacking the supply chains that existed (which did damage to the global economy as well as US importers, etc), but instead should have sought to develop relationships with areas such as India and Vietnam. Make deals with these countries and with US companies to remove barriers. Create a system of positive reinforcement, which could benefit US companies, benefit the global economy and aid in diversification, instead of creating a system of punishment.

3) Technology: I agree that this is a positive step, however, I see no reason to think that the trade war was necessary to reach this point. From Business Insider:

"Graham Webster, who leads a joint initiative between Stanford university and the think tank New America, focused on China's digital policy, said that Wednesday's deal brought good news regarding intellectual property protection. The pact commits China to crack down on the theft of American technology and corporate secrets by Chinese firms and state-owned organizations.

But this was a small concession for China, and in its own self-interest, Webster said. "The Chinese government was already on a trajectory of becoming more rule-based, and [implementing intellectual property rights] has become a matter of self-interest for the Chinese economy as its companies have become more advanced," he said."

The article goes on to talk about how much wasn't handled in this deal in regards to Huawei, AI, hacking and more.

https://www.businessinsider.com/us-china-deal-tech-cold-war-rages-on-experts-2020-1

Overall, this is a change which may benefit China the same as it may benefit the US. I welcome it, but I don't think the trade war was necessary to reach a deal that benefits China.

4) Other countries: Why did we not undertake these ventures with the aid of our allies instead of hoping they would take these steps individually? There was no reason that the US had to go into this trade war alone, but instead of developing a global, targeted strategy with the weight of the world, we chose to strike out at everyone simultaneously, weakening our position and hurting our allies. Instead of focusing on attacking the EU for the past several years, the US should have brought them to the table as we had trade discussions with China. Again, this lack of strategy and cooperation I think hurt the US' position. I don't think any of the damage inflicted over the past several years would have been necessary if we simply worked with our allies instead of against them.

5) "Worst deal ever": I want to emphasize, that I am not claiming that this is the worst deal ever, as you seem to imply. I am stating that it is a good, albeit fairly minor deal. It will likely have positive effects. My issues are primarily with how we got here.

LurkerJ said:

Trump thought he could bring back manufacturing jobs, it's not going to happen, the trade deficit is hardly an issue, it doesn't matter if Trump thinks otherwise. However, confronting China is a necessity. While I don't particularity like the world in which the USA is the ultimate superpower, it does seem like it's a better place to be live in that China would create. 

Interesting. I agree with you, but I didn't expect you to hold this perspective.

1) "As a bit of a side note, the goal of having China drastically step up its imports, may create issues in the diversification of the US' export supply chains."

That's one aspect I didn't think of at all. It definitely raises the question if this is something the US actually benefits from, it doesn't look that positive when you put it like that. 

2) Can't disagree. 

3) Technology: I see where you're coming from. I read similar stuff as well over the past few days. As of now, it looks like China has become so technologically advanced that it's worried about its own set of original IPs and tech. Whatever damage the US is trying to prevent with this deal, has already happened. American officials are too late, now that China has transferred all the tech secrets to its own companies and built upon them, it's seeking to protecting its own advancement by implementing intellectual property laws. This is borderline hilarious, american tech giants were so blinded by sweatshops & maximizing profits they didn't think twice before going all out of their homelands and all in China. 

4) That's a valid question to ask but it seems that bilateral trade agreements are on the rise globally. Whether if that's for the better or the worse (at least for the US) remains to be seen. 

5) I didn't mean you personally. Partisan reporting and lack of bias free sources is frustrating. Your objection is valid, Trump could've gotten the same results differently, but I was trying to focus on the details of the deal itself and I did learn reading the stuff you linked which I was hoping to achieve by discussing it with someone with different views



Lawmakers: The US cannot afford another 10 years of Citizens United

Ten years ago, the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission unleashed a torrent of outside spending by corporations and wealthy donors who seized the opportunity to buy unlimited influence in Washington. The decision exponentially increased the amount of money in our politics and emboldened foreign actors to corrupt our elections. Our democracy has paid a heavy price.

Since the Citizens United decision, just 10 individuals have injected more than $1.2 billion into our elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Secret money groups have poured $963 million into ads without telling voters who paid for them. And Americans have no way of knowing how much foreign money has infiltrated our elections.

The Citizens United decision ceded unparalleled power to wealthy and well-connected special interests and diminished the voice of regular Americans, leaving people feeling left out and locked out of their own democracy. With millionaires, billionaires and corporations calling the shots in Washington, the American people get short shrift.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/21/opinions/citizens-united-decision-election-disaster-udall-sarbanes/index.html

Talk about legal meddling. 



LurkerJ said:

Lawmakers: The US cannot afford another 10 years of Citizens United

Ten years ago, the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission unleashed a torrent of outside spending by corporations and wealthy donors who seized the opportunity to buy unlimited influence in Washington. The decision exponentially increased the amount of money in our politics and emboldened foreign actors to corrupt our elections. Our democracy has paid a heavy price.

Since the Citizens United decision, just 10 individuals have injected more than $1.2 billion into our elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Secret money groups have poured $963 million into ads without telling voters who paid for them. And Americans have no way of knowing how much foreign money has infiltrated our elections.

The Citizens United decision ceded unparalleled power to wealthy and well-connected special interests and diminished the voice of regular Americans, leaving people feeling left out and locked out of their own democracy. With millionaires, billionaires and corporations calling the shots in Washington, the American people get short shrift.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/21/opinions/citizens-united-decision-election-disaster-udall-sarbanes/index.html

Talk about legal meddling. 

That's why in some countries the government officials are not allowed to have any side income whatsoever and the bank accounts are under scrutiny. That way bribing or excessive lobbying is a whole lot more difficult to pull off.



Bofferbrauer2 said:
LurkerJ said:

Lawmakers: The US cannot afford another 10 years of Citizens United

Ten years ago, the Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission unleashed a torrent of outside spending by corporations and wealthy donors who seized the opportunity to buy unlimited influence in Washington. The decision exponentially increased the amount of money in our politics and emboldened foreign actors to corrupt our elections. Our democracy has paid a heavy price.

Since the Citizens United decision, just 10 individuals have injected more than $1.2 billion into our elections, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Secret money groups have poured $963 million into ads without telling voters who paid for them. And Americans have no way of knowing how much foreign money has infiltrated our elections.

The Citizens United decision ceded unparalleled power to wealthy and well-connected special interests and diminished the voice of regular Americans, leaving people feeling left out and locked out of their own democracy. With millionaires, billionaires and corporations calling the shots in Washington, the American people get short shrift.

https://edition.cnn.com/2020/01/21/opinions/citizens-united-decision-election-disaster-udall-sarbanes/index.html

Talk about legal meddling. 

That's why in some countries the government officials are not allowed to have any side income whatsoever and the bank accounts are under scrutiny. That way bribing or excessive lobbying is a whole lot more difficult to pull off.

I can think of a pretty easy solution to that. "Hey, pass this stuff for me, and I'll hire you as a board member for $1M a year after you are out of your position.".



Money can't buy happiness. Just video games, which make me happy.

Baalzamon said:
Bofferbrauer2 said:

That's why in some countries the government officials are not allowed to have any side income whatsoever and the bank accounts are under scrutiny. That way bribing or excessive lobbying is a whole lot more difficult to pull off.

I can think of a pretty easy solution to that. "Hey, pass this stuff for me, and I'll hire you as a board member for $1M a year after you are out of your position.".

That's something that's hard to avoid if there's only one person to influence for this. Thankfully, in most cases they would need to do this to a slew of people (at least one entire chamber that needs to be convinced), and the chances that one of them would tip them off to the authorities are far too great then to risk the legal and image problems that would ensue. Even more so if it's a coalition government and the wish goes against one of the parties in that coalition, even just trying to do that then could risk breaking up the government and new elections incoming, with a chance of losing the election and receiving nothing out of it.