News & Politics

China Probably Wasn't Expecting Trump's Response to Their Trade Shenanigans

President Donald Trump listens to China's President Xi Jinping speak during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

This morning, Reuters published a report detailing how China edited the trade deal agreement the Trump administration had already negotiated with them. According to the news service, “The diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night, with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, according to three U.S. government sources and three private sector sources briefed on the talks.”

On Sunday, President Trump tweeted that he was going to raise tariffs on China to 25%. That statement threw many into a tailspin as pundits expressed dismay that the president was sabotaging the talks with China. However, the Reuters report reveals that the president wasn’t sabotaging the talks but was responding to China’s underhanded maneuvering.

In the article, Reuters explains:

The document was riddled with reversals by China that undermined core U.S. demands, the sources told Reuters.

In each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws to resolve core complaints that caused the United States to launch a trade war: Theft of U.S. intellectual property and trade secrets; forced technology transfers; competition policy; access to financial services; and currency manipulation.

U.S. President Donald Trump responded in a tweet on Sunday vowing to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent on Friday – timed to land in the middle of a scheduled visit by China’s Vice Premier Liu He to Washington to continue trade talks.

Earlier today, the president tweeted a warning to China to not assume that they would be able to negotiate with a Democrat president after 2020. A short time later, demonstrating that his tactics were working, President Trump tweeted again, this time to announce that the Chinese vice-premier is on his way to the U.S. to resume negotiations.

President Trump has many doubters (including, in all honesty, myself) about his ability to navigate the waters of international diplomacy. So far, though, the president has shown himself to be beyond capable of protecting American interests while growing the economy. Considering our country’s robust economy, the proof is in the pudding.