Trump to China: don’t wait, deal will only get “far worse”
JC News|May. 12, 2019
US President Donald Trump has warned China that the deal it rejected last week to end the escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies will get “far worse” if its intention was to wait out his first term in office and engage a more malleable successor.
Talks broke down Friday between the two countries after two days of negotiations because China’s reluctance to concede US demand that it must codify into law the changes it was undertaking to make as part of the deal and detail them, which Beijing saw as a sovereignty issue.
The United States has since — 12:01 am Friday — hiked tariff on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%; and President Trump has threatened to extend the new rate to $325 billion worth more of Chinese goods, covering practically all of imports from China.
Though Trump wants a deal just as badly — the tariff hikes will push up prices in the US and an average American family of could be paying $767 more a year as a result, according to one estimate — he probably feels emboldened to stay the course because of the surging economy and bipartisan support he is getting to taking the fight to China.
“I think that China felt they were being beaten so badly in the recent negotiation that they may as well wait around for the next election, 2020, to see if they could get lucky & have a Democrat win,” he wrote on Twitter Saturday.
But, he said, the “only problem is that they know I am going to win (best economy & employment numbers in US history, & much more), and the deal will become far worse for them if it has to be negotiated in my second term”.
President Trump has accused Democrats of failing to stop the Chinese trade juggernaut and has said the Chinese would rather negotiate with former Vice-President Joe Biden, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination to take on Trump in 2020. This is just politics, because Trump has been unsparing in his criticism of Republican administrations as well on the issue of trade with China.
Trump’s accusation that Democrats were soft on China is also a mischaracterization of their position. Many of them feel just as strongly about it as him, and have fully backed his bare-knuckles fight the Chinese. “Hang tough on China, President @realDonaldTrump,” Chuck Schumer, the top democrat in US senate wrote on Twitter ahead of the talks that failed Friday. “Don’t back down. Strength is the only way to win with China.”
First Published: May 12, 2019 21:30 IST
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