Foreign Policy

Trade War Ceasefire?

China announces that it will buy "significantly" more U.S. goods and services.

Nate Jackson · May 21, 2018

From the beginning, we argued that President Donald Trump’s planned tariffs were a negotiating chip with China. That became even more clear over the weekend, as China announced that it would buy “significantly” more U.S. goods and services. According to a White House statement, that will include “meaningful increases in United States agriculture and energy exports” with the goal being to “substantially reduce the United States trade deficit in goods with China.” Let’s hope it also brings back some American jobs.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared that the U.S. was “putting the trade war on hold” as negotiations continue, but U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer insisted tariffs remain on the table if needed to “protect our technology.” Good cop, bad cop.

Keep in mind that trade is tied together with negotiations over the nuclear weapons program of China’s puppet, North Korea. The upcoming June 12 summit between Trump and Kim Jong-un is crucial, and sorting things out on the trade front with China is key. Hence other chess moves like canceling a planned training exercise with South Korea.

In short, this isn’t nearly as simple as the mainstream media sometimes portrays. Trump’s negotiations are all part of a long game.

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