Editor’s note: Just three years ago, the conventional wisdom was that the US could do nothing about China’s behavior or its inevitable rise to become the biggest world economy. The conventional wisdom has changed for the better.
US President Trump has been super proud of the accord, while Beijing’s response has been notably muted. But the trade talks have always been a one-way avenue – a deal between what the US wants and what China can give
[Cary Huang | December 21, 2019 | SCMP]
The different approaches adopted by American and Chinese officials in dealing with the long-awaited first trade deal reflect their different sentiments and views on the result of the marathon deliberations.
The downgraded signing ceremony for the “significant” deal might be more evidence of differing views over the significance of the accord. The deal will not be signed by both presidents as planned, but instead by their lead negotiators – US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, a change that is likely to have been a Chinese suggestion.
Indeed, Trump has succeeded in doing more than any of his predecessors in addressing the trade deficit, as China has pledged to go on a purchasing spree of US products. The trade deficit has been the No 1 issue in long-lasting US-China trade tensions, one that successive administrations have failed to tackle.
It would be a big political victory for Trump himself as the “massive purchases” of agricultural produce from the US will be a big boost to his re-election campaign.