China Told Trump He Can’t Even Have “Phase One” Deal Without Tariffs Removal
In case you were wondering why Trump changed the record again
Trump is currently telling anyone who will listen that he doesn’t mind not getting even the preliminary nothing burger “phase one” trade deal with China done in this term. The intention is to make it sound it was his idea to hold off on the “phase one” deal that was his brainchild:
“In some ways, I like the idea of waiting until after the election for the China deal, but they want to make a deal now and we will see whether or not the deal is going to be right,” Trump told reporters earlier on Tuesday.
When asked if he had a deal deadline, he added: “I have no deadline, no … In some ways, I think it is better to wait until after the election if you want to know the truth.”
However, just before Trump changed his record once again information surfaced that China had been driving an extraordinarily hard bargain with Trump. Even just for a “phase one” nothing deal Trump would have had to climb down on his tariffs:
Beijing’s priority in any phase one trade deal with the United States is the removal of existing tariffs on Chinese goods, China’s Global Times newspaper said on Sunday, amid continued uncertainty on whether the two sides can strike a deal.
“Sources with direct knowledge of the trade talks told the Global Times on Saturday that the U.S. must remove existing tariffs, not planned tariffs, as part of the deal,” said the report.
Global Times, published by the official People’s Daily newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, also cited another unidentified source close to the talks as saying U.S. officials had been resisting such a demand because the tariffs were their only weapon in the trade war and giving up that weapon meant “surrender.”
In other words, it is really the Chinese who have a very, very low interest in an imminent “phase one” deal.