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Here's a statement of the obvious: The opinions expressed here are those of the participants, not those of the Mutual Fund Observer. We cannot vouch for the accuracy or appropriateness of any of it, though we do encourage civility and good humor.

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Exclusive: China backtracked on nearly all aspects of U.S. trade deal - sources

We may be in for a bumpy ride.....
Investors and analysts questioned whether Trump’s tweet was a negotiating ploy to wring more concessions from China. The sources told Reuters the extent of the setbacks in the revised text were serious and that Trump’s response was not merely a negotiating strategy.
Trump’s tweets left no room for backing down, and Lighthizer made it clear that, despite continuing talks, “come Friday, there will be tariffs in place.”


  • Thanks for the post, @davfor

    Obviously, we here are far away from knowing/seeing the language of the 150 pages of the draft agreement, and what was "red lined". Personally, if the U.S. administration wants to pursue what they consider to be righteous or justified trade agreement; publish the draft and what portions China reportedly will not agree to implement.

    The below two snippets from the article found my attention.

    --- The stripping of binding legal language from the draft struck directly at the highest priority of U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer - who views changes to Chinese laws as essential to verifying compliance after years of what U.S. officials have called empty reform promises.

    How U.S.-China talks differ from any other trade deal.....

    --- Lighthizer has pushed hard for an enforcement regime more like those used for punitive economic sanctions – such as those imposed on North Korea or Iran – than a typical trade deal.

    >>> The link titles below should be self evident. The Shall, Will or Must reference words that may be part of the Trade Agreement Draft.
    There are 1,000's of books written about China, and I've read only a few. I do recommend, To Change China, for those so inclined to study. My reading of this book about 40 years ago helped me to better understand the country, the society and history of the region.
    Lastly, the China of today and its interactions with the global communities, is obviously nothing like periods of turmoil with Western/other countries during the Boxer rebellion (1899-1901), nor the partial occupation by Japan beginning in the early 1920's, nor WW2, nor an ongoing civil war from about 1927-1949, nor the Red Guard beginning in 1966 to clean the culture of all things from the past to bring forth a Communist state; and too much more to express here. More recently and likely part of everything in place today are renewed U.S. military sales to Taiwan. This is a big no-no, as China has long considered Taiwan part of their influence and domain since about 1949.
    My greatest concern today regarding the "trade agreement" is lack of proper historical knowledge by those in the U.S., or that those with proper knowledge are not involved in; nor having their opinion requested. Shooting from the hip and twitter words don't help.
    Final........Mr. Trump has been unfair trade minded for several decades.

    Shall, Will, Must reference in English legal matters, appears to remain conflicted. Some of the current challenges and conflicts among our own government's three branches involve interpretation of word meanings.

    Book, To Change China by Spence

    Book reviews/overviews

  • "Personally, if the U.S. administration wants to pursue what they consider to be righteous or justified trade agreement; publish the draft and what portions China reportedly will not agree to implement."

    @catch22 - Did you double up on your meds this morning or skip a dose? This omnipotent dictatorship will never ever publish anything even remotely resembling transparency in its dealings.
  • Hi @Mark
    Ya, I'm really reaching for the impossible, eh?
    Attempting to maintain a decent amount of critical thinking remains high on my list of things to do everyday. I really did overshoot today ! :)
  • Not that this is the only example, but the credibility gap between the administration and the public is so great that I have little faith in what our side says about the other.
  • edited May 2019
    I hate to be totally cynical (as opposed to my normal stance of being only mostly cynical) but the credibility gap between both of these governments and the public is so great that I have no faith in what either says about the other or even about themselves.
  • @MFO Members: The poster is to congratulated, self criticism is a wonderful trait. He realizes he is a cynical old fool !
  • edited May 2019
    @Ted: I'll cheerfully concede the "cynical". As to who may or may not be an old fool, I'll leave that to the judgement of the members.

    On another subject dear to your heart- have you noticed that the interest in the ongoing 737 story is now past 2200 views?
  • @MFO Members: On a subject dear to my heart, the more than 50,000 links here and on FundAlarm have easily generated more than a million views.
  • I believe it. Unfortunately you mistake quantity for quality.
  • edited May 2019
    Ted, I actually like the fact that you give a variety of articles. I read very few but hey, it keeps the board active. But not sure your statistics are flattering. That's about 20 views/post on average. Most likely that is skewed by a small percentage that got comments which always spurs extra hits. Possibly, given that, the median views are probably closer to 10-15/post, maybe?

    In any case, keep doing what your doing. I think it is good for your own well-being and does contribute to MFO.
  • @catch22 You're welcome. The article did a good job of discussing some of the main issues that need to be resolved. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Trump needs to have a strong economy going into election year. So, he is motivated to "make a deal". But he has felt the US has been getting ripped off in international trade for decades. So, he wants to be firm. My suspicion is that a deal will get done before too many weeks pass.
  • @catch22, good posting. Read a number of books on China's history and still far beyond in understand all subtle aspects of their thinking. Remember the anniversary of Tiananmen Square conflict is on June 4th. Xi cannot afford to look weak to their people.

    This chart shows that the USA has decreased imports from China yet has made up for that loss by increasing imports from the rest of the world.

    Sadly, Trump's May 4 tweet announcing sharply increased tariffs on China was made on the 100th anniversary of China's May 4th movement. This significant Chinese anniversary marks the onset of a series of anti-imperialist protests stemming from animosity against Western colonial powers.
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