Yesterday the White House said the United States had reached major new agreements with China on trade. Today we found out that was just bad spin. Experts have analyzed the announcement’s details and discovered the truth: these are nothing more than old, repetitive, and loosely worded promises that China has made to the United State before. What’s worse, this deal also ignores pressing trade issues between the United States and China that impact the American people most – such as American-made steel, aluminum, and auto exports.
Here’s a reality check for Donald Trump about the takeaways of his”real news” trade deals with China:
- Brookings Institution Senior Fellow David Dollar said that the agreements are “modest moves which by themselves will not have much effect on the U.S. economy,” and the chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, Ker Gibbs, noted that “Past foot-dragging means we won’t celebrate until these promises are executed.”
- Politico writes that “most of the steps forward are in areas where China has made promises for years,” and trade experts told Axios that “The agreement is ‘underwhelming’ and ‘mostly aspirational.'” The Wall Street Journal even called the outcomes a “win-win for Beijing,” saying that “much of the progress outlined had appeared to be already under way.”
- The agreement set a July 2017 deadline for China to resume imports of U.S. beef, after the related ban had been conditionally lifted under the Obama administration. In return, the U.S. began the process of approving imports of Chinese cooked poultry, despite persisting health concerns regarding salmonella and bird flu.
- This deal would allow China to negotiate long-term deals with U.S. liquefied natural gas exporters, which could lead to a spike in domestic prices for natural gas.
The Trump Administration obviously wants to claim that they have achieved a “win”after their dismal first 100 days in office and as the controversy Trump created by firing FBI director Jim Comey as Comey’s investigation of potential collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russian government, but this announcement is nothing more than lipstick on a failure.
”Trump likes to brag about being the best negotiator on the planet but in reality he’s actually quite bad at this. He clearly doesn’t understand the issues, and now his policies are failing American workers,” said American Bridge spokesman Andrew Bates. “As the fallout from Trump’s unethical firing of Jim Comey spreads and Trump pursues an economic agenda that sells out everyone but the wealthiest Americans, the country is seeing that his ignorance has serious consequences.”
To view American Bridge’s new fact sheet on these U.S.-China trade agreements, click HERE.
Published: May 12, 2017