What the Democrats fear most is happening: President Trump and his negotiating team are reaching wide-ranging agreements with China that will be a huge boon to the United States.
In an Oval Office press conference yesterday, President Trump and China’s Vice Premier announced a Phase 1 set of agreements that will be documented over the next several weeks. The video of the press conference is embedded below; Trump’s performance was masterful. His many years of experience as a negotiator shine through.
The Phase 1 agreement covers several important topics, including agricultural sales. China has agreed to ramp up its purchases of agricultural products to $40-$50 billion–three times the previous peak–over the next two years. Trump joked that farmers will need to buy more land and work overtime. That means, I think, that Democrats can say goodbye to hopes that tariffs would be the issue that could win votes in rural America.
The agreement also opens up China’s financial services markets to American companies, covers currency manipulation, and addresses some aspects of intellectual property and technology transfer agreements. Phase 2 negotiations will begin immediately.
In view of the Phase 1 agreement, new tariffs scheduled to go into effect on October 15 have been canceled. Further tariff increases are scheduled for December 15, but Trump and Steven Mnuchin, who participated in the press conference, emphasized that there is plenty of time to reach a Phase 2 agreement that would nullify those increases. Phase 2 could be the final agreement, or, if there are still open issues, there could be a Phase 3.
Many are saying that the Chinese willingness to enter into this wide-ranging agreement shows that they understand impeachment is a joke, and expect that President Trump will be re-elected. In fact, Trump himself said exactly that in response to a question: “They expect that I’m going to win. Otherwise they wouldn’t sign the deal. It’s very simple.” If Trump can get our relationship with China straightened out well in advance of the election, with economic benefits becoming visible, the main obstacle to his re-election will, in my opinion, be removed.
Here is the press conference in its entirety: