Tags: china | trump | trade | bryan crabtree

Bryan Crabtree: China Echoes Trump on Trade

 two clenched fists both painted with flags of usa and china about to collide on black background
(Florin Seitan/Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 29 October 2018 12:15 PM

Politico recently reported that President Trump is “driving China nuts.”

Many analysts, in part because of a generation of favorable coverage of trade deals like NAFTA and in part because of their clear disdain for the president, have failed to accurately account for the positive impact the president’s trade policy is having both on the economy and with America’s standing in the world.

Although China may have thought that Mr. Trump was bluffing on the campaign trail, now that he’s imposed billions in tariffs, including hefty duties announced in September, they realize the joke is on them. Chinese factories, according to Bloomberg, are bracing for the big 25-percent hit set to kick in next year. Trump recently complicated matters further by threatening to impose even more if they don’t make a good faith effort to correct their protectionist policies.

While some outlets continue to write how this is “good for neither Washington nor Beijing,” they are completely missing the story.

China, with its suffering stock market and factory activity, is already beginning to conform to the president’s sea change in attitude – going so far as to recently mimic Mr. Trump’s rhetoric on trade and, more critically, seek to open its markets by making deals with other nations.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang recently did his best Donald Trump impersonation by saying, "Free trade is not a rejection of fair trade” and "without free trade, there is no fair trade.” He then proceeded to appeal for global efforts to promote free trade, pledging to work together with all sides to open its markets and improve the multilateral trading system” – a shocking reversal in rhetoric that one would have been hard-pressed to hear during the do-nothing Obama years.

Feeling the heat stemming from America’s hard-hitting strategy, China is also seeking to make separate free trade agreements with the European Union and Japan, including forging an alliance that lambasts the United States’ actions, as they desperately try to reverse and fill the void brought about by the new America First trade policy. It’s a last-ditch, Hail Mary effort to avoid taking a seat at the negotiating table with President Trump that ironically involves talking and acting just like the president on trade when dealing with any country other than the United States.

But since Mr. Trump is forging a free trade alliance without them, China’s anti-U.S. coalition strategy seems destined to fail. Beyond solidifying a rewrite of NAFTA and completing a trade deal with South Korea, the president is also getting ready to negotiate with the very countries that China is trying to alienate away from us.

The European Union has agreed to sit down with the president to begin new rounds of talk for a “zero tariff” deal. Japan – the world’s third largest economy and perhaps the most crucial cog in China’s Hail Mary strategy – is also slated to begin trade talks with the US at the end of September. If the president’s talks are successful, he will have completely squashed China’s master strategy to avoid sitting down with the U.S. for a deal.

We’ve already seen what wonders engaging in free trade with cooperative nations has been in pressuring China to come to the table. At the end of August, analysts reported to CNBC reported that the US-Mexico trade deal “strengthens the US position to play hardball with China,” while creating a “good signal” to the country by demonstrating that the U.S. is willing to negotiate if the terms are right. If this free trade deal was such a positive step forward in the right direction, imagine what possibilities an American agreement with a powerhouse economy would unleash.

For the sake of the success of its America First trade policy, it is incumbent upon the Trump administration to press forward quickly and aggressively to seal agreements with Japan, the European Union, and as many other nations as possible.

If the president keeps it up, it will only be a matter of time before the world’s most anti-free trade country caves in and opens its markets.

They’ve already started to do that.

Bryan Crabtree, is author of new book, "The Trump In You: Acting Like Trump Is Actually A Good Thing." Crabtree is a radio host on AM 920 The ANSWER in Atlanta, GA and the publisher of Talk40.com

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China, with its suffering stock market and factory activity, is already beginning to conform to the president’s sea change in attitude – going so far as to recently mimic Mr. Trump’s rhetoric on trade and, more critically, seek to open its markets by making deals with other nations.
china, trump, trade, bryan crabtree
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2018-15-29
Monday, 29 October 2018 12:15 PM
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