On Friday, President Trump and China announced that they have agreed to phase one of a new US-China trade deal that could have major implications for the 2020 election.
We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China. They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more. The 25% Tariffs will remain as is, with 7 1/2% put on much of the remainder….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 13, 2019
In the 2016 presidential race, then-presidential candidate Trump accused China of unfair trade practices and pledged to get a new deal with China that would protect intellectual property, US businesses, and farmers. Trump said repeatedly during the campaign:
“We can’t continue to allow China to r*** our country and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the history of the world… they are playing chess while we are playing checkers.”
Trump has also said that he didn’t blame China for the massive trade balances which benefited them at our expense. Instead, he blamed our poor leadership for allowing China to take advantage of America.
Trump promised that he would rip up the trade deals and confront China. He has done exactly what he said he was going to do. This should not have been a surprise to anyone.
Promises made… promises kept.
Trump Fulfills Campaign Promises
Trump made a campaign promise to stop China from taking advantage of the US while its economy and military grow from money unfairly obtained from the United States.
In January 2018, Trump began the process of fulfilling that promise in spite of the warnings of economists and Democrats. They believed that his policies would lead to an unwinnable trade war and ruin the US economy. Trump didn’t flinch and stated “Trade wars are good, and easy to win,” and that tariffs would make the United States a much stronger, richer nation.
In fact, Trump’s tariffs have had a far more negative impact on China. Manufacturers have left to avoid the tariff’s and headed to countries like Vietnam and Indonesia. China exports to the United States more than any other country and, currently, its economy is growing at its slowest pace in 30 years.
China Imposed Its Own Tariffs on US Farmers
Still, to this point, the majority of farmers have supported Trump’s efforts in spite of how it impacts them negatively. A survey last summer found that 57% of farmers in Iowa somewhat or strongly supported tariffs on Chinese goods. Another 14% had neutral feelings and only 30% somewhat or strongly opposed the tariffs.
While China’s economy struggles, the US economy is still exploding as job growth is continuing to surge, wages are rising, and stock market earnings are breaking records.
China’s economy is slumping due to the tariffs and US economic expansion. Could that be the main reason China has been willing to negotiate and settle on a deal now instead of banking on Trump losing in 2020 and working with a more friendly Democrat?
Economists and pundits have said China was well-positioned to handle a trade war and that it would likely hurt the US the most.
It doesn’t seem to be working out that way.
How Could a China Trade Deal Help Trump
Under the new deal, Han Jun, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, said China will significantly increase agricultural purchases from US farmers. In addition, Chinese officials say the deal also includes intellectual property, financial services, technology transfers and expansion of trade.
If the deal goes through as expected, then the farmers and US businesses who bet on Trump will win significantly.
In addition, it may continue to perpetuate the expansion of America’s economy well into 2020.
Trump will have another “win” to tell the American people. He promised he would stand up to China and that his proposals would benefit everyday hard-working Americans. In addition to a win on trade with China, Trump has been successful in negotiating a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico that also helps US workers, farmers, and businesses.
If Trump can secure a second deal with China that benefits America even more, then his prospects of winning reelection on a “Keep America Great” campaign message increase.
Why should voters risk electing a liberal, socialist Democrat that will set the economy back and restore benefits to China at our expense?
By Don Purdum, Freelance Contributor
Copyright 2019, UnitedVoice.com