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Trump's trade agenda runs into reality of global geopolitics

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29.05.2018

U.S. President Donald Trump's hard-line views on trade, a staple of his message long before he entered politics, are beginning to collide with the cold realities of global geopolitics.

Trade talks on China and the North American Free Trade Agreement have hit stumbling blocks, posing a challenge for a president who vowed to make trade deals more equitable for the United States during his 2016 campaign and who famously tweeted that trade wars are "easy to win."

Trump's trade agenda — at least lately — has not been so easy.

After threatening China with $150 billion in tariffs, Trump's administration has suspended plans to impose the tariffs for now and the president tweeted last Wednesday that a "different structure" would be needed in the trade talks involving the world's two largest economies.

The president has bemoaned the massive U.S. trade deficit with China — $337 billion last year — as evidence that Beijing has been complicit in abusive trading practices and outsmarted his predecessors.

Pointing to a pause in the trade dispute, the administration pointed to China's plans to "significantly increase" its purchases of U.S. goods and services and make "meaningful increases" in U.S. exports of agriculture and energy products. Financial markets, wary of a calamitous trade war, were relieved.

But Beijing did not agree to any specific dollar amounts, despite........

© Japan Today