According to a report in Bloomberg News the U.S. is sending a trade negotiation team to Beijing on January 7th, 2019. If accurate this would be the first face-to-face delegation since President Trump and Chairman Xi outlined the structure for strategic trade discussions during the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires.
(Via Bloomberg) A U.S. government delegation will travel to Beijing in the week of Jan. 7 to hold trade talks with Chinese officials, two people familiar with the matter said.
Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the Trump administration’s team, which will also include Treasury Under Secretary for International Affairs David Malpass, according to the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Neither the USTR nor Treasury responded to requests for comment. (more)
When President Trump outlined the preliminary terms for negotiations between the U.S. and China, U.S Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer was assigned the lead position for the contacts. Abassador Lighthizer has been very firm in pointing out the 90-day window for discussions, prior to enhanced tariff action, was not going to change. The deadline is March 1st, 2019, for a principle agreement, or the next phase of tariffs is triggered.
THE DANCE – There are some signs Beijing is trying to bring an aggressive North Korea back into play as leverage toward China’s economic negotiation goals. President Trump will almost certainly instruct Secretary Mike Pompeo to engage and schedule a second meeting between Chairman Kim Jong-un and President Trump.
Trump’s move to keep North Korea’s Chairman Kim visible and negotiating is less about DPRK denuclearization and more specifically about keeping Chairman Xi from being able to leverage DPRK denuclearization as part of China’s trade leverage. This aspect to the U.S -vs China geopolitical confrontation can be described as the dance of the panda mask.
No other president would, could, or has, ever considered publicly taking on this dual economic and diplomatic challenge. Not only is President Trump taking on China, but he is simultaneously taking on every financial interest who previously acquiesced to China – because they saw no option.
Only, and I do mean O.N.L.Y President Trump has the cunning to take on China, Wall Street, the multinational banking system (IMF), the World Trade Organization, and every vested global politician…. while simultaneously taking on Beijing’s DPRK control ploys.
The vast majority of punditry and news discussion will focus on Trump and Xi as if they are direct adversaries. That adversarial perspective is not only misplaced, it is merely the tip of the iceberg. A limited perspective will entirely miss what is happening beneath the surface. That’s where the fight is. That’s where the really good stuff is happening.
The real challenge in dealing with or confronting China is what happens in the places we cannot see directly attached. Specifically because politicians suck at complex strategies that not entirely obvious to the consuming masses – we have never had a politician with the right skills, in the right position, to take on a cunning Eastern economic adversary.
We do now.
POTUS Trump’s life dealing with predatory financial adversaries, including the Chinese, has provided him with a very specific set of skills. Trump is keenly aware of the cunning nature behind the panda mask; and the results so far are excellent. It is also clear that Robert Lighthizer holds a solid understanding of this specific adversary.
Those who follow global politics and global economics well understand the significance and massive consequence in this U.S. -vs- China confrontation. This economic challenge is planetary in scale. This one is for all the marbles. There are trillions upon trillions at stake, and Donald Trump is confronting decades of planning by global financial interests.