In the dynamic of President Trump confronting Chairman Xi over Chinese trade and manufacturing practices there are critical members of the U.S. team, each with a role to play. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Rep. Robert Lighthizer and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin are the most important members.
Secretary Ross explains the position of the U.S. team as they head to the G20. WATCH:
As we discussed yesterday, Chinese anxiety is off-the-charts. When China gets into this high-anxiety disposition, they immediately -predictably- drop the Panda mask, and lash-out with Red Dragon antagonisms. This is happening right now.
“There are some inappropriate activities underway by the Chinese. They must cease. If they do, if we make some redressing of the trade imbalance, then that’s a reasonable deal for both parties.” ~ Secretary Wilbur Ross
In previous administrations the economic/trade teams were filled with think-tank wonks and esoteric public officials. Their response to the Red Dragon was always from a position of inherent fear combined with political evaluations. This is the historic frame-of-reference for Beijing, a view of inherent weakness. This history also contributes to why China is perplexed by the Trump administration.
In the Trump administration the economic/trade teams are directed by dragon-slayers from the private sector. Business giants, billionaires, who are familiar with the granular details of negotiation and comfortable with adversarial battles where billions of dollars can make or break a deal. There is no position of structural fear or political ramification at the apex level of business dealing. The fights are on the merits of the position(s).
As President Trump has moved from negotiation to confrontation, Beijing’s leadership is starting to realize their opponent isn’t their typical weak U.S. government negotiators; nor is it the U.S. Chamber of Commerce who will cut the ‘deal’ for their Wall Street clients and DC lobbyists regardless of Main Street’s best interests.
As a direct consequence, the team around Chairman Xi have a much more difficult time trying to outwit the U.S. delegation. President Trump has brought “killers” from the U.S. corporate and business community, into the battle – to fight on behalf of America.