Trump Ignores Obvious Signs Trade Talks with China Have Failed
After repeatedly insisting China must meet the March 1 deadline, president Donald Trump now says he's in no rush to finish the ongoing trade talks with China.
These confusing signals seem to indicate all is not going well in the trade talks. Trump insistence any deal with China include protection for intellectual property is probably a deal breaker since China, again and again, has dismissed this demand as unwanted interference in its internal affairs.
Chinese president Xi Jinping has signaled he won't meet with Trump later this month in Florida. China also hasn't any public comment confirming Xi is considering meeting Trump in Florida or elsewhere. No date has been set for this meeting, another indication the talks are about to fall off a cliff.
Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen, who is deeply involved in the trade talks didn't answer questions from reporters on whether Xi will go to Florida.
And here's the kicker: no person-to-person talks between the American and Chinese trade teams have been held in more than two weeks.
Despite these obvious signs of failure, Trump keeps claiming great successes are being made in the non-existent talks. Trump also bragged his walking away from North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un without a deal last month probably intimidated Xi.
"I think President Xi saw that I'm somebody that believes in walking when the deal is not done, and you know there's always a chance it could happen and he probably wouldn't want that," said Trump.
Trump still labors under the delusion an agreement to end the months-long trade war will be finished ahead of a presidential meeting or completed in during an unlikely face-to-face meeting with Xi.
"We could do it either way," claimed Trump. "We could have the deal completed and come and sign, or we could get the deal almost completed and negotiate some of the final points. I would prefer that."
There are intractable barriers to surmount before any success can be achieved, however, and intellectual property is one of the more difficult. The U.S. accuses China of forcing U.S. companies to share their intellectual property and transfer their technology to local partners to do business in China. Beijing, of course, denies these charges.
After confirming intellectual property has to be part of a new trade deal, Trump remained optimistic a meeting with Xi is still likely.
"I think things are going along very well - we'll just see what the date is," said Trump. "I'm in no rush. I want the deal to be right. ... I am not in a rush whatsoever. It's got to be the right deal. It's got to be a good deal for us and if it's not, we're not going to make that deal."