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Trump has consistently displayed himself as an inconsistent dealmaker. He flimflams to a fault. Therefore his words are not worth a dime. |
He mistook Bahamas for Alabama and illegally changed the Dorian typhoon weather forecast map to include Alabama in order to cover his mistake, furthermore excoriating the weathermen who tried to correct him. Such is the US potus who had called President Xi a friend, then an enemy, after which a statesman wise about life. And he laconically excused himself by saying that's his way of dealing.
Now this same potus who had called US ex-President Carter in April on China but sanctioned Huawei anyway in May is about to stretch his trade war talk until he can clinch a vote-winning deal before the US elections November next year. If he is not reelected as president, his state of New York may will be free to lay charges on him on account of his past business misdemeanors.
The 1.5 Billion citizens of both nations should be spared such a nonsensical specimen of a warped personality. His calling himself the Chosen One even if said jokingly does grievous disservice to his fervent believers in the US rustbelt let alone the One above him who, in being all-knowing, would have read and pondered the US Moody's latest Analytic report that said Trump's trade war on China has resulted in 300,000 fewer US jobs so far, becoming 450,000 by end of this year and doubling to 900,000 if the disputes are not settled by next year. In other words, if Trump had not attacked China, the US economy and employment would have performed sustainably much better. Now no one believes the US economic performance can be sustained much longer.
What Trump has stupidly and unwisely done is clowned his way in the international arena on such important matters as national sovereignty and international trade. He tried to play trader using his self-invented leverages but midway raised his tariff ante with new mischief until the entire package of what he demands has now become an incongruous monstrosity, untenable even to the most fault-tolerant nation.
Failing to get China to bite his bait, he has resorted to kidnapping, incitement and fibs over national security in order to continue his lies that China has stolen every year some USD600 billion from the US. Where are the accounts and supporting documents, Mr Potus?
Therefore it is understandable why the recent Democrats presidential candidates debate has palpably edged to a possible consensus - to move away from protectionist trade tariffs which have hurt US interests and towards free trade agreements.
But then the poison left by Trump and his republican hawks in their minds is still to interdict China with other forms of rivalrous actions, possibly on labor and environmental standards or a revival of the US-aborted TPP. But that will expand trade disputes to trade blocs and create global tensions, rivalries and mistrusts, wasting money, time and resources when the world's economies are already challenged by rising inequalities, aging demographics and environment-denuding resource misallocations.
Meanwhile, in view of the drone attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil refineries which has spiked the price of brent oil by 20%, China should not offer to buy US fuel unless its price is favorable in any mini-interim deal. Just focus on food products - in exchange for reduction of US tariffs, removal of sanctions on Huawei etc. plus cancellation of the extradition on Meng.
... so that the major deal by next year can be on how the US - whichever party leads it - and China - can be permanent strategic partners in all matters - trade, commerce, technology, academia, research, environment, co-creation, international peace-keeping, space exploration...et cetera.
After all, strategic partnerships can only be good. They look out for each other's back. On the other hand, strategic rivalries are bad. They can stab each other in the back.
And that's the heart of any bilateral trade deal. The real heart, not the knee-jerks.
If the US - whether republican or democrat or independent - wants to engage more fruitfully with China and benefit from a new level of relationship with her, it should listen to its war-weary citizens and shaft the xenophobic mistrust crap.
Undoubtedly, they will relish it if and when China invites the US to participate in the development of China's 19 mega-metropolis clusters which will redefine the future of a technology-pervasive and social-economically uplifting 21st century that will usher a new total-experience of the greatest modern age in human history.
The Europeans already know about that. Trump should highlight the word 'if'.