The whole country will be anxiously monitoring US trade talks with China this weekend as President Trump meets with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, at the G20 summit in Japan.
Americans will be glued to their TV sets wondering whether Xi will dump on Trump or whether Trump will zing Xi.
Will Xi send out tweets? Will Trump not? It’ll all be pretty damn exciting, don’t you think?
OK, I’m just kidding.
Wall Street might be paying close attention to this very important moment in world economic history, which could lead to more tariffs and financial strife, but let’s be honest. Americans are really just thinking about the upcoming July 4 holiday.
Talks, what talks? Right now, most Americans are only interested in negotiating with their butcher.
One of the problems is that we’ve already heard so many positive predictions on the talks from the Trump administration that most people are figuring: How could anything go wrong?
On Tuesday, June 26, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin gave this update: “We were about 90 percent there [with a deal], and I think there’s a path to complete this.” He said the Chinese were receptive to negotiations.
That was just the latest comment. Let’s go through some of the Greatest Hits of Optimistic Predictions on these Chinese trade talks in reverse chronological order. This is the opposite of the boy crying wolf.
June 26: President Trump expressed optimism about the trade talks on Fox Business. And he’s “very happy with where we are now.”
June 11: The President said China wants to make a deal “very badly” and “it’s me right now that’s holding up the deal.”
April 26: Larry Kudlow, head of the president’s National Economic Council, asserts that the Chinese economy is slumping and ours isn’t. “So, we believe that gives us some leverage, if you will,” said Kudlow.
April 3: Kudlow says, “All making good progress, all making good headway, but we’re are not there yet. We hope this week to get closer.”
Feb. 27: US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said, “We are making real progress.”
I hear nervousness in those quotes. Does Xi?
We already know that Trump is very concerned about the stock market’s reaction to anything. And something going wrong with the trade talks this weekend will make both the president and Wall Street very unhappy.
And I’m guessing that the Chinese know that. And they will use Trump’s sore spot to their advantage.
But what I really want to know is this: Are Fourth of July fireworks imported from China? Oh, I hope not.
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