Mid-term results will not deter Trump from China's trade war

Mid-term results will not deter Trump from China's trade war

President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping

It is unlikely that President Donald Trump will see anything in the outcome that will persuade him to abandon his Beijing tactics with Beijing Thomas Peter / AFP / Getty Images

The trade war of President Donald Trump with China did not end with the congressional elections this week.

Despite the loss of Republican control of the House, Trump will likely see nothing in the outcome that will persuade him to abandon his hardball tactic with Beijing.

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"In China, I do not see the election changes very much," said Greg Mastel, a former member of the Senate Finance Committee, who now works for the law firm Kelley Drye. "Democrats probably support President Trump in China more than Republicans. In the end, I see that President Trump is likely to win against China. "

Few Democrats opposed Trump's dealings with China. A notable exception was Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, but it was not enough to hold onto their seat. Their Republican rival Rep. Kevin Cramer, one of the president's strongest allies, easily won the election to drop her in the Senate.

In contrast, Trump made his trade struggle with China an early part of his efforts to nationalize the races of Congress, although in recent weeks he has focused more on illegal immigration.

Trump has accused Beijing of interfering in the election by directing retaliatory trade measures against states that voted for him and Vice President Mike Pence. Both he and Pence made political hay from Chinese advertising supplements, which was published on September 23 in the Des Moines Register.

Despite this, the Republicans in Iowa have lost two seats in Congress and Kansas, which is likely to cause at least some concern over Trump's use of tariffs against a major export market, said Bill Reinsch, a specialist in trade policy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Following the election, attention now shifts to an upcoming meeting between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the annual G-20 summit, which will take place on 30 November. 1 in Buenos Aires.

This will lead to an agreement to start serious negotiations rather than an immediate deal that would result in Trump cutting its tariffs on Chinese goods worth around $ 250 billion and Xi China's own tariffs at around $ 110 billion. Reduces dollar to US exports.

"Everything that is substantive requires preparatory work, especially given the intricate nature of issues such as intellectual property protection, industrial policy, etc. As far as I know, this preparatory work has not yet taken place," said Phil Levy, senior fellow of the world economy at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

At a post-election press conference on Wednesday, Trump admitted he would meet with Xi at the G-20, but did not comment on what was being discussed.

Although Trump is frequently complaining about the extent of the US trade deficit with China, the justification for his tariffs lies in an investigation conducted by the US Trade Representative's office, accusing China of stealing trade secrets and transferring valuable technology to do business there.

Nevertheless, China may find it difficult to enter into talks with the United States, as it is difficult to reach an agreement that will fully satisfy Trump, Levy said. Several efforts in recent years have failed because Trump has rejected the conditions set by his senior officials.

If the two sides start discussions, the negotiations could be long and ultimately futile.

"The only way we could do it fast is to miss most of our demands," said Reinsch. "I think you could get market access tomorrow, the Chinese tried that in the spring and it did not work, so the question is, is the president going to buy it a second or third time around."

Many trade experts predict that current US tariffs will persist for a long time and Trump could take extra steps to increase pressure on Beijing.

"We were looking for an exit here, but we can not find one," said Reinsch. "We urge them to restructure their economies in one direction of the market in a way that undermines the economy [Communist] the control of the party, and they will not do that. "

To some extent Trump can give even more freedom on his trade agenda if he loses control of the house to the Democrats.

On Wednesday, Trump identified the trade as an area in which he hoped to cooperate with Democrats.

"We will not lose companies to other countries," he said. "Now is the time for members of both parties to unite, set aside partisanship, and maintain the American economic miracle."

Republican members of Congress have had some success over the past two years, having undermined some of Trump's more radical trade impetus due to concerns about their own reelection. Now Trump's main concern is to stay in the White House until 2024.

In this regard, "the President is likely to view the continuation of his current trade policy as a net positive for his re-election offer," said Warren Payne, a former Republican employee of the House Ways and Means Committee, who is now a senior adviser to Mayer's Brown law firm ,

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