Trump Says “No Final Deal” On Trade Until He Meets Xi

Update: In another of what we imagine could be daily updates on the negotiations over the border wall funding that Trump is demanding, the president warned that Republican negotiators on the 17-lawmaker committee are “wasting their time” because the Democrats “are not going to give money to build the…wall.”

Fortunately, Trump has a ‘Plan B’…

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As talks in Washington between a delegation of senior US officials led by Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and a delegation from Beijing led by Vice Premier Liu He enter their second day, President Trump conclusively ruled out the possibility that a deal could be announced by the end of the week in a series of early morning tweets.

The president said that while the negotiations are going “very well,” he said that “no final deal will be made until my friend President Xi, and I, meet in the near future to discuss and agree on some of the long standing and more difficult points.”

According to the president, the two sides are seeking a “comprehensive deal” that will leave “NOTHING unresolved”…suggesting that even the more controversial issues like US demands that China end its policy of institutionalized IP theft and cyberespionage activities will be addressed in any final deal.

He ended the stream of tweets by insisting that the US will move ahead with plans to hike some of its tariffs if a deal isn’t reached by March 1. Though Lighthizer and other senior officials are leading talks this week, the president is expected to meet with Liu and his delegation at the White House on Thursday afternoon.

This means a final agreement likely won’t happen until next month. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday morning that China has proposed a meeting in China between Trump and Xi next month.

Given that Mike Pompeo last night reaffirmed that Trump had committed to meeting with Kim Jong Un next month for their second summit, some are concerned that Trump is planning to spend most of February jetsetting around Asia meeting with authoritarian leaders. Because of this, some US allies are demanding that Trump brief them after the meetings…which would make the trip a “very long one” for Trump.

If Trump agrees, that could leave Vice President Mike Pence steering the ship during a second government shutdown next month.


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