China Eyes Trump's 2020 Strategy for Clues on Trade War Deal

  • As the U.S. and China prepare to restart trade talks, few in Beijing see a clear pathway to a lasting deal.
  • Pessimism dominated conversations last week with about a dozen bureaucrats, government advisers and researchers in China’s capital following the latest truce between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.
  • Most saw Trump’s election strategy as being the paramount factor for whether a deal was possible in the short term.
  • Two schools of thought emerged on Trump’s political calculus.
  • One was that he must deliver a deal on China heading into 2020 to please his base, and would therefore eventually relent to Beijing’s demands. The other was that he would drag things out through the campaign, particularly if the economy and stock market held up since he faced a field of Democrats who basically agree with him on getting tough with China.

 (Source: Bloomberg)