by Pamela Williams
President Trump knew he must work with China to get to North Korea. He is most comfortable in his Southern White House at Mar-A-Lago Resort in Florida. Of course, that is where he chose to have his summit with the President of China and his wife.
The President of China and his wife were cordially greeted by President Trump and Melania Trump. Melania chose a beautiful red dress, and the First Lady of China chos e a blue lace one. I think it was a very warm meet and greet for the couples.
Surprisingly the two couples had never met before, but it was very clear for all those around they seemed to have very cool chemistry. There will be “significant trade and economic issues” to discuss, another noted, because together the United States and China represent 40 percent of the global economy.
“President Trump is very concerned about the imbalance in our economic relationship and how it affects American workers and wants to address these issues in a candid and productive manner.”
The officials said Trump will press Jinping on taking a tougher stance toward the nuclear program in North Korea.
“North Korea is clearly a matter of urgent interest for the president,” the officials said. “The President has been clear in messaging on how important it is for China to coordinate with the United States, and for China to begin exerting its considerable economic leverage to bring about a peaceful resolution to that problem.”
“Certainly it is going to come up in their discussions.”
The officials later added, “We would like to work on North Korea together. There is an opportunity, and in some ways we have been left after 20-some odd years of trying pretty much everything to bring about a safe and denuclearized peninsula, and so this is, in some ways, a test of the relationship.”
“It is now urgent. We feel that the clock is very, very quickly running out. Again, we would have loved to see North Korea join the community of nations — they have been given that opportunity of the course of different dialogues and offers — but the clock has now run out and all options are on the table for us.”
The officials also said the President is expected to raise the issue of Chinese development in the South China Sea.
“The United States certainly will continue to fly and sail where international law allows,” one official said.
The officials, who said there will be no golfing, clarified that Trump was the one who suggested Mar-a-Lago.
“It’s a place where he feels comfortable and at home and a place where he can break the ice with Jinping without the formality of a Washington meet up.”
Other Factors In The Meeting of China’s President and President Trump
Google and other tech companies are very interested in seeing how it goes.
A senior Chinese official said that Alphabet’s Google may have a harder time re-entering the Chinese market if the 24-hour meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mar-a-Lago on Thursday and Friday doesn’t go well.
In 2010, Google was forced to pull its search services from mainland China after a disagreement with Beijing over censorship rules, but the company is currently working with China to unblock its search engine in the country. “China’s relationship [with Google] is improving, and both sides’ leaders have met on several different occasions,” senior parliamentarian Liu Binjie told the Financial Times.
However, the future timeline for Google’s move back into China depends on Sino-American relations, Liu told the publication. “Trump has said some very severe things about Chinese trade. If this continues, progress will be affected,” he claimed.
Trump has attacked China for its trade policy numerous times. In May 2016, he tweeted, “We can’t continue to allow China to rape our country and that’s what they’re doing. It’s the greatest theft in the world.”
The Chinese official’s comments come as tech companies and investors alike are speculating about the tone and substance of the meeting between the two leaders, particularly with respect to trade policy. Trump has already tweeted that the meeting will be “very difficult” because the U.S. simply can’t continue to have massive trade deficits and job losses due to its relations with China.
During this week’s meeting, Trump will most likely argue that the U.S. and China need to rebalance its trade relationship, Cohn predicted. In other words, China needs to open its markets more and get rid of barriers to U.S. exports to make it easier for U.S. companies to sell goods. In turn, Xi will most likely work to make it clear that China is very much open to trade and is not putting up barriers to U.S. goods.
This is in line with what a White House official said about the meeting in a press briefing on Wednesday: “This is really an opportunity for the two leaders to exchange views on each other’s respective priorities and to chart a way forward for the U.S.-China bilateral relationship…President Trump really views this meeting as a first step toward building a constructive and a results-oriented relationship that’s going to deliver benefits to both countries.”
Another topic that may come up is the role of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is in charge of reviewing foreign takeovers. Trump may use this as a bargaining tool by telling Xi that if Chinese companies want to buy more U.S. companies and assets, then China needs to reciprocate when n US companies want to expand in China, Cohn explained.
So far in the Trump administration, CFIUS has both blocked and approved deals. The blocks that have occurred have been because of operational issues, such as whether the underlying company poses a defense risk, rather than on protectionist grounds, according to Height Securities. The firm said this means that cautious optimism surrounds pending CFIUS transactions, such as the acquisition of Lattice Semiconductors by Canyon Bridge, the Stillwater Mining /Sibanye Gold acquisition, the acquisition of MoneyGram by Ant Financial and other pending deals.
Tech companies are paying particularly close attention to the meetings, considering China is the world’s second-largest economy and a huge market for their goods. Thus, tech companies worry that Trump’s proposed 45% tariff on all Chinese goods will hurt overall relations with China and their ability to gain market share there. “There’s a lot at stake for tech companies,” said Daniel J. Ikenson, director of Cato’s Herbert A. Stiefel Center for Trade Policy Studies. “If bad blood comes between the two leaders, then the way a proxy war would be handled would be to go after the other country’s most important companies by reducing access to important markets.”
U.S. companies that could be hurt by hostility with China include the big US tech companies such as Alphabet’s Google, Tesla , Oracle , Cisco , Intel , Western Digital and Nvidia because they have the most to lose from damaged relations between the countries, according to Ikenson. Additionally, if relations warm up between the two country’s, then Chinese e-commerce site Alibaba might be able to do more in the U.S. market as a competitor to Amazon.com .
Some analysts wonder just how serious Trump is about imposing a tariff, especially one as large as the 45% tariff he proposed during his campaign. “Trump is coming to realize that he can talk a tough game, but it’s different when there’s pressure to act on it,” said Ikenson.
However, a trade war between the US and China is definitely possible, particularly since a number of safeguards have fallen away recently, Ikenson said. The multinational community that used to push for peaceful relations with China to ensure continued access to its market has become less energized, he explained.
Trade wars tend to come about when a country goes outside of the WTO rules to reposition trade barriers in order to create a protectionist environment, he said. “Protectionism is when a country kind of goes rogue and makes unilateral measures with no justifiable basis under the WTO,” Ikenson explained.
For example, some think that because China depends on the U.S. more than the U.S. depends on China, Trump may actually try to implement a more reasonable 10% to 20% tariff on Chinese imports, which would then inspire China to retaliate against the US with a tariff. “Then the whole world could get caught up in it because China is such a key player and it could do real damage to the global economy,” he explained.
Certain industries, such as the chip sector, are especially worried about the prospect of trade tariffs being imposed. SEMI, which represents 2,000 member companies in the semiconductor sector and other related industries, is “very concerned about the tone on trade seen during the election and from the new administration in the past few months,” SEMI senior director of North American public policy Jamie Girard said. The U.S. is the world leader in chip equipment and materials and of the 85% of its products that it exports, more than three-quarters of that goes to Asia.
Update And Surprise For Me.
The last article I wrote on North Korea, the day had come and gone without a missile test, which was welcome news. Now I am reading they did go forth with a test, but it did not go very well for them.
A North Korean missile exploded during launch in a high-profile failure that came as a powerful US aircraft carrier approaches the Korean Peninsula in a show of force.
Analysts warn that even failed missile launches provide valuable knowledge into North Korea as it tries to build its weapons programme.
The country launched a long-range rocket and conducted two nuclear tests last year, including its most powerful to date.
Aside from improving the technology, North Korean missile and nuclear tests are seen by outside analysts partly as efforts to bolster the domestic image of leader Kim Jong Un and apply political pressure on Seoul and Washington.
Kim Jong Un has overseen three nuclear tests and a string of missile and rocket launches since taking over after the death of his father, dictator Kim Jong Il, in late 2011.
Another missile test from Sinpo failed earlier this month, when the rocket spun out of control and plunged into the ocean.
That launch came shortly before Mr Trump’s first meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping. China is North Korea’s only major ally.
The extended-range Scud missile in that earlier launch suffered an in-flight failure and fell into the sea off North Korea’s east coast, according to US imagery and assessments.
Despite Sunday’s failure, the North’s previous claim to have used “standardised” warheads has led to worries that it was making headway in its push to develop small and sophisticated warheads to be topped on long-range missiles.
Washington sees North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles as a threat to world security and to its Asian allies, Japan and South Korea.
The United States, South Korea and other countries have vowed to apply more pressure on the North, but so far nothing has worked to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program.
by Pamela Williams