Trade Deal Progress Clarified: Who Cares? Trump "Happy" Either Way


CNBC quotes Treasury Secretary Mnuchin as saying we are 90% there towards a trade deal with China. Uh, let's clarify.

China Trade Deal Progress

A pair of Tweets explains exactly where we are.

90% Defined

Steps Backward

Happy Regardless

CNBC, noting the difference between "were" and "are" now says Trump says a US-China trade deal is possible, but he’s ‘happy where we are now

  • President Trump says he wants to make a trade deal with China but he is “very happy with where we are now.”
  • Should the deal not happen and the U.S. decides to put tariffs on the remaining Chinese imports, he said the levy could be 10% rather than the 25% on the $250 billion worth of goods now subject to the duties.

Lie Repeated

The president, in an interview with Fox Business, said he is “very happy with where we are now. We’re taking in a fortune, and frankly [it’s] not a very good thing for China, but it is a good thing for us.”

Fortune on Tariffs

The US is not making a fortune on tariffs. Businesses are suffering, especially farmers.

But if we were making a fortune, Trump's next line would make little sense: In the next phase, which could see 10% tariffs, “which people can absolutely handle,” instead of 25%.

With that, trump backed down from previous escalation statements.

Questions of the Day

  • Are we "making a fortune" that people can't handle?
  • Can people only handle making 10% more, not 25% more?
  • Are people making any more at all?
  • Precisely who is collecting this fortune and at what expense?

Progress Not Needed

These questions are clearly moot because "Trump is happy either way".

So, who cares? Progress is not needed.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (11)
No. 1-8

Wow! It's becoming more and more difficult for me to want to vote for him just to keep out the democrats. Unlike many, perhaps, I can rationalize irrational behavior just so long.

Whatever shall I do? Wherever shall I go? :-)


Just remember Jerry, it's not a lie if you believe it.


China simply needs to massively raise wages and their won't be a need for a deal! Chinese will then be able to afford buy their shoddy crap (not that they would want to),instead of depending solely on flat broke Americans to borrow money to be able to afford all that overpriced made in china junk!


"The trade deal is 90% done." Mnuchin

Indeed. Our negotiators have written the agreement with verifications and sanctions. China has a copy. China signs the agreement or tariffs increase apace. It's a win win for USA. President Trump delivers.

Farmers are not suffering due to the trade war, Mish. Farmers are suffering because 200 of 500 million Chinese pigs were sacrificed for a swine fever epidemic. Chinese do not need to import soybeans for pig food because they have so few pigs to feed, and the epidemic continues. Farmers are suffering because of floods, and short growing season weather. Farmers failed to anticipate the routine flooding and did not store their crops on high ground as the American Indians did for thousands of years by building Indian mounds in the fertile flood prone river valleys. The trade war has nothing to do with the farmer's plight. However, Chinese famine will shortly have the Chinese importing meat and grain to the benefit of American farmers.


The Farm Bill is a gigantic corrupt waste of money. Commodity growers get paid to grow export crops we subsidize, so do some retail farmers. What is Trump going to do with the Tariff money?



"What is Trump going to do with the Tariff money?"

Good question, but here is a better one:

Q. Who paid? A. US consumers

The tariff is a tax


I think the US and China will come to an agreement. Both sides will claim victory.

I agree with Trump in that we have the upper hand. If the trade war continues, little by little, what's made in China will be made elsewhere. US consumer prices will drop to where they were before the tariffs and China will have a lot more competition.


"The tariff is a tax"

The job losses due to factory closures is taxing the economy.

Global Economics