Trade Debate: US Mulls Lifting Sanctions On China To Hasten Deal, Calm Markets

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer are on opposite sides of a heated debate on China.

A new tactic being debated within the Trump administration aims at giving Beijing incentives to make long-term concessions. It also pits Mnuchin against Lighthizer.

Please consider U.S. Weighs Lifting China Tariffs to Hasten Trade Deal, Calm Markets.

U.S. officials are debating ratcheting back tariffs on Chinese imports as a way to calm markets and give Beijing an incentive to make deeper concessions in a trade battle that has rattled global economies.

The idea of lifting some or all tariffs was proposed by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a series of strategy meetings, according to people close to internal deliberations.

But Mr. Mnuchin faces resistance from U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is concerned that any concession could be seen as a sign of weakness, these people said.

In past China discussions, Mr. Trump has sided with Mr. Lighthizer on tariffs, rather than Mr. Mnuchin. But this time, the president has made clear he wants a deal—and is pressing Mr. Lighthizer to deliver one, according to people familiar with the discussions.

In recent days, Mr. Trump has made bullish remarks on the prospects of striking an agreement. “I think we’re going to be able to do a deal with China,” he told reporters Monday.

Trump Wants a Deal

The preceding two paragraphs tell you nearly everything you need to know at the moment. Trump wants a deal, so expect a deal. US farmers have gotten clobbered and the stock market has Trump worried.

Multiple Fronts

There is one more angle and the WSJ failed to mention it. Trump does not want to fight multiple trade wars at the same time. His concern has shifted away from China back towards the EU.

Farmers are again at the forefront.

Trump Administration Reneges On Commitment To Leave Ag Out of Trade Talks With E.U.

Please note Trump Administration Reneges On Commitment To Leave Ag Out of Trade Talks With E.U.

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Gary Anderson 4 weeks ago Contributor's comment

China and Europe need to schmooze economically and try to offset Trump's insanity. Europe is no growth. US is barely growing. China is 6 percent growth. India is 8 percent growth. Growth exists in Asia alone. The rest of the world is a waste of time. The propaganda coming out of the USA against China is so phony as to be laughable.