The Beginning Of Progress In The Trade War With China

It is no surprise that trade negotiations with China have moved slowly. President Trump is attempting to level a playing field that has been tilted for a long time. China has manipulated its currency to gain trade advantage, China has stolen intellectual property, and China has used slave labor to manufacture products at ridiculously cheap prices. We have looked the other way, ignoring human rights abuses. We have also looked the other way in terms of the censorship of speech in China. Google has helped develop a search engine that will meet the requirements of the Chinese censors. We have complied with things that are against our principles for the sake of money. The trade deal being negotiated is not going to change that, but at least it will be a beginning attempt to level the playing field.

Fox Business is reporting today that the U.S. and China agreed to a “phase one deal” in the trade war.

The article reports:

The deal, which has been agreed to in principle and will take three to five weeks to write, includes China agreeing to raise its agricultural purchases to between $40 billion and $50 billion from $8 billion to $16 billion, in addition to making reforms on intellectual property and financial services. The U.S. will not be raising tariffs from 25 percent to 30 percent on Oct. 15. A decision has not yet been made on the tariff increase scheduled for Dec. 15.

A comprehensive trade deal will have two or three phases, according to Trump. China’s trade team is calling the agreement a “pause” in the trade war, and not a deal.

China is not a free country, and the Chinese negotiators who are working out this trade deal will pay a high price if the deal is not totally acceptable to the leadership in China. The fact that a phase one deal has been reached is good news, but China does not have a great track record on keeping promises or abiding by trade agreements.

Playing Chess With World Trade

America has been on the wrong end of bad trade deals for a long time. We watched our manufacturing jobs leave America after NAFTA. We watched the steel industry disappear after being undercut by Chinese steel held up by subsidies by the Chinese government. President Trump is a businessman. As a businessman, he is trying to level the trade playing field. In some areas he is getting cooperation at home and abroad; in some areas he is not. China has been a difficult country to deal with regarding trade. The uneven playing field they have enjoyed for years has been very profitable for them. Because their economy is based on an uneven playing field, they are reluctant to make changes. Their economy is currently struggling, and if President Trump stands his ground, the Chinese economy could face serious challenges. That’s where we are. There is, however, some positive news about where we might be headed.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about a possible breakthrough in the talks with China.

The article reports:

Did China finally blink in Donald Trump’s trade war? Trump himself seems to think so. At the G-7 summit, Trump told reporters that a statement earlier in the day from a top official in Beijing showed that China had finally expressed a real interest in redefining the trade relationship between the world’s top two economies. It’s “the first time” that Trump sees China acting in good faith, he said

The article continues:

After rapid-fire escalations in tariffs by both sides, China’s vice premiere called for “calm.” Liu He also declared Beijing’s willingness to conclude a trade agreement and called for talks to begin immediately:

“We are willing to resolve the issue through consultations and cooperation in a calm attitude and resolutely oppose the escalation of the trade war,” Liu, who is President Xi Jinping’s top economic adviser, said, according to a government transcript.

“We believe that the escalation of the trade war is not beneficial for China, the United States, nor to the interests of the people of the world,” he added.

U.S. companies are especially welcome in China, and will be treated well, Liu said.

“We welcome enterprises from all over the world, including the United States, to invest and operate in China,” he added.

“We will continue to create a good investment environment, protect intellectual property rights, promote the development of smart intelligent industries with our market open, resolutely oppose technological blockades and protectionism, and strive to protect the completeness of the supply chain.”

The last time we thought we had a deal, the person who made the deal was executed when he returned home. Hopefully this time will turn out better for everyone.

Tariffs And Trade Negotiations

John Hinderaker posted an article at Power Line today about the ongoing trade negotiations with China. It is an open secret that China has been stealing American intellectual property for years. They have also engaged in other unfair trade practices such as manipulating their currency. What is happening now is that President Trump is trying to make the playing field more level. There will be opposition. There also may be some short-term losses for Americans, but the President is doing what needs to be done.

The article includes the following cartoon:

That about sums it up.

Why Wikipedia Is Blacked Out Today

This is what you will see when to go to Wikipedia today:

For over a decade, we have spent millions of hours building the largest encyclopedia in human history. Right now, the U.S. Congress is considering legislation that could fatally damage the free and open Internet. For 24 hours, to raise awareness, we are blacking out Wikipedia. Learn more.

The U.K. Telegraph posted a story today about the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA). Congress will be voting on the bill today. The intentions of SOPA are valid–stop the piracy of intellectual private property–it’s just that Congress, as usual, has gone overboard.

The Telegraph reports:

Spurred on by big media companies, the latest effort by governments to stamp out piracy comes in the form of two bills from the US Congress: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA).

According to these acts, if a US site (or a foreign site that has its domain name registered in the US) is found to be “committing or facilitating the commission” of copyright infringment, then, on the request of a rights holder, it is subject to seizure in a way that many scholars believe violates due process, depriving people of a fair hearing and suppressing free speech.

One of the major problems with SOPA is the lack of due process. Unfortunately, our current Justice Department has a very uneven record on law enforcement–prosecutions often have a political aspect (Fast and Furious, Black Panther voter intimidation, the list goes on). Do we really want to give the government the power to shut down an Internet site? Will SOPA prevent me from quoting the sites I reference? Will SOPA allow the government to shut down any site that disagrees with the administration politically? There are simply too many unanswered questions.

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