April 5 | By: Jeremy Diamond.
President Donald Trump and his years-long rhetorical crusade against Chinese foreign trade abuses is finally colliding with the reality of face-to-face negotiation.
The real estate businessman is staring down his first major opportunity to make headway on his campaign pledge to level the terms of the US-China trade relationship as he meets for the first time with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday.
While Trump’s longstanding rhetoric on the trading relationship will hang over the meeting, the encounter also comes as Trump nears three months in office having done little to make good on his bold promise to fundamentally alter the trading relationship.
Trump, it seems, has held his fire in favor of making a play to improve the trading relationship through direct talks. But how much will Trump be able to draw out of his counterpart?
While Trump has focused the brunt of his rhetoric on simply reversing the United States’ $347 billion trade deficit with China, experts say an improved trading relationship will rest not on China simply changing that top-line number, but fundamentally altering the role it plays in its economy.