China-US trade deal: It’s all or nothing


BLACK-AND-WHITE TERMS, NO, NO, NO, IT’S EVERYTHING OR IT IS NOTHING. LET’S BRING IN OUR PANEL. EDWARD LAWRENCE, MICHELLE McKINNON AND DAVE NAGY. EDWARD, YOUR THOUGHTS ON NO MIDDLE GROUND THE PRESIDENT IS LAYING OUT HERE. THAT TAPE IS GOING TO BE THERE. WE ARE GOING TO KEEP GOING BACK TO THAT BECAUSE IT’S THE STRONGEST HE’S EVER BEEN ON THIS ISSUE. IT’S ALL OR NOTHING.>>AND CONSISTENT WITH THE ADMINISTRATION, U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE ROBERT LIGHTHIZER SAYS HE DOES NOT WANT A PARTIAL DEAL, HE’S WORKING TOWARDS A FULL DEAL ON THIS. THEY WOULD LIKE TO SEE EVERYTHING INCLUDED IN THIS. IT’S INTERESTING, YOU SAY AMERICAN COMPANIES ARE PAYING THESE TARIFFS. 437 OF THOSE COMPANIES NOW DON’T HAVE TO PAY AS MANY, THAT’S THE NEW ITEMS THAT HAVE BEEN EXCLUDED FROM THIS LIST. IT’S A LARGE AMOUNT OF ITEMS — NEIL: CHRISTMAS LIGHTS ARE NOW SAVED, PATIO TORCHES ARE SAVED, SKATEBOARDS. I KNOW YOU’RE BIG INTO THAT.>>BACK IN MY YOUNGER DAYS. ELECTRIC TRUCKS THAT ARE SELF-PROPELLED ELECTRIC TRUCKS WHICH IS SOMETHING AMAZON SAID THEY WILL GO TOWARDS. THAT’S ALSO EXEMPTED NOW. SOME BIG ITEMS, IT BASICALLY GUTS A LOT OF THE TARIFFS THAT ARE IN PLACE. THIS IS THE CONCESSIONS THAT THE CHINESE WERE LOOKING FOR. OUR CHINESE SOURCES WERE SAYING THAT GOING INTO THIS WEEK THEY WERE LOOKING FOR DISCUSSIONS ON ROLLING BACK SOME OF THE TARIFFS AND THIS COULD BE SEEN AS ROLLING BACK SOME OF THE TARIFFS. NOW OUR CHINESE SOURCES ARE SAYING THAT POSSIBLY WE COULD NOW SEE ANOTHER ANNOUNCEMENT OF A LARGE AGRICULTURE BUY EITHER LATER ON TODAY WHEN THE STATEMENT COMES OUT RELATED TO HOW THESE TALKS WENT, OR NEXT WEEK WHEN THE SMALLER PART OF THAT GROUP THAT’S HERE IN WASHINGTON, D.C. OR THAT IS IN WASHINGTON, D.C. GOES TO THE FARM COUNTRIES AND VISITS FARMS. NEIL: YOU KNOW, IT’S ONE THING FOR THE CHINESE TO SAY THEY WILL BUY MORE AGRICULTURAL GOODS. THEY DON’T. ISN’T THAT THE THING THAT MADE THE LAST DEAL FALL APART, BECAUSE THEY SAY THEY ARE GOING TO DO SOMETHING BUT THEY DON’T?>>HERE’S THE THING, KIND OF TO YOUR POINT OF THE ALL OR THE NOTHING. THE WAY I’M LOOKING AT IT AS YES, OBVIOUSLY THE U.S. ECONOMY IS MUCH STRONGER THAN CHINA AT THE MOMENT BUT I THINK BOTH PARTIES ARE NOW LOOKING WELL, HOLD ON A MINUTE, WE HAVE A LOT TO LOSE AND I THINK YOU WON’T NECESSARILY GET A TRADE DEAL BUT I WOULDN’T BE SURPRISED IF WE GET SOME TYPE OF CEASE-FIRE SHORTLY. NEIL: I WONDER IF THESE OVERTURES ARE A STEP IN THAT DIRECTION. THE CHINESE ALREADY INDICATED LAST WEEK SOME ITEMS WE WERE TARGETING WERE EXEMPT. I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT A LOT OF THEM WERE, PROCESSING OILS FOR FUEL WIDGETS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT, WHATEVER, BUT THEY DID THAT, WE DO THIS, IN OTHER WORDS, GOOD FAITH GESTURES AND THAT IS A LITTLE DIFFERENT THAN PRIOR TALKS, TO EDWARD’ POINT, THAT MIGHT BE SETTING UP SOMETHING. WHAT DO YOU THINK?>>I THINK SO. KEEP IN MIND, YOU SAID IT’S BLACK AND WHITE, WHAT HE SAID. WHAT HE SAID IS VERY BLACK AND WHITE EXCEPT WHEN HE SAYS ALL OR NOTHING, IT’S KIND OF LIKE WHAT’S THE DEFINITION OF ALL, RIGHT, BECAUSE TRADE NEGOTIATIONS ARE SHOCKINGLY COMPLEX. EDWARD CAN TICK OFF THREE OR FOUR THINGS, THIS KIND OF MEANS ALL, BUT THEN YOU GO KIND OF, YOU KNOW, THIS IS THE KIND OF THE CLOUD THAT HAS NO REAL BORDER OF EXACTLY WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THOSE ELEMENTS. NEIL: YOU DON’T DEAL WITH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, THOUGH, THE STEALING PART.>>I AGREE WITH THAT. NEIL: IF THAT’S NOT INCLUDED, THERE WILL BE ENTERPRISING AND OBNOXIOUS JOURNALISTS LIKE EDWARD WHO WILL BE STICKLERS FOR DETAIL AND SAY WAIT A MINUTE, YOU DIDN’T DO THAT, RIGHT?>>THERE ARE, BUT WHAT WILL IT MEAN? I DON’T THINK ANY OF US COULD SIT ON THIS PANEL AND SAY THIS IS WHAT DEALING WITH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THEFT WILL MEAN. RIGHT? IT BECOMES VERY EASY FOR BOTH SIDES IN THIS TO ULTIMATELY PROCLAIM VICTORY, WHEN THEY DECIDE THEY KIND OF WANT TO PLAY NICE, NEED TO PLAY NICE, IT’S NOT HARD AND EDWARD CAN PICK IT APART. I’M NOT SURE THAT THAT 300 SOME ODD MILLION AMERICANS WILL SIT THERE AND SAY I REALLY UNDERSTAND THAT THAT’S NOT REALLY A VICTORY. NEIL: I KNOW A LOT OF VIEWERS WHO DON’T PUT A FINAL STAMP ON SOMETHING UNTIL THEY HEAR IT FROM SOMEONE. SO IF WE ARE NOT QUITE DOTTING THE Is, CROSSING THE Ts ON THE CHINESE TRYING TO PLAY FAST AND LOOSE WITH OUR COMPANIES THAT DO BUSINESS OVER THERE, HOW WILL THAT BE TREATED?>>I DON’T THINK THAT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. I REALLY DON’T. I THINK THAT ROBERT LIGHTHIZER, THE ENTIRE ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN VERY CLEAR IN ONE VOICE THAT THEY ARE GOING TO PROTECT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE SURE THERE IS SOME ENFORCEMENT IN AN AGREEMENT. NEIL: THERE WILL BE NO DEAL UNLESS THEY GET THAT?>>THAT’S WHAT THE PRESIDENT SAID, YEAH, NO DEAL UNLESS THEY CAN ENFORCE THAT — NEIL: THERE’S NO WIGGLE ROOM, IN YOUR MIND?>>IN MY MIND, FROM WHO I TALKED TO, ALL THE FOLKS IN D.C., THERE’S NO WIGGLE ROOM ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. THERE’S ALSO, WE ARE HEARING DISCUSSIONS THIS WEEK ABOUT POSSIBLY LAYING OUT A PLAN FOR THE CHINESE TO STOP OR REDUCE THE NUMBER OF FORCED JOINT VENTURES. THAT’S WHERE SOME OF THAT INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY HAPPENS, IS IF A CHINESE COMPANY OWNS 51% OF YOUR COMPANY, YOU HAVE TO GIVE UP YOUR TECHNOLOGY OR HOW YOU MAKE STUFF.>>YOU THINK THERE’S A LIST OF 100 THINGS THEY SAY IF I DON’T GET ALL HUNDRED OF THESE, IS IT THAT DEFINITIVE? BECAUSE IF IT IS, I’M JUST SAYING –>>I DON’T THINK IT’S 100 BUT I THINK YOU WILL HAVE TO SEE SOME ENFORCEMENT FROM THE ADMINISTRATION, SOME ENFORCEMENT IN THE DEAL SAYING THAT IF YOU BREAK INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, THEY ALREADY HAVE THE MECHANISM. THE MECHANISM IS THERE. THEY ARE GOING TO HAVE MEETINGS AT THE LOCAL LEVEL, MONTHLY MEETINGS WITH THE STAFF AND QUARTERLY MEETINGS WITH THE DEPUTY LEVEL AND SEMI-ANNUAL MEETINGS AND ALL TARIFFS WOULD BE ON THE TABLE AT THAT SEMI-ANNUAL MEETING IF A DISPUTE OVER INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY IS NOT SET. THAT MECHANISM WAS AGREED UPON AND IT IS THERE IN THE DEAL. THEY ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT THE LANGUAGE TO BIND CHINA TO

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