Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, November 10, 2017

The headline number is impressive: A quarter-trillion dollars worth of deals from China that President Donald Trump can use to show he's creating opportunities for U.S. businesses and jobs for his base. The reality, however, is that the roughly 15 agreements unveiled on Thursday are mostly non-binding memorandums of understanding and could take years to materialize -- if they do at all. A day earlier, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced $9 billion of deals, many also MOUs with few details, rather than contracts. "To me this is an old-style visit when you pile up all the deals so you can to get a big number," said James McGregor, China chairman of the consultancy APCO Worldwide. "This was normal when the U.S. and China were just building ties, but now China is a global business power and has very damaging industrial policies and this seems naive. This is all for show for President Trump to demonstrate his deal-making prowess."

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Unfortunately, anyone who has done business in the PRC knows that MOUs are as good as it gets at the start, the Communist Party has to approve all deals and that process can take months if not years. Most Chinese companies operate this way, they have no choice since non-approved contracts are not enforceable.

If the CCP feels that these are good deals, they will approve them.

#1 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-11-09 11:25 AM | Reply


@#1 ... If the CCP feels that these are good deals, they will approve them. ...

In Pres Trump's world of deals, if the US gets a "good deal" then the other side has to get a "bad deal." There is no such thing as both sides getting a good deal. It's a zero-sum game.

So Pres Trump either has to pull a fast one on China and convince them to take a deal that is not good for them, or make a deal that is good for China and bad for the US.

In order to break that apparent paradox, Pres Trump needs leverage over China. What would that leverage be? Especially when Pres Trump needs China's help with North Korea.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out....

#2 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-11-09 11:47 AM | Reply

#2

Agreed, with the exception that the CCP's perception of a "good" deal often differs from ours, sometimes they will accept a deal that makes little or no business sense to fill a need or appease a restless area or sector.

While the PRC keeps a very tight lid on the dissemination of news about unrest, people who travel to China extensively for business constantly bring back tales of meetings that were cancelled in far flung cities without notice by the CCP, ostensibly because something is happening that they don't want the Gaijin seeing.

#3 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-11-09 11:52 AM | Reply


@#3 ... with the exception that the CCP's perception of a "good" deal often differs from ours ...

Therein lies the possibility of a deal that benefits both parties. And maybe another way around the paradox.

Or not.

Regardless, will be interesting to watch unfold...

#4 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-11-09 12:40 PM | Reply

How many new Chinese trademarks did Drain the Swamp Donny get paid this time?

#5 | Posted by 726 at 2017-11-10 07:28 AM | Reply

China played Herr Drumpf like a fiddle. Showed him a parade and opened some of the good wine and used the fancy, um, china at diner and let him think he was in charge while he participated in their political theater.

#6 | Posted by qcp at 2017-11-10 09:31 AM | Reply


I watched a good part of Pres Trump's and Pres Xi's speeches. Quite a difference in viewpoint.

Pres Trump was all about bilateral trade deals, i.e., the US and one other country, where the US comes out on top. Zero sum deals.

Pres Xi was all about multi-lateral trade deals where ~many countries are able to ride the wave of China's prosperity.~

It looks as if Pres Trump is leading the US more and more into a world of isolation.

#7 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-11-10 09:41 AM | Reply


Interesting photo in this article. Pres Trump does not look as if he were pleased ...
www.axios.com

More from the article...

...Our thought: Pomp and flattery aside, it is not so clear that Xi played Trump. The administration has a good team of China people. Trump may return to the U.S. and, barring a real breakthrough over the North Korea issue, begin rolling out a tougher policy towards China, especially on trade. Trump has been consistent for decades in his criticism of China and its trade practices, so the last 10 months of relative calm in the U.S.-China relationship seem more an anomaly than the status quo.
Keep reading 317 words

The leaders made a big show of announcing $250 billion in deals, but some, including Boeing's $37 billion plane order, were repackaged from deals already announced, while others are MOUs that may never come to fruition. The Chinese are always happy to announce big deals during presidential visits as they are flashy, often non-binding, and do nothing to address the structural barriers....


#8 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-11-10 10:02 AM | Reply


And then there's this...

China Gave Trump a Win on Trade and He Didn't Even Know It
www.bloomberg.com

...American and other securities firms scored what looks like a big win Friday when China announced new rules allowing them to own 51 percent stakes in joint ventures. It's just the sort of market-opening move President Donald Trump was seeking on his first trip as president to Beijing.

Except Trump didn't know it was coming.

He didn't even ask for it in specific terms on the trip, say people familiar with the situation -- even though it's been at the top of the wish list for U.S. financial firms for years. The State Department didn't know either.

It is the single most-important thing that happened while Trump was in China, business experts agree, and he would have been well within his rights to trumpet it on Twitter. China has resisted letting overseas firms have controlling stakes inside the country, but experts say it's a critical step to allowing investment to flourish inside that nation's tightly controlled economy.

And yet it didn't even merit a mention in the 1,392-word statement the White House released about what happened while Trump was in China....


#9 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-11-10 10:05 AM | Reply

#9

I know lawyers at Baker & McKenzie and White & Case who have been pressing the Chinese government to lift the JV restrictions for decades, this is a YUUUGE deal. Not only can foreign companies have control over JVs for the first time, but they don't have to agree to technology shares with the PRC.

That being said, the reason that it wasn't blasted out by the Administration or the Trade Representative is probably an acknowledgement to Chinese sensitivity over this issue.

#10 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-11-10 11:19 AM | Reply

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@#10

When the company I worked for opened an office in China, one of the things that surprised me was that the executive in charge of the office had to be a Chinese national.

But to the topic of #9 - I think that this "opening" to financial firms (a.k.a Wall Street) may be a compromise because China needs the investment capital.

Oh, I do find it quite humorous that you talked about the Trump administration and sensitivity in the same sentence. :)

#11 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-11-10 11:30 AM | Reply

This is just one of those awesome times that people from the outside love to see. While this does show how hypocritical Trump is, it also proves again (like so many others) how hypocritical the party not in Presidency is. Almost everything mentioned in the article are examples of why Trump pulled us out of the environmental pact. So, there isn't a Liberal in America who can demonize Trump for doing that and also demonize him for his dealings with China during his trip. I love these types of examples where it pins a partisan person down.

#12 | Posted by humtake at 2017-11-10 11:31 AM | Reply

Two big points from down article that are worth quoting:

Max Baucus, a former U.S. ambassador to China, told Bloomberg Television, "This is classic Chinese. They have been doing this for thousands of years."

"It's their technique to try to suck you in," Baucus said. "I think all this ceremony here is designed by the Chinese in part to prevent any serious conversation. The more there is pomp and circumstance, the less there is time to talk."

. . .

While the one-off deals announced on the trip are fine, it'd be even better to eliminate China's structural market access barriers, said Jacob Parker, a vice president at the U.S.-China Business Council in Beijing. Many companies are forced to transfer technology for market access, and cannot own 100 percent of their operations.

"What the business community wants most is results-driven, solutions-focused engagement that will provide greater access to -- and a more level playing field with -- the world's second-largest economy," Parker said.

#13 | Posted by Rightocenter at 2017-11-10 11:49 AM | Reply

This is just one of those awesome times that people from the outside love to see. While this does show how hypocritical Trump is, it also proves again (like so many others) how hypocritical the party not in Presidency is. Almost everything mentioned in the article are examples of why Trump pulled us out of the environmental pact. So, there isn't a Liberal in America who can demonize Trump for doing that and also demonize him for his dealings with China during his trip. I love these types of examples where it pins a partisan person down.

#12 | POSTED BY HUMTAKE

What the hell are you blabbering about?

There is literally nothing in the article regarding deals that would be affected by the Paris Climate Accords. In addition, CHINA signed them! We are LITERALLY the ONLY country on the planet now that refuses to sign them.

#14 | Posted by Sycophant at 2017-11-10 12:24 PM | Reply

@#13 ... "What the business community wants most is results-driven, solutions-focused engagement that will provide greater access to -- and a more level playing field with -- the world's second-largest economy," Parker said. ...

That requires more of a policy focus than I suspect Pres Trump possesses.

#15 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-11-10 12:34 PM | Reply

Xi knows how to handle a day care kid and do all the wonderful hospitality, and show who is no 1 in the world. It is slowly becoming other way round, we begging for money on other side.

#16 | Posted by material07310 at 2017-11-10 12:42 PM | Reply

Then WHY doesn't the darn AUTHOR of article mention this, does he conveniently leave this out to trash Trump. What the frigging ----????

#17 | Posted by robadude32 at 2017-11-10 02:55 PM | Reply

--------. You are quite the ignorant fool, aren't you. -------- say anything these days and believe their own --------.

#18 | Posted by robadude32 at 2017-11-10 02:56 PM | Reply

They may be non-binding memos, but they are also wonderful photo ops! More winning!

#19 | Posted by moder8 at 2017-11-10 04:01 PM | Reply


While in China, I wonder if Pres Trump visited the factory that makes his Make America Great Again hats?

#20 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-11-10 04:48 PM | Reply

Funny how you guys are describing things now. When Obama met with China it wasn't described like this..

#21 | Posted by boaz at 2017-11-10 09:11 PM | Reply

you're right boaz. when obama went to china it was described very differently.

#22 | Posted by cjk85 at 2017-11-11 01:02 PM | Reply

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