Trump economic adviser says he's 'cautiously optimistic' about trade deal with China

Trump economic adviser says he's 'cautiously optimistic' about trade deal with China
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Stephen MooreStephen MooreOn The Money: Trump seeks to shift spotlight from impeachment to economy | Appropriators agree to Dec. 20 funding deadline | New study says tariffs threaten 1.5M jobs Trump tax adviser floats middle-class cuts ahead of 2020 Sunday shows - Next impeachment phase dominates MORE, an economic adviser to President TrumpDonald John TrumpSanders urges impeachment trial 'quickly' in the Senate US sending 20,000 troops to Europe for largest exercises since Cold War Barr criticizes FBI, says it's possible agents acted in 'bad faith' in Trump probe MORE, said he’s “cautiously optimistic” that the U.S. and China will sign the first phase of a trade deal.

“I would describe what we have with China right now as a truce. I don’t think it’s a real long-term resolution, and China is still highly problematic in terms of their abusive trade practices and their theft of our intellectual property and their forced technology transfers. Those are all enormous problems that we have to deal with,” he said Sunday on John Catsimatidis’s radio show. 

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“It’s not done until the Chinese sign the dotted line, and they have walked away from these things in the past, but I’m cautiously optimistic,” he added.

The U.S. and China are still in negotiations to finalize the first phase of a plan to end a bitter trade war between Washington and Beijing. The initial phase of the deal would postpone an upcoming increase of tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for Beijing drastically increasing imports of American crops.

The two sides had hoped that Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could officially sign the deal at a summit this month in Chile, but that event was canceled.

China has already started increasing its purchases of agricultural goods. It issued waivers for 10 million tons of soybean purchases this week, and the country is reportedly mulling approving an additional 4 million to 5 million tons of grains, including wheat, corn and sorghum.

Trump has been quick to tout the potential deal as a victory for farmers as negotiations continue. 

“The deal I just made with China is, by far, the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our Country. In fact, there is a question as to whether or not this much product can be produced? Our farmers will figure it out. Thank you China!” he tweeted last month. 

However, observers have cautioned that China has retreated from similar promises of agricultural purchases in the past and that mistrust will linger even if a deal is signed. 

“The Chinese don’t want Xi to move forward with this initial phase or this initial detente if they don’t get rid of the December tariff threat as well,” Stephen Myrow, managing partner at Beacon Policy Advisors, told The Hill last month. “No matter what they sign, they don’t really trust Trump.”