“The deal has always been a political agreement in which Trump’s candidate can come out and say $ 200 billion and have a good round number to throw in there,”; said Chad Bown, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
But Bown points to a potential silver lining: if China continues to not live up to its side of the deal, it will ease Trump’s narrative and allow him to double his anti-China rhetoric.
“What the Covid shock did was create a political space for the administration to say even if they wanted to keep the deal, China would not survive – and there, they had a reason for it not to work.”
Disagreement on Capitol Hill
Trump has repeatedly blamed China for its failure to act earlier and alerted the world to the spread of the virus, which has now killed more than 329,000 people worldwide, including more than 93,000 in the US on Thursday.
Throughout Washington, there is a general agreement that needs to be made about China, but that is where unity ends.
In recent weeks, lawmakers have begun negotiating a series of steps to move the supply chains of critical medical and drug supplies back to the US, including tax breaks and incentives for businesses that manufacture goods in the US.
China remains the center of supply chain worldwide. The disruption will probably take years and possibly cause short-term economic pain in the process as countries find their own way.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in the United States are passing little penal steps.
On Wednesday, the Senate passed legislation that would overturn Chinese companies that traded in US stocks.
Earlier this month, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has introduced legislation to slap China on sanctions if the country does not come up with coronavirus origins. The President will be given 60 days to prove that China has complied with requests for information and other demands on the US, including the release of pro-democracy proponents in Hong Kong arrested on the removal of pandemic of coronavirus.
Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas has a bill to punish Chinese officials, and Democrats say they are open to supporting measures to punish China for losing to the US and the world how bad coronavirus returns in December.
“I don’t think there’s anyone nationwide who believes that coronavirus is his fault,” North Dakota Sen said. Kevin Cramer, a loyal ally of the President. “Instead, it may have identified some of its strongest demands, such as its warnings about China and globalism and the weakness of the supply chain.”
Sending a message
Dissatisfaction towards China is growing, even with some of Trump’s advisers susceptible to economic ties to China. But some of his top trade advisers – including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer – have been tapping into the fears of losing a tough Phase One deal.
In his 2016 campaign and since, Trump referred to his business savvy as a remedy for the country’s trade consequences. He criticized past trade relations with Canada, Mexico and China and promised to better deal with some of America’s largest trading partners.
He used his stance with China as a cautionary tale of what would happen if Americans voted for anyone else in office, and he continues to do so even today against his outspoken Democratic opponent former Vice President Joe Biden, despite the future of his trade deal with China has a question.
Cost for swing states
But Trump’s trade war with China had economic consequences for swing states such as Ohio and Pennsylvania, which raised tariffs on the cost of doing business for manufacturers and left farmers seated. to the tons of unsold crops that would normally be shipped to China.
With Chinese purchases remaining at their 2017 levels, the administration said it could extend the farm subsidy program for a third year – much needed by farmers trying to meet. Such expansion will expand what has become a massive industry bailout.
Aside from the election, now may not be the right time for the US to respond. Republicans are aware of this, and why it has not yet pushed for a major reform proposal to move businesses back to the US or punish China for its response to the coronavirus.
Republicans are sensitive to Trump acting aggressively or very quickly against China at a time when they need China to justify ending its trade deal to buy major US agricultural products such as soybeans. Senators say the sanctions on China today when the US relies on them for exports and for the manufacture of products such as drugs and personal protective equipment is a mistake.
“Especially in our (agricultural) sector, we still need the Chinese markets,” Sen said. Roy Blunt, a Republican from Missouri, told CNN.
John John Thune, a Republican from South Dakota, said the GOP is serious about trying to find ways for major US companies to move factories back to stateide, but that won’t happen overnight. In fact, industries that can pay workers less overseas are less likely to accept the law forcing them to move.
“There’s going to be a very strong discussion about it. I don’t know what the outcome of the discussions will be,” Thune said. “We are in the middle of a pandemic. That is our first priority, but I think being responsible for this hope and eventually it will be important and many of our members feel very strongly about it.”