Derek Scissors of AEI has a sour take on the latest turn in U.S.–China trade talks:
If there’s good news, it’s that the Trump administration has fallen silent on whether the U.S. will bend our law for China in the ZTE case, which got so much attention last week. That would be a big step backward.
But even if we hold firm on ZTE, the rest is all too familiar. The vague-to-the-point-of-useless deal and complete absence of American action could have been pulled straight from the Obama or Bush administrations. Secretary Mnuchin is perfectly imitating former Treasury secretaries Lew, Geithner, and Paulson, who led us here.
Candidate Trump ran exactly against this. Two months ago, President Trump was on course to change the U.S.–China trade relationship, focused on the right problem. Now, with Steve Mnuchin trying to avoid doing his job, it’s back to 2015 (or 2005) and the U.S. is folding again.