One week ago we presented a remarkable chart from Reuters, which showed that half a year into the so-called "trade deal" with China, Beijing had only bought a tiny fraction, or less than 5%, of the targeted $25.3 billion in energy products under phase one agreement (its soybean purchase "quota" was just as laughable).
This means that for all of Trump bombast over the "massive" US-China deal, China has not complied with virtually any of its contractual requirements, and was woefully behind on its imports quota.
It's also why we were amused by the news that this weekend there was a scheduled review of where the US and China currently stand on the "Phase 1" trade deal for the simple reason that there is nothing to review!
Moments ago Reuters confirmed out jaded take when it reported that the review of the U.S.-China trade deal initially slated for Saturday "will be delayed due to scheduling issues, and no new date has been agreed yet, according to sources familiar with the plans."
U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He had been expected to meet via videoconference on Aug. 15, the six-month anniversary of agreement entering into force.
Why the delay? Because whether it is due to covid, or simply because China never intended to comply with the terms of the trade deal, any review of just how little China has complied with would only make the Trump admin look like a joke for allowing China to get away with what is effectively full and total non-compliance.
And speaking of non-compliance, Rabo's Michael Every writes this morning that "we remain of the view that this deal will still collapse at some point – and probably when most politically expedient to Trump. Which would push stocks down…and perhaps so focus the minds of Congress on the need to agree on a new stimulus package when they return in September. So all is well then!"