While President Trump warned during a Thursday press conference that a trade deal with China is far from guaranteed, it appears the White House might have won at least one concession during talks with Vice Premier Liu He Thursday afternoon.
Talking trade with the Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China, Liu He. pic.twitter.com/9T7Iq6F3Xe— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2018
Reuters is reporting that China has offered the US a trade-deficit reduction package amounting to roughly $200 billion annually. Demands that China take steps to reduce the US-China trade deficit have long been a part of Trump's rhetoric, as have greater protections for US intellectual property. It was not immediately clear how the value of the package would be determined. One source told Reuters that Boeing would be a major beneficiary of the Chinese offer. The company already sells about a quarter of its aircraft to Chinese buyers.
China said to offer Trump a U.S. trade deficit reduction package approaching $200 billion annually - sources pic.twitter.com/tldxOfPDU9— Reuters Business (@ReutersBiz) May 17, 2018
Of course, as the New York Times points out, any deal to reduce the trade deficit offered by the Chinese wouldn't be realistic, given the structural hurdles to buying more American exports. And critics worry that, by taking the bait, Trump could endanger other parts of his agenda, like the IP concessions.
Stock futures rose in a kneejerk reaction to the headline.