A Big Win
Today, the United States and China signed a new trade deal, resulting in a pause in the trade war. In spite of predictable negative press coverage, this is a huge win for the Trump Administration and the country.
According to various reports, China has agreed to buy an additional $200 billion of U.S. products – from agricultural goods to energy products – all of which will be good for American farmers, businesses and manufacturers. In addition, China also agreed to end intellectual property theft and currency manipulation.
It is understandable that many people might be skeptical of China's promises. That's why the deal is only "phase one" of ongoing negotiations and is fully enforceable based on China's compliance.
What did we give up in exchange for China's new commitments? Very little.
According to the Wall Street Journal, President Trump agreed to reduce "the existing 15% tariff rate on roughly $120 billion of Chinese goods. . . But tariffs will remain on roughly $360 billion of annual Chinese imports to the U.S."
In addition, other areas of conflict with China, from national security threats to human rights and religious issues, will continue.
Ending America's Decline
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon put it well when he told CNBC this morning that the administration's aggressive trade strategy has stopped "the managed decline of the United States."
For many years, under administrations of both parties, there has been a growing sense of America being in inevitable decline. Sadly, a lot of people (mostly on the left) are okay with that because they think America is evil and the source of problems around the world. But it translated into real problems for many Americans as their jobs were sacrificed on the altar of free trade and globalism.
When Donald Trump said he wanted to rebuild America's manufacturing base, Barack Obama mocked him and said those jobs aren't coming back. Well, Obama was wrong.
Remember those on the right who laughed at the notion of a border wall? They said, "You can't shut the border! And why would you want to?"
Remember all the experts who predicted the death of the nation-state, suggesting that the ancient passions of patriotism were causing nothing but problems, while singing the praises of globalism?
I remember serving in the White House when President Ronald Reagan was constantly being told that America had to accommodate the Soviet Union. Thank God Reagan rejected that terrible advice. He had tremendous confidence in the American people, and he had a simple motto, "We win, they lose." Today the Soviet Union is gone.
For years we've been told that China is the rising power in the world today, that we can't outcompete China and should just accept its theft of our technology and its expansionist designs in the Pacific. This president rejects that.
China is signing this deal because they need food and energy. And guess where they are going to get it? And Trump rightly is keeping most tariffs in place to ensure that China complies with the deal.
Hopefully, Beijing understands that "business as usual" is over in Washington, that this administration won't turn a blind eye to abusive trade practices. If it does, the "phase two" talks should go well.
Last night's Democrat debate turned out to be a fairly mundane event. The bare-knuckle fight that many were anticipating just didn't happen.
As political science professor Jeanne Zaino put it: "We saw a gathering of ladies and gentlemen who politely disagreed on a number of issues but who did not turn the debate into an angry brawl."
The most contentious point of the evening occurred when Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren argued about a conversation they had two years ago. It was literally a "he said / she said" moment. But in the #MeToo era, we're always supposed to believe the woman, and clearly the CNN moderator did!
Even many liberals were left wanting after the debate. For example, progressive CNN commentator Van Jones described last night's debate as "cold oatmeal" and said he found it "dispiriting."
One media outlet dedicated to covering Hollywood and the entertainment industry ran this headline to describe the debate: "Dull Night Of The Living Dead."
Even MSNBC's left-wing "Morning Joe" hosts panned the debate as "painful," adding, "Nobody looked good on the debate stage."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi today announced the members of her caucus who will serve as "managers," or prosecutors, during the Senate impeachment trial. The lead manager is Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The other managers are:
- Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), chairman of the House Administration Committee
- Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
- Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees
- Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), a member of the House Armed Services Committee
- Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Some preliminary measures are expected to take place tomorrow with the swearing in of Chief Justice John Roberts. The actual impeachment trial will most likely begin Tuesday, when all 100 senators will be required to sit at their desks without their iPhones or other electronic devices.