China-US trade deal needs mutual actions

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/12/4 21:03:40

After China and the US reached a consensus to stabilize their trade ties on Saturday, continuous information has been released by Washington. The most impressive: China will purchase $1.2 trillion of additional US goods, Beijing promised to move immediately on new commitments and Washington's hard-line trade representative Robert Lighthizer will host the next round of trade talks with China on behalf of the US.

But the US did not mention the time limit of China's $1.2 trillion commitment, nor did it note any commitment Washington made in return. Generally speaking, Washington has been emphasizing what Beijing promised all over the past two days while mentioning no word at all over what the US pledged.

Washington has also been repeating that Saturday's meeting was "extraordinary," "very good things will happen." The US has its goal to release these messages - conveying optimistic news to American society, appeasing its market and voters, boosting confidence in American society, guiding its public to believe that China and the US will reach an agreement and Washington will not be tricked and in addition, piling more pressure onto China.

Given the multilateral US political system with its infighting, the government must pay attention to not only its achievements, but also the process toward the results, so as to fight back against the opposition. Washington must highlight and even exaggerate all the information that benefits itself. The Chinese public must be careful not to be swayed by it.

Due to the balancing mechanism within US society, whatever the White House says, American public opinion will naturally harbor countering doubts. On the contrary, some Chinese people are more likely to easily accept the information from Washington, neglecting the US government public relations strategy.

It is impossible for the US to meet all its requirements when it reaches an agreement with China. When Washington reached a trilateral trade deal with Canada and Mexico, all three made compromises and China is much stronger than Canada and Mexico.

Beijing is willing to purchase American products, which, however, must be needed by China. China imported about $130 billion of US goods last year. If the $1.2 trillion deal is agreed by both sides, it will obviously take years and joint efforts from the two countries to accomplish. The US must be able to supply all the goods China demands.

It's the two nations' private enterprises and people that are trading with each other, not the governments. The $1.2 trillion US products will be bought by Chinese companies and ordinary people. If the US manufacturing system cannot live up to expectations and fails to deliver the goods China wants, then even God cannot help the White House.

Reaching an agreement within three months is a spur to not only China, but also the US. If the two sides fail to reach a deal, all the White House promises will be invalid.

It will be a win-win situation if a deal is realized. But if not, more fights and talks will continue alternately for a longer while. Chinese society should maintain a calm attitude.

Posted in: EDITORIAL

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