By agreeing to restart stalled trade talks at their meeting in Osaka last week, President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping averted a new round of punitive measures in a trade conflict that’s moving into its second year.
“I think we’re going to be strategic partners,” said President Donald Trump on June 29 at his Osaka G-20 press conference, in response to a question from Olivia Qi Zhang, a reporter for Caixin, the Chinese news organization. “I think we can help each other. I think, in the end, we can—if the right deal is structured, we can be great for each other.”
“He’s a New York real estate developer,” a non-politically involved acquaintance argues, explaining that President Donald Trump knows that any deal as complex as the one he is trying to negotiate with China over trade will take time, “even years.” That explanation may be as valid as any of the ostensibly more informed takes by professional policy watchers. It also is a useful caution against placing artificial, media-driven timetables on what is turning into the most significant policy showdown between Washington and Beijing since the normalization of diplomatic ties forty years ago.