The charitable interpretation of Trump's sudden empathy for Chinese workers is that it's part of a long-term strategy to get China to play more by the worldwide rulebook than the country has been doing since its accession to the WTO in 2001. Ultimately, say analysts at BMI Research, "we believe that China is unlikely to cede to the US' demand of stopping subsidies into industries targeted by the Made In China 2025 plan".
"American workers and companies confront rampant theft of US intellectual property, agricultural policies that disadvantage American farmers, restrictions on market access for USA service providers and manufacturers, and mercantilist industrial policies that have cost US workers their jobs", they wrote. Australia is a good example of a U.S. ally whose leaders share America's concerns about China's rising power but also understand the economic imperative of staying in China's graces.
Trump's shoot from the hip style on trade means the ZTE move could be a "bigly olive branch" that sets up a deal with the Chinese - or Trump could reverse course and crack down on trade.
Relations between the U.S. and China have become increasingly fractious with regard to trade.
ZTE agreed to paying a fine and a multi-year denial of export privileges. This could be beneficial to companies in both countries, because monopoly is never good.
"There are plenty of routes that the Commerce Department can take to lift the Denial Order, so this could have a happy ending for ZTE and its USA suppliers", said Greengart.
Trump's ZTE ploy is a piece of this corrosive pattern. But instead of punishing these workers, they were rewarded with bonuses. Last month, the US Commerce Department blocked American firms from selling parts or providing services to ZTE, which makes smartphones and other telecommunications equipment. The firm consequently stopped operating this month.
The company shut down operations after being hit by a $1.2 billion fine and pleading guilty to knowingly violating USA sanctions laws.
"There are many areas where China has promised to do but haven't". Granted, when you're playing good cop/bad cop it's more usual for the same person not to be the good cop one day (or hour) and the bad cop next. "A tweet is not a policy or a legal agreement", the expert said.
Given the rising fiscal deficit in the USA, it is natural that the overall US deficit is rising: the goods and services deficit in the first quarter was 18.5-percent higher than in the first quarter of 2017. While the U.S. remains the region's leading trade partner, its rising protectionism is allowing China to leverage its economic clout to expand its presence and influence.
"The Chinese have said 'we want to see the specifics.' We gave them all the specifics in terms of trade issues". There are those who point to North Korea as the motivating factor. He has also done it more concretely, by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, an initiative designed precisely to consolidate a US -led economic community in the face of China's rise, and by implementing trade sanctions on steel and aluminum in ways that seem likely to hurt Europe and Japan as much as they injure China.
Do you figure the Chinese hacked Donald Trump's Twitter account? It will take some time to judge whether what is given on ZTE is justified by the economic and security gains. China is also heavily incentivized to want a resolution in North Korea, regardless of what happens with U.S. Beijing has aggressively targeted the USA manufacturing base as part of an effort to build its own domestic enterprises and establish a dominant position in a range of important industries, from steel to semiconductors and beyond.