ABSTRACT：President Donald Trump is backing away from the trade agreement the U.S. just announced with Beijing, under pressure from China hawks among his supporters and in Congress who have assailed the accord as a capitulation. “Our Trade Deal wit...
President Donald Trump is backing away from the trade agreement the U.S. just announced with Beijing, under pressure from China hawks among his supporters and in Congress who have assailed the accord as a capitulation.
“Our Trade Deal with China is moving along nicely, but in the end we will probably have to use a different structure in that this will be too hard to get done and to verify results after completion,” Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday.
After boasting of the deal’s benefits for farmers in tweets on Monday, Trump first indicated on Tuesday he was having second thoughts as some of his loyalists publicly criticized the agreement. Asked if he was pleased with the direction of his administration’s negotiations with China, Trump told reporters “no, not really.” He later added, “they’re a start.”
The president’s misgivings open the prospect that a trade war Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had declared “on hold” is at risk of resuming. Tariffs Trump had proposed for $50 billion in Chinese goods are ready to be enacted at his command, after a public comment period expired on Tuesday. The Chinese have promised counter-tariffs targeting products from states politically important to Trump, particularly in the Midwest Farm Belt -- the source of intense pressure on the president to resolve the dispute.
But public criticism of the China deal by fellow Republicans and Trump supporters appears to be outweighing concern about a trade war among farm-state Republicans, retailers and others. Trump has also found himself under attack for retreating from penalties his administration announced against a large Chinese telecommunications company, ZTE Corp., for violating U.S. sanctions against Iran and North Korea.