The Trade Negotiation

Nobody can predict the US-China relationship in the coming 10 years. Obviously that relationship will have a huge effect on education exchange, whether Chinese students in USA, or American schools and teachers in China.

Here is an update from Reuters:

The diplomatic cable from Beijing arrived in Washington late on Friday night, with systematic edits to a nearly 150-page draft trade agreement that would blow up months of negotiations between the world’s two largest economies, according to three U.S. government sources and three private sector sources briefed on the talks.

The document was riddled with reversals by China that undermined core U.S. demands, the sources told Reuters.

In each of the seven chapters of the draft trade deal, China had deleted its commitments to change laws…

Every article I’ve on Chinese negotiating style describes this. Many of the Chinese I’ve met there describe theirs as a “low trust society.” Presumably, Chinese realize this as they negotiate with other Chinese, that a verbal commitment has a good chance of being walked back later explicitly, or simply ignored. Americans find this style exasperating. But China has clearly been “winning.”

“After 20 years of having their way with the U.S., China still appears to be miscalculating with this administration.”

I doubt that they are miscalculating.

With a 20 year successful run, one would expect the Chinese to stick to their style. It would take several years of “holding fast,” and at least 2 different US presidents with the same message, to convince them to change. They’re willing to play the long game and they have good reason to hope to win the short game.

Already there’s conflict among the 2 key American negotiators.

Mnuchin – who has been more open to a deal with improved market access, and at times clashed with Lighthizer – appeared in sync with Lighthizer in describing the changes to reporters on Monday, while still leaving open the possibility that new tariffs could be averted with a deal.

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