by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
President Trump’s much-derided Asian tour earlier in the month received widespread criticism in the mainstream media. What they won’t report is that, like it or not, his visit is already paying dividends.
Maybe you saw some of the headlines: “The ‘Missed Opportunity’ Of Trump’s Asia Trip” (NPR). “Donald Trump’s Asia Tour Leaves Observers Perplexed” (BBC). “Trump Wants America To Be Like China” (U.S. News).
Actually, despite the media snark, the trip was a big success from Trump’s perspective, especially on trade. While Trump was conferring with Chinese President Xi Jinping, U.S. companies announced some $250 billion in deals with China — a clear sign China wants to open its markets even more.
A more recent example was China’s decision, announced on Thanksgiving, to slash import taxes on some 187 consumer goods. As Bloomberg News correctly noted, this move “promises to boost the prospects of multinationals in the Chinese market,” in particular big U.S. consumer multinationals like Procter & Gamble Co. and medicine-maker Pfizer.
Coming just weeks after his Asian trip finished, it counts as a major victory for Trump on trade. …
… Nor are these just-announced tariff cuts small. When the cuts kick in on Dec. 1, they’ll be sliced from an average of 17.3% to an average of 7.7%.