A Big Win
Today, the United States and China signed a new trade deal, resulting in a pause in the trade war. In spite of predictable negative press coverage, this is a huge win for the Trump Administration and the country.
According to various reports, China has agreed to buy an additional $200 billion of U.S. products – from agricultural goods to energy products – all of which will be good for American farmers, businesses and manufacturers. In addition, China also agreed to end intellectual property theft and currency manipulation.
It is understandable that many people might be skeptical of China's promises. That's why the deal is only "phase one" of ongoing negotiations and is fully enforceable based on China's compliance.
What did we give up in exchange for China's new commitments? Very little.
According to the Wall Street Journal, President Trump agreed to reduce "the existing 15% tariff rate on roughly $120 billion of Chinese goods. . . But tariffs will remain on roughly $360 billion of annual Chinese imports to the U.S."
In addition, other areas of conflict with China, from national security threats to human rights and religious liberty issues, will continue.
Ending America's Decline
Former White House adviser Steve Bannon put it well when he told CNBC this morning that President Trump's aggressive trade strategy has stopped "the managed decline of the United States."
For many years, under administrations of both parties, but especially on the left, there has been a growing sense of America being in inevitable decline. Sadly, a lot of people (again, mostly on the left) are okay with that because they think America is evil and the source of problems around the world.
But it translated into real problems for many Americans as their jobs were sacrificed on the altar of free trade and globalism.
When Donald Trump said he wanted to rebuild America's manufacturing base, Barack Obama mocked him and said those jobs aren't coming back. Well, Obama was wrong.
Remember those on the right who laughed at Trump's notion of a border wall? They said, "You can't shut the border! And why would you want to?"
Remember all the experts who predicted the death of the nation-state, suggesting that the ancient passions of patriotism were causing nothing but problems, while singing the praises of globalism?
This is why Trump's mantra of "Make America Great Again" so outraged the political establishments of both parties. And it is a good catchall phrase for his efforts to end "the managed decline of the United States."
I remember serving in the White House when President Ronald Reagan was constantly being told that America had to accommodate the Soviet Union. Thank God Reagan rejected that terrible advice. He had tremendous confidence in the American people, and he had a simple motto, "We win, they lose." Today the Soviet Union is gone.
For years we've been told that China is the rising power in the world today, that we can't outcompete China and should just accept its theft of our technology and its expansionist designs in the Pacific. This president rejects that. He also has a simple motto, "Make America Great Again."
China is signing this deal because they need food and energy. And guess where they are going to get it? And Trump rightly is keeping most tariffs in place to ensure that China complies with the deal.
Hopefully, Beijing understands that "business as usual" is over in Washington, that this administration won't turn a blind eye to abusive trade practices. If it does, the "phase two" talks should go well.
A Striking Contrast
The president had a major rally in Wisconsin last night as the Democrats had a major debate in Iowa. The simultaneous events should have been aired on a split screen because you couldn't come up with a more striking contrast between competing visions for America. It's hard to believe they were talking about the same country!
In Iowa, the Democrat candidates were bemoaning that we have no allies, suggesting that we are isolated against Iran.
In Wisconsin, the president celebrated our successful strike against Iran's terror general, and praised the courageous people of Iraq and Iran who are taking to the streets to protest the mullahs.
In Iowa, the Democrat candidates were downplaying the economy. But come Wednesday, November 4th, just about the only unemployed Americans will be failed Democrat presidential candidates! (Granted, that's a lot of people.)
While the president was talking about the future of the country, Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats were arguing about the Iraq War and what transpired during a private conversation between Sanders and Warren.
It was literally a "he said / she said" moment. But in the #MeToo era, we're always supposed to believe the woman, and clearly the CNN moderator did!
I could go on, but you get the point. Even many liberals noticed too.
Progressive CNN commentator Van Jones described last night's Democrat debate as "cold oatmeal," saying, "There was nothing I saw tonight that would be able to take Donald Trump out."
One media outlet dedicated to covering Hollywood and the entertainment industry blasted the debate as the "Dull Night Of The Living Dead." Ouch!
Even MSNBC's left-wing "Morning Joe" hosts panned the debate as "painful," adding, "Nobody looked good on the debate stage."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi today announced the members of her caucus who will serve as "managers," or prosecutors, during the Senate impeachment trial. The lead manager is Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. The other managers are:
- Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-NY), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), chairman of the House Administration Committee
- Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), chairman of the House Democratic Caucus
- Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), a member of the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees
- Rep. Jason Crow (D-CO), a member of the House Armed Services Committee
- Rep. Sylvia Garcia (D-TX), a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Some preliminary measures are expected to take place tomorrow with the swearing in of Chief Justice John Roberts. The actual impeachment trial will most likely begin Tuesday, when all 100 senators will be required to sit at their desks without their iPhones or other electronic devices.
The process has been a sham from the beginning, but it has not stopped the president from moving aggressively to fulfill the promises he made in 2016.