Watch Live: Trump Signs Landmark ‘Phase 1’ Chinese Trade Pact
Update: When you’re president, your thank-you speech can be as long as you want, and nobody will try to shuffle you off-stage by queuing the music.
President Trump started his speech by praising the landmark agreement, and highlighting the market’s gangbuster performance since his inauguration (more than 140 stock market ATHs, baby).
Then, in typical Trump fashion, he launched into a winding monologue praising Larry Kudlow (for all the times he helped jawbone the market back into the green) and US ambassador to China Terry Branstad (about whom Trump told a story involving the ambassador’s first meeting with President Xi, more than 30 years ago, when he was still a young man). He went on to praise members of the White House staff, and several members of his cabinet – Wilbur Ross, Sonny Perdue and Elaine Chao were each singled out for praise.
At one point, Trump addressed lawmakers in the room, offering members of the House the chance to go vote in Nancy Pelosi’s “impeachment hoax”, which she announced earlier.
Even Lou Dobbs came in for some praise: Trump praised Dobbs for favorably comparing him to Reagan.
Blackstone CEO Steve Schwarzman, former AIG boss Hank Greenberg, and Henry Kissinger also received shout outs from the president.
Senators Kevin Cramer, Kevin Crapo, Steve Daines, Joni Earnst, Lindsey Graham and several others also got shouted out.
He’s still going, as the market gradually ticks higher.
Trump even shouted out JPM, praising the company for yesterday’s blockbuster earnings report and joking that he deserves “a little credit” for the bank’s performance.
Even Ken Griffin got a shoutout.
In one of the speech’s funnier moments, Trump joked about one business executive’s habit of seeking autographs from Trump, only to turn around and sell the memorabilia on eBay.
— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) January 15, 2020
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As US stocks swing between slight gains and losses, investors are waiting with baited breath for President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He to sign the ‘Phase 1’ trade deal, the first sign of comity in what has been an acrimonious two-year trade battle between the world’s two largest economies.
Earlier, we delved into the details of the agreement, the text of which is expected to be released on Wednesday. The basic takeaway is this: While it should narrow the US trade deficit with China, the agreement does nothing to curb China’s illegal state subsidies and rampant cyber theft, some of the biggest concerns of China hawks.
The US will scale back some tariffs, but the trade war tariffs will remain in place until after the election, a mechanism to help ensure Chinese compliance with the trade deal.
While markets remain largely optimistic, China’s Global Times posted an editorial earlier complaining about the deal, and claiming that the negotiations for ‘Phase 2’ might not start for a while.
But in the short term, the deal should boost US exports to China by $200 billion over two years, which will help reverse the trade war-inspired drop.
You will find more infographics at Statista
But as the two sides gear up for the next round of negotiations, will the trade detente last? That, of course, remains to be seen.