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President Arty McDeals got rolled. AGAIN.

Donald Trump bumbled us into a stupid trade war with China, and now he's so thirsty for a deal he's holding up a blank piece of paper and demanding a grateful nation pay tribute to his unparalleled negotiation skills. But he's not going to go through with his plan to ruin Christmas by slapping a 25 percent tariff on literally everything under the tree, so .... PLEASE CLAP?

"Many structural changes." UH HUH. Feels like we've seen this movie before, right?


See if you can spot the moment investors realized this new China trade deal was a big pile of NOTHING.

via CNN

The actual text of the trade deal hasn't yet been released, but comments by China's vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen indicate there may be rather less here than meets the eye. (Don't faint!) In fact, according to the New York Times, trade negotiators haven't even finalized the language yet.

China confirmed that the agreement includes a commitment to buy more American agriculture products and to strengthen laws protecting foreign companies operating in China, as well as beefing up intellectual property rules and providing more transparency around currency movements. Mr. Wang said both sides have agreed to complete legal reviews as quickly as possible and that an official signing was still being worked out.

But let's just take Tariff Man at his word that China agreed to buy $50 billion of US agricultural products. Not because we actually think it's true, of course, but just for shits 'n' giggles. Would that be a "good deal"? Tell us, Senator Murphy!

Wait a hot second! You mean the Chinese weren't paying those tariffs we slapped on their imports? It was all coming out of American taxpayers' pockets, and then we paid for the bailout so farmers wouldn't turn on Trump, so now we're going to take an IOU and call it a big win? REALLY?

And about that "I think they'll hit $50 billion" that Trump promised this morning! The Office of the US Trade Representative is mumbling vaguely about "substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years," making no reference to a specific dollar amount. And China is only committing to increase purchases of pork and soybeans, which they have to buy anyway to meet domestic demand, by a "considerable margin." So it could be $50 billion, as promised by the guy who brazenly overstated the height of his building by 18 stories. Or it could $20 billion, which would be double what China spent on American agricultural exports last year, and still lag behind spending in the last four years of Obama's presidency.

Maybe the guy who's told almost 14,000 lies since the inauguration is dead on the money here. Maybe this new agreement with China will be all that Trump promises and more.

Or maybe, like Chuck Schumer said, President Trump "sold out for a temporary and unreliable promise from China to purchase some soybeans." Yeah, if we had to bet, probably that one.

[NYT]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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