US President Donald Trump's new trade deal with Canada and Mexico saw stock markets rally and traders across North America breathe sighs of relief this week, but the news was received more warily in China.
Beijing has been locked in its own escalating trade war with the United States throughout 2018. According to several trade experts, Trump is likely to push harder for concessions from China in a row that could drag on for months - or even years - longer.
Trump hammered that point home when talking to reporters outside the White House on Monday, as he framed the deal with Canada and Mexico as a win for his hardball strategy to reshape global commerce to benefit the United States.
But Beijing is "having a much more difficult time" now that Washington has slapped three rounds of tariffs on some $250bn of its exports, said Trump. The former reality television star threatened to raise that by another $267bn.
"China wants to talk very badly," Trump told reporters in the White House Rose Garden. "I said frankly it's too early to talk because they're not ready… If politically, people force it too quickly, you're not going to make the right deal.
Trump finalised the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) on Sunday after threatening to exit its precursor, NAFTA, saying he wanted to shrink US trade deficits, claw back lost factory jobs, and better protect intellectual property.
According to Edward Alden, author of Failure to Adjust: How Americans Got Left Behind in the Global Economy, Trump can tout USMCA as a win at campaign rallies and use it as "negotiating leverage … to double down on China".
USMCA also restricts its signatories from entering a free-trade agreement with a "non-market economy". That phrase can refer to many trading nations but is understood to be aimed principally at China's opaque markets.
Under Chapter 32, the US could pull out of USMCA if either Canada or Mexico strike a trade deal with China that Washington does not like - making it unlikely or extremely difficult for either partner to take that risk.
https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/10/ ... 22058.html