Trump Asia Tour Flies Under the Radar, But Delivers Major Benefits
The 12-day Donald Trump Asia tour has just wrapped up and, according to President Trump, it was a big economic success for America. This can only be characterized as a major win for an embattled Republican (GOP) leadership.
The president expressed that his administration secured hundreds of billions of dollars worth of trade deals, with the potential to reach $1.0 trillion over time. “It’s minimum $300 billion, and that’s going to be very quickly over a trillion dollars,” said Trump. “And I would say that’s the least significant thing that we accomplished.” (Source: “Trump says Asian trade deals will total more than $1 trillion for U.S.,” The Washington Times, November 14, 2017.)
The biggest beneficiaries stand to be large U.S. corporations such as Boeing Co (NYSE: BA). Trump predicted that the value of the deals with those companies will quadruple over time.
The Trump Asia tour saw the U.S. president visit the most preeminent economic powerhouses in the region. He visited top leaders in Japan, South Korea, China, and Vietnam—with the explicit intent on balancing out one-sided trade deals. It appears that he accomplished this objective, at least in part. Trump characterized his biggest accomplishment on trade as “letting people know that from now on, things are going to be reciprocal.” (Source: Ibid.)
In particular, Trump expressed to China that the U.S. had been “taken advantage of” in the past, and that he sought to even the playing field.
It’s hard to argue with that.
From January to October 2017, China’s trade surplus with the United States was $340.0 billion, although that was an improvement (for the U.S.) from $427.4 billion in the same period of 2016. The United States habitually racks up $500.0-billion annual trade deficits with China. (Source: “China Balance of Trade,” Trading Economics, last accessed November 14, 2017.)
Perhaps expanding on his successes overseas, Trump said he will make a major announcement when he returns to the United States. It’s unknown whether that will include details of his trade deal successes.
I will be making a major statement from the @WhiteHouse upon my return to D.C. Time and date to be set.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2017
But, given his lack of major policy wins in Congress, it’s something he may want to expand on.