“He’s offering them some solutions that he hopes they’ll move toward,” Pillsbury said. “One of them is, they simply purchase $100 billion worth of U.S. exports. Wilbur Ross, the secretary of commerce, went on television tonight and even hinted what that might be. It might be natural gas and oil – various kinds of products we sell them already, but they could buy a great deal more.”
.. “They knew this was coming,” he concluded. “The prime minister gave a press conference saying that China wants to open up further, wants to welcome more foreign investment, is totally for free trade, would never steal anybody’s intellectual property. He went through in this press conference almost point-for-point what President Trump was going to say today, and said China would not dream of doing these things.”
.. Pillsbury cautioned that many Americans retain an “out of date” image of China as poor, technologically backwards, and reluctant to provoke economic warfare with wealthier nations while so many of its people struggle with poverty.
“I wrote my book against that idea,”
.. The products targeted by the new tariffs and the rationale for including them will send a strong message to China. “It’s going to be examples, as this report explained today, the examples are based on a kind of reciprocity that if China has stolen intellectual property, stolen trade secrets and then made money off of it, that is the kind of product that will have the tariff placed on it.
.. Pillsbury predicted that the Chinese will now understand Trump means business, and will make concessions to hold off further sanctions.
“I happen to think they need us more than we need them,” he said. “I don’t measure just trade. I measure all the things we’ve essentially — I hate to use this phrase — given away to China over the last 30 or more years. They still need our investment, our technology, our goodwill, our buying their products, the scientific programs we share with them – there’s an extremely long list of the benefits China gets from the United States, counting everything.”
“We get very little benefit from them along those lines,” he continued. “We don’t get a wide, comprehensive set of benefits from China. We get some benefits. That’s where this debate is really happening.”
.. “My own forecast is there’s not going to be a big trade war. The Chinese are quite afraid of being demonized in the United States and around Asia. Despite the ambassador here in Washington making this unfortunate remark, I think what’s actually going to happen is we’re going to have some successful negotiations for the first time,” he said.
.. They’re not going to roll over and just suddenly buy $100 billion worth of products in the month of April, but I think we will see a number of steps by the Chinese that will justify what President Trump did today in this historic decision,” he anticipated.
.. what Vice President Mike Pence described yesterday as “the end of the era of economic surrender,”
.. even the American freedom of navigation patrols in the South China Sea, which the Chinese frequently complain about, do not represent an aggressive challenge because the American ships follow “innocent passage” protocols, keeping their weapons radars off and avoiding military maneuvers as they cruise through the area.
“We have not challenged China in the South China Sea yet. That’s the important thing to understand. Some people think we should. It’s very difficult to come up with specific measures, especially if you are looking at economics and trade issues as being more important. We can’t fight China on all fronts,” he said.
.. one of the Trump administration’s top goals is to place “restrictions on Chinese investment in the United States.”
.. two days ago, with the Trump tariffs looming, Beijing for the first time signaled a willingness to open new sectors to foreign investment.