Trump’s trade chief lectures his boss and gets an earful in return
Robert Lighthizer had to explain a memo of understanding to Trump in front of Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. Trump: "They don't mean anything." RL: "It's a legal term. It's a contract." Trump: "By the way I disagree." The Vice Premier laughed out loud.
There is negotiating in public. And there is undermining your chief negotiator in public.
We wrote up this wild exchange between Trump & USTR Lighthizer. "Bob, so we do an MOU -- frankly, I don't care if you do it or not, to me it doesn't mean very much -- but if you do an MOU, how long will it take to put that into a final binding contract?"
“The top Chinese negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, laughed out loud.”
I’ll believe that Trump is growing into the presidency when his staff stops treating him like a toddler.
NEWS: Trump and his trade chief get into it over the particulars of trade negotiations -- in front of cameras and a top Chinese official, who literally LOLed. By +
I'm with Trump. I dislike MOUs too -- too much "fake news" over MOUs signed in China! via
Exasperated Trump trade chief tries to lecture boss and gets an earful in return
Trade SAT Prep: NAFTA is to USMCA what MOU is to trade agreement. (Whispers: THE SAME THING).
Trump just undermined his negotiator in front of the Chinese. But Lighthizer also has an important point. A full FTA with China would invite a congressional vote. Here's our Bloomberg story on the exchange