Bloomberg - Are you a robot?
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.”
Daniel W. Drezner
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!
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