The United States and China have concluded four rounds of trade talks this year. The talks seem to be headed in the right direction, or that’s at least what US President Donald Trump’s Twitter timeline and comments from the Trump administration tell us.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted, “I have asked China to immediately remove all Tariffs on our agricultural products (including beef, pork, etc.) based on the fact that we are moving along nicely with Trade discussions.” Last week, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow used adjectives like “terrific” and “fantastic” to describe the progress in the US-China trade talks. Now, White House economic advisor Kevin Hassett has said, “I think that it looks like Ambassador Lighthizer has made a lot of progress, and we might get there on China.”
Last year, Trump called himself a “Tariff Man” and even took credit for China’s slowdown. Other Trump administration officials also took a hawkish stance on China. However, the atmosphere has improved greatly, and a summit between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping is planned for later this month. But will these niceties actually transform into a real deal that both leaders can sell to their domestic audiences? We’ll have to wait and see.
Let’s look at the markets (SPY). So far in 2019, NVIDIA (NVDA), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Intel (INTC), Microsoft (MSFT), and General Electric (GE) have gained 17.3%, 28.3%, 14.3% 11.2%, and 41.1%, respectively, based on their closing prices on March 1. FAANG stocks (FB)(AMZN)(NFLX)(AAPL) are also in the green. Chinese stocks (FXI)(TCEHY) Alibaba (BABA), Baidu (BIDU), and JD.com (JD) have gained 34.1%, 2.2%, 37.3%, respectively.
See Analyzing Trump’s Seven-Point Wishlist for Xi Jinping for more information.