It has long been a bipartisan understanding that China has for years abused the international trading norms to the detriment of its trading partners. All of them.
So, it never was just the United States that desired to confront China on its behaviors. In addition to the U.S., the European countries were interested in dealing with the problem. Furthermore, in the closing days of his presidency, Barack Obama had just completed a trade agreement with most Asia countries, except China, called the Transpacific Partnership or TPP.
The current president was handed a supreme opportunity to confront China with a united front of nearly every other country. But, out of his usual dedication to a Rambo mystique, the president turned his back on the TPP, dropping out, and he has so alienated our European allies that they offer no help.
As a result, the whole effort has been waged on the backs of American farmers and consumers. China has been able to drag it out, knowing Americans will only bear that burden so long.
Now, we stand the very real possibility that Americans will have borne the burden for months, yet the agreement at the end will be a pretty meager achievement.
Charles W. Radican