Bloomberg Businessweek

After the Handshake Comes the Hard Part

• U.S. presidents have often struggled to get China to deliver on promises. Will it be different for Trump?

After three years of tweets and tariffs, President Trump has arrived at his China moment. The “phase one” deal signed on Jan. 15 contains commitments by China to respect American intellectual property and not manipulate its currency. U.S. officials also anticipate $200 billion in new purchases that should help reduce a yawning trade deficit and repair some of the damage suffered by farmers.

Yet this political victory leaves Trump confronting the same China conundrum that’s plagued his predecessors. The broad and bipartisan consensus in Washington is that American presidents have for decades been hoodwinked by a China that’s often failed to deliver on its promises.


Trump and his lieutenants, of course, insist that this agreement is different and that there will be real

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