Tue May 15, 2018, 09:26 PM

ZTE puts Trumps economic ADHD on full display

Donald Trump’s perplexing U-turn on China’s ZTE Corp is not an example of his “art of the deal.” It showcases his ADHD – attention deficit hyperactivity disorder – presidency, one that’s reverberating around Asia.

The @realdonaldtrump Twitter feed has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder written all over it, of course. But the US leader’s supposed realpolitik on ZTE puts the problem in stark relief.

First, his White House slapped penalties on the Chinese juggernaut over its trade with Iran, including a seven-year ban on US tech firms from selling to the smartphone maker. Now, Trump wants Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to give ZTE a way out – or, as Trump tweeted, give it “a way to get back into business, fast.”

Yet there’s no way back from the realization that Trumponomics is an intellectual muddle of impulsivity, contradiction and confusion.

Most pundits assume that ZTE is Trump’s way of winning Xi Jinping’s favor ahead of trade talks and Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The trouble is, the about-face on ZTE amounts to low-cost tinkering, not a game changer.

Or as analyst Paul Triolo and his colleagues at Eurasia Group put it: “The action does not indicate that Trump will back down on tariffs against China, but he will make the decision to impose tariffs himself and choose a time that he feels is right.”

This ADHD segue, Eurasia says, is about “short-term goodwill” ahead of this week’s Washington visit by Liu He, China’s vice-premier. It’s also about hopes Beijing will approve Qualcomm’s pending acquisition of NXP Semiconductors.

But nothing here fixes the underlying problem: Trump’s overly simplistic view that American prosperity relies on wrestling jobs back from China.

Xi’s China, as this column has argued before, is investing hundreds of billions of dollars preparing for the world it will confront in 2025, and beyond. Trump’s strategy rests on dragging America back to the economic system that prevailed in the 1980s.

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Reply ZTE puts Trumps economic ADHD on full display (Original post)
Troll2 May 2018 OP
Trevor May 2018 #1

Response to Troll2 (Original post)

Tue May 15, 2018, 10:53 PM

1. There's another explanation floating out there.

The president suddenly softens on a Chinese business after Beijing bankrolls a Trump Organization project.

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