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Back in the 1990s, Robert Rubin, a Secretary of the Treasury under Bill Clinton, was negotiating the terms under which China would be allowed into the World Trade Organization. My sources say he was basically asking for many of the exact same things Trump wants now. Who knew that Trump and Rubin were philosophically on the same trade page?
But in 1998, in the middle of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton wanted a “win.” (Not unlike the current president.) And Rubin wasn’t delivering, holding firm on his demands for market access and guarantees on intellectual property, etc. Clinton then took the Chinese negotiations away from Rubin and gave it to Secretary of State Madeleine Albright with the instructions to get it done.
Not being a trade expert, Albright didn’t understand the underlying issues. The Chinese recognized she was playing a weak hand and held firm. To make a long story short, my sources say she effectively caved. Clinton got his “win” and we got stuck with a lousy trade deal.


When Trump alleges that we got snookered in a bad trade deal, he is correct—although I wonder if he understands the history. Maybe somebody gave him the background, but it never came out in any of his speeches. That WTO access, which finally happened in 2001, let China begin capturing markets through legal means and access US intellectual property without paying for it. My own personal beef with Chinese trade issues is the theft of intellectual property and the lack of property rights.


keep in mind that Mauldin seems to lean more to the left the the right and is mostly anti Trump but comes down hard on Democrat Clinton. Now that we were led into a bad deal, we must make the best of it.
Me, I am not all that worried about a trade war.
Even if it led to a recession we might be better off long term. Like somebody with a curable cancer is best off suffering a spell of unpleasant chemotherapy
Because given the present course China will eventually dominate and control the US
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