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The US agreed to a temporary trade deal with China on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina. The US agreed to a 90 day pause to allow for negotiations before increasing tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. In return, China agreed to start buying certain US goods again.
The left sees the compromise as a temporary truce and warns that a permanent deal is still far off. They view the absence of a joint statement after the meeting and the slight discrepancies between statements by the US and China as signs that more work still needs to be done. US concerns around intellectual property and technology transfer were also left unresolved.
The right focuses on the progress made in the temporary agreement. They believe that China made a symbolic gesture by increasing penalties on fentanyl (opioid) sales. They also believe that the dinner going over for an extra hour shows that the two sides are making great progress.
The US and China will spend the next 90 days trying to bridge their differences. However, some analysts have pointed out that Beijing has some “deep structural problems” that could “take even 180 days” to fully resolve. There's also the possibility that the trade war resumes earlier than expected - like when a truce between US and China ended after only eight days in May.
Last week, Michael Cohen, Trump’s embattled ex-attorney, pleaded guilty to lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding a Trump Tower Moscow project, which he spearheaded in 2015 & 2016.
Cohen began working for the Trump Organization in 2006 and eventually helped spearhead Trump's exploratory website for his presidential run. Fast-forwarding to the presidency, Cohen engaged in a secret trip to Prague to meet with Russian officials. He also received a secret payment from Ukraine to arrange a meeting between Ukrainian President Poroshenko and Trump. He was convicted earlier this fall and agreed to "tell everything about Donald Trump that he knows.”
The left focuses on Cohen’s guilty plea and inserts Trump’s name in their headlines in order to directly link Trump to the negative news while also using sensationalist language, such as “web of lies” to energize the headlines. The left asserts that Cohen’s lying is an indication of Russia’s influence over Trump.
The right doesn’t mention Trump by name in their headlines in order to distance him from the story. The right also focuses on Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani’s comments questioning the ethics of Mueller’s investigation, while also asserting Cohen is a liar and hence can’t be trusted.
First Manafort, now Cohen. Is Trump next?
Last week, we reported that Paul Manafort violated his plea agreement. This week, we learned that Cohen lied to Congress. It would appear that Mueller is closing in on something. It’s telling that Trump changed his comments based on the news about Cohen, from saying there was no Trump Tower Moscow deal to “there would be nothing wrong if I did do it,” a significant shift that might signal rough times ahead for Trump.