When Do We Get to See the Trade Deal, Mr. President?

It's already 2020 in Shanghai! Are they ahead of us on trade, too?SIPA Asia via ZUMA

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Our mysterious “Phase One” trade deal with China is set to be signed:

President Trump said Tuesday he will sign the first phase of a trade deal with China on Jan. 15, as the two nations move to cement a partial truce to the trade war….But even though the White House said a deal was reached more than two weeks ago, neither side has released the exact wording of their agreement. Still, the announced deal has been enough to lift financial markets because many investors feel encouraged about the direction of the talks.

President Trump keeps boasting about how this trade deal is worth $30 billion to America’s farmers. Or maybe $40 billion. Or $50 billion. It’s the greatest trade deal in history!

And yet, for some reason nobody has seen the actual text of the deal. It’s tied up in “translation.” Or “legal review.” Or something. My own guess is that it’s tied up in “this deal doesn’t really do much of anything at all.” But I’m a cynic.

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FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

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