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Opinion
Michael Schuman

History Could Doom U.S.-China Trade Deal

By pushing for something that looks like an unequal treaty, Washington is virtually guaranteeing it will break down. 

Trump’s forgetting his history. 

Trump’s forgetting his history. 

Photographer: Thomas Peter/Getty Images 

Trade talks between the U.S. and China seem to be hurtling toward a predictable conclusion -- the signing of a shallow deal that doesn’t solve the real issues dividing the world’s two largest economies. The coup de grace will likely come later this month in another high-profile summit between presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping.

It’s time to admit the “comprehensive” pact Trump promised never really had a chance to come to fruition, precisely because of the way he chose to pursue it. What’s worse, in his eagerness to tout any deal as a bigger and more transformative triumph than it’s likely to be, he may well ensure it fails.