Thursday, 9 November 2017

Trump's $250 Billion China Haul Is Big Number, Little Substance.

The headline number is impressive: A quarter-trillion dollars worth of deals from China that President Donald Trump can use to show he’s creating opportunities for U.S. businesses and jobs for his base.

The reality, however, is that the roughly 15 agreements set to be unveiled on Thursday are mostly non-binding memorandums of understanding and could take years to materialize -- if they do at all. A day earlier, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced $9 billion of deals, many also MOUs with few details, rather than contracts.

The U.S. is announcing one larger deal on Thursday: a joint development agreement to advance a liquefied natural gas project in Alaska, involving the state-run Alaska Gasline Development Corp., Sinopec, the China Investment Corp and the Bank of China. The project would involve total investment of up to $43 billion.

But one Chinese official said that senior executives of Sinopec weren’t aware of the deal set to be announced on Thursday. A separate Chinese official said the MOUs merely show China’s goodwill toward Trump, and would take years of negotiations to become real contracts.

Full story at Yahoo News.

By Nick Wadhams, Peter Martin.

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