Wendy Cutler: Inviting Trump to China Was a 'Brilliant' Move

Interview on CNBC

ASPI Vice President Wendy Culter joined CNBC on January 31, to discuss the outcomes of the most recent trade talks between the United States and China. 

Cutler thinks it was a "brilliant" move for China to invite U.S. President Donald Trump to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the next round of trade talks. She gives three reasons. First, Cutler believes that China wants to avoid a repeat of the May 2018 negotiations where a deal was reached between China and U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, but subsequently rejected by Trump. Second, China may believe that it will be easier to strike a deal directly with Trump than with his team. And third, Cutler expects Xi will ask Trump for a policy concession on something very important to China, such as tariffs or the Huawei case.

She states that the best possible outcome would be for the U.S. and China to reach a deal in which all issues are addressed, all tariffs are lifted, and trade tensions subside. However, according to Cutler, "the more likely option is that there will be some sort of partial agreement where [the U.S. and China] will agree on certain purchases, certain restrictions will be lifted, and they will both point to progress on certain structural issues, but agree that more work needs to be done." 

Watch the interview on CNBC.