Trump loves to brag about he does everything bigger and better than any other president before him, but the only records he actually sets is being the biggest embarrassment to our country of any other country. His recent televised meeting with Chinese trade delegates are just another example of this.
— Bloomberg Economics (@economics) February 23, 2019
In an on-camera argument, Trump tried to tell his own top trade chief, Robert Lighthizer, that he doesn’t like using the term “memorandum of understanding,” even after Lighthizer tried to explain to him what the term means.
‘The exchange between the president and his top trade negotiator unfolded Friday when the president was asked during a meeting with a Chinese trade delegation about how long so-called memorandums of understanding would last in an eventual accord with Beijing. Negotiators have been drafting MOUs on areas such as agriculture, non-tariff barriers, services, technology transfer, currency and intellectual property as the two nations work toward a deal.’
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He laughs, when Pres Trump tells his Trade Rep Robert Lighthizer that he disagrees with the use of Memorandums of Understanding in trade deals. Lighthizer gets the message and says they won't use that term anymore. pic.twitter.com/GLqXUhP9uS
— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) February 22, 2019
When asked about how long the memorandum would remain active, Trump answered:
‘I don’t like MOUs because they don’t mean anything. To me, they don’t mean anything.’
Lighthizer tried to correct him:
‘It’s detailed. It covers everything in great detail. It’s a legal term. It’s a contract.’
Trump just bristled:
Chinese Vice Premier Liu laughed at the ridiculousness of the two arguing in front of foreign representatives and television cameras.
Very productive talks yesterday with China on Trade. Will continue today! I will be leaving for Hanoi, Vietnam, early tomorrow for a Summit with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, where we both expect a continuation of the progress made at first Summit in Singapore. Denuclearization?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 24, 2019
Lighthizer finally broke, despite his frustration. Although the document would remain the same exact document it was before, he agreed to change the terminology he used about it.
‘From now on we’re not using the word memorandum of understanding anymore. We’re going to use the term trade agreement. We’ll have the same document. It’s going to be called a trade agreement.’
Do not do with Huawei what you did with ZTE and give in to China.
Do not betray your instinct to be tough on China just to secure a ‘deal’ that doesn’t bring long term benefit to American workers. https://t.co/uGsTx0Cery
— Chuck Schumer (@SenSchumer) February 23, 2019
Featured image screenshot via Twitter video