Yesterday evening Andy appeared on Bulls & Bears to discuss the ongoing trade war with China and the prospects of finally reaching a deal. When asked if the pressure the president has put on China is paying off, Andy points out that for some American companies there has been pain, but ultimately these trade tariffs have had minimal effects on our economy versus China’s economy. “The aggregate effect on our economy has been minimal… We sell them about $130 billion worth of goods a year, that’s about six-tenths of a percent of our total economy…whereas we buy from them about $506 billion in goods which is a significant portion, about 2.4 percent of our economy and an even more significant and greater percentage of their economy,” argued Andy. “There are risks here, but we will get a good deal out of this and we can’t let them continue to steal our intellectual property and then sell it back to us by state-subsidized entities in China– it isn’t fair or right and unfair trade is not free trade.”
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When countered about the forecast of a ‘good deal’ with the Chinese on trade by Fortune reporter Adam Lashinksy, Andy notes, “If there is one president we’ve had in my lifetime who is willing to put himself on the line, willing to take the risk and has the courage to face down someone at the other side of the negotiating table, it’s President Trump…People in the media seem to think that business deals happen overnight– they do not. This is a process of negotiation. He is negotiating with Kim Jong Un, he is negotiating with Xi Jinping– it’s not going to happen overnight, but hopefully, it can happen within four years so the people in this country can see the results before the next election.”
Also discussed was the national security angle to the negotiations like cyber hacking, continued expansion in the China sea and more. “Everything is on the table. The people who are negotiating these deals are very sophisticated,” said Andy. “Whether we’ll get all of them resolved or not…we won’t, you never get that in any negotiation. The best negotiation is when everyone walks away from the table dissatisfied– that probably means it was a fair deal…but the situation can’t stay like it is. It’s grossly unfair, not only to the United States but to countries around the world. China takes advantage of their economic power in ways the United States never has,” said Andy.
In closing, the panel asked about the consumer brands that have been affected by the trade wars and potential trade deal and Andy argues that they must tough it out. “Everybody can end up better off if we give the president time, we allow these negotiations to go forward and there isn’t some politically motivated pressure by the resist press or the resistance generally to try to hurt President Trump when he is trying to help the country.”
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