Trump Still Smouldering Over Trade, While Flying Over To Singapore For Summit With Kim Jong-un
During the flight, Trump Tweeted 220+ angry words about trade mostly about Canada, and just 9 words about his historic upcoming summit with Kim Jong-un. Including such incisive aphorisms as “Fair Trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal”.
Trump’s trade Tweets also continue to mislead. First of all, the U.S. has a trade surplus with Canada, not a deficit. It’s right here in black and white: not from some Liberal think-tank; these numbers come directly from the White House itself! So where is Trump getting his info? Some of it (as usual) he seems to be making up, some because he doesn’t like to include goods and services in his trade figures, he likes to look at manufactured goods alone.
We’ll have plenty of time to talk about why that’s ridiculous, and trade in general, in the coming days and weeks. If you want more right now, here’s some worthwhile reading from the New York Times.
For now, the summit: coming up Tuesday in Singapore, which is actually later today in the U.S., since Singapore’s on the other side of the international date line, so it’s a day ahead. Here’s a good summit kickoff piece from Reuters.
Both Trump and Kim are already there. It’s Trump’s birthday Thursday; at a welcoming luncheon with Singapore’s leadership, he got a cake.
Kim’s security detail dashing alongside what is presumed to be his limo once again became the subject of great public focus.
Just a quick recap of what we expect from Trump and Kim at the summit:
- Some kind of declaration in which North Korea will voice an intent to denuclearize. (Which as we said last week, would pave the way for an agreement–if there eventually is an agreement–that could end up looking very much like the Iran nuclear deal that Trump hated so much and recently killed because it was so “rotten”.)
- Also probably some language to seek a formal end to the Korean War. There was a cease fire, but never a treaty.
- No mention of human rights, or North Korea’s alleged support of Syrian President Assad’s chemcial weapons program, etc.
- Finally, we think there’s an excellent chance Trump will invite Kim to visit him at the White House.
Trump says he didn’t need to prepare much for the summit; he’ll know right away whether to take Kim seriously or not: “I think within the first minute I’ll know. Just my touch, my feel.” However, we think there’s virtually zero chance of Trump getting up and storming out. Exactly the opposite of what we were warning you about last week when he seemed very irritated that he had to appear at the G-7 meeting of world economic leaders.
Meanwhile, North Korea, through its official news agency, issued some also pretty amorphous goals for the summit. They are:
“Wide-ranging and profound views on the issue of establishing new DPRK-U.S. relations, the issue of building a permanent and durable peace-keeping mechanism on the Korean Peninsula, the issue of realizing the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and other issues of mutual concern, as required by the changed era.”