- Donald Trump took a victory lap as he signed a trade deal with China at the White House – as his impeachment sped ahead at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue
- He touted his economy and launched attack after attack on his enemies at packed East Room ceremony, railing against the ‘impeachment hoax’
- Trump has vowed that he would ink a trade deal with China for more than two years and imposed steep tariffs to bring Beijing to the table
- Signing is for ‘phase one’ and the White House promises more segments in the future
- Xi Jinping didn’t come for the signing but sent a lower-level official, vice-premier Liu He and Trump said he will go back to China soon to ‘reciprocate’
- It’s unclear what he’s reciprocating for, since Xi didn’t come
- East Room press credentials didn’t have a date printed on them, suggesting the White House wasn’t confident the event would happen on schedule
- President urged House members in the audience to leave early if they needed to cast a vote on sending impeachment articles to the Senate
Donald Trump took a victory lap on Wednesday as he signed a trade deal with China at the White House as his impeachment sped towards the Senate on Capitol Hill.
He boasted to an audience of dignitaries that a new trade deal with China will bring ‘a future of fair and reciprocal trade,’ then complained about the ‘impeachment hoax,’ and praised a string of Republican senators who he needs to vote for his acquittal.
The president has long complained about a massive trade deficit between Washington and Beijing. He pledged during the 2016 campaign to come down hard on China.
‘We are righting the wrongs of the past,’ he said Wednesday, observing that ‘our negotiations were tough, honest, open and respectful.’
‘This is the biggest deal anyone’s ever seen,’ he said, because ‘China has 1.5 billion people.’
The president spent nearly a half-hour acknowledging business leaders and lawmakers who crowded into the East Room to watch. And he noted that some House members might have to leave early in order to vote on a motion to send articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate.
Some of the congressmen may have a vote—it’s on the impeachment hoax—so if you want, you go out and vote. … It’s not going to matter becausae it’s gone very well. But I’d rather have you voting than sitting here listening to me introduce you, okay?’ he said with a grin.
‘They have a hoax going on over there. Let’s take care of it.’
Trump was not accompanied by Chinese President Xi Jinping, who sent Vice Premier Liu He in his place. Xi’s absence left some with the impression that Washington wants the deal more than Beijing does.