Some reports said the interim deal includes some promises by Beijing to better secure intellectual property rights. But China has made and broken such promises many times before. Also, administration officials say the tough structural issues, including China’s economic espionage, forced technology transfer and unfair subsidies, would be tackled in a subsequent Phase Two agreement. But few believe that will ever happen.
“There is pretty much consensus there’s not going to be any meaningful ‘Phase Two,’ ” Scissors said.
If Trump substantially reduces tariff pressure on China as part of the Phase One deal, Beijing’s incentive to make future concessions as part of any Phase Two negotiation disappears.
The conventional wisdom is that Trump is prioritizing his reelection prospects and needs a big win to brag about on the campaign trail. That’s why he is lowering his terms for a deal. The Phase One deal was already a huge concession compared with the more comprehensive deal the two sides were closing in on in May.