Chief economist update: The art of the deal in action

Are we seeing US President Donald Trump's "The Art of the Deal" in real-time, live and in action?

Ever since Trump declared a trade war with China in late March this year, there have been actual implementations, threats, some concessions and now it's good cop bad cop.

Bad cop Trump told the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) that it's "highly unlikely" he would agree to China's plea for him to refrain from lifting the current 10% tariff imposed on US$200 billion worth of imports from China to 25% at the start of 2019.

But good cop White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow is singing Eva Peron's song, telling CNBC that the upcoming Trump-Xi meeting in Argentina provides a "break-through" on the trade dispute and that there's a "good possibility" a deal could be reached.

The mounting evidence that China's economy is slowing could force China to kowtow to Trump's demands. I don't need to mouth the stats, the pictures tell the story:

But if Trump succeeds in bullying the world's second biggest economy into submission, the rest of us can only ask how high when Trump says jump.

Read more: ChinaDealArgentinaCNBCEva PeronLarry Kudlowlate MarchUS President TrumpWall Street JournalWhite House
Link to something PlZjKSYn