A week ago it didn’t seem like it was going to happen, but nonetheless it is. Trump plans to move ahead with imposing $50 bn worth of tariffs on China starting as soon as tomorrow. The move is expected to bring heavy retaliation from Beijing. Several days ago, China made a conciliatory offer to boost purchases of US goods by tens of billions of Dollars.

FINSUM: We think the US’ approach to link the trade situation to working with China on North Korea is not a very smart angle, as nuclear security and agricultural goods don’t sit comfortably.


President Trump seems to have emerged from the summit with North Korea with a very high degree of confidence that the situation there has been handled. Trump put in writing yesterday that “there is no longer a nuclear threat of North Korea”. Interestingly, North Korean state media also reported the meeting as a major success, but did not mention denuclearization at all. Trump did backtrack a bit, saying “I may be wrong. I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say ‘Hey, I was wrong’. I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse”.

FINSUM: We think this summit was a success and that Kim has played the whole situation very sharply. Our only concern is the lack of detail about how North Korea will actually go about denuclearizing.


The long-awaited, and hotly contested US-North Korea summit between President Trump and North Korea leader Kim went very well yesterday. The summit lasted for hours and resulted in a commitment from North Korea to denuclearize in exchange for the US pledging security guarantees for the country. Trump said the two signed a “very important” document. Trump reported that “My meeting with Chairman Kim was honest, direct and productive … We are prepared to start a new history ... and write a new chapter between our nations”.

FINSUM: For the first time we got the feeling that North Korea has played this whole situation very slyly. They built up nuclear capabilities (probably) simply to have a better bargaining position, and it appears to be working.

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