When Do We Get to See the Trade Deal, Mr. President?

It's already 2020 in Shanghai! Are they ahead of us on trade, too?SIPA Asia via ZUMA

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Our mysterious “Phase One” trade deal with China is set to be signed:

President Trump said Tuesday he will sign the first phase of a trade deal with China on Jan. 15, as the two nations move to cement a partial truce to the trade war….But even though the White House said a deal was reached more than two weeks ago, neither side has released the exact wording of their agreement. Still, the announced deal has been enough to lift financial markets because many investors feel encouraged about the direction of the talks.

President Trump keeps boasting about how this trade deal is worth $30 billion to America’s farmers. Or maybe $40 billion. Or $50 billion. It’s the greatest trade deal in history!

And yet, for some reason nobody has seen the actual text of the deal. It’s tied up in “translation.” Or “legal review.” Or something. My own guess is that it’s tied up in “this deal doesn’t really do much of anything at all.” But I’m a cynic.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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