Fox Business Host Says Trump 'Overselling' Trade Deal With China: 'The Chinese Got What They Want'

Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo criticized President Donald Trump's administration for "overselling" a new trade agreement with China, arguing that "the Chinese got what they want" while the U.S. got very little in return.

"Let's not forget, the Treasury [Department] has been overselling details of this deal now for years," Bartiromo pointed out Monday during Mornings With Maria. She pointed out that Trump's treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, "came out a year ago and said, 'Oh we're 90 percent there, we're 90 percent there,' only to find out that they were not close at all."

After negotiations last week with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, Trump told reporters that Beijing and Washington had reached a "very substantial phase one deal" to resolve the ongoing trade war. "Phase two will start almost immediately" following the signing of the first phase, the president asserted.

Classifying the deal as "tremendous" for farmers, Trump said the agreement would address intellectual property and financial services concerns, while China would also purchase some $40 billion to $50 billion worth of agricultural products from the U.S. In return, the Trump administration agreed to hold off on a new round of hefty tariffs targeting Chinese imports, which had been set to go into effect on Tuesday.

 Liu He and Donald Trump
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on October 11 after announcing a "phase one" trade agreement with China. Win McNamee/Getty

While the Trump administration has touted the deal as a win for the U.S., Bartiromo and other analysts are skeptical. Meanwhile, China has reportedly called for a new round of trade talks before it signs any agreement, according to CNBC, which suggest that the deal is not as solid as the White House has claimed.

"Most of the big issues have not been resolved by this. We still have the open question of whether or not the Chinese are going to steal intellectual property. The forced transfer of technology is nowhere. Basically, to me it looks like the Chinese got what they want," said Bartiromo, who often defends Trump and his administration, on her Monday show.

She later asserted that she wasn't "buying" the idea that the deal was a win for the U.S. "I think they continue to want to see markets rally and stay calm, so they tell us we're close, we're close, we're close," she argued. "But the president has gotten nothing in terms of the big-ticket items."

Investors have already signaled they are less than impressed with the so-called phase one" agreement.

"There is not yet a viable path to existing tariffs declining, and tariff escalation remains a meaningful risk," Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note to clients, Axios reported. "Thus, we do not yet expect a meaningful rebound in corporate behavior that would drive global growth expectations higher."

JPMorgan Chase equity analysts had a similarly negative perspective, according to Axios. "Investors had high hopes for some form of mini-deal in the weeks before the meeting, and Friday's announcement has at least been partially, if not fully, priced in," they said. The agreement will not likely have a significant positive impact on the slowing U.S. service and manufacturing sectors, the analysts asserted.

Chinese state media also voiced caution, saying both sides shouldn't start celebrating yet.

"While the negotiations do appear to have produced a fundamental understanding on the key issues and the broader benefits of friendly relations, the Champagne should probably be kept on ice, at least until the two presidents put pen to paper," China Daily wrote in a Sunday editorial.

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping
President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping attend a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Japan on June 29 BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty

Trump launched the trade war with China last year, adding new tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese imports. China responded in kind, and both sides have steadily taken additional measures to increase tariffs and retaliate against each other economically. Although talks have made progress at times, they have regularly stalled after Trump and his administration have suggested the issues were close to being resolved.

Meanwhile, the trade dispute between the world's two largest economies has had ripple effects across the world. Domestically, the Trump administration has spent nearly $30 billion in an effort to bail out farmers, who have been among the hardest hit by the dispute. Significant amounts of U.S. agricultural products had previously been purchased by China, but with the addition of tariffs, Chinese buyers have sought out new markets.

In terms of the global impact, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva warned last week that the dispute "could mean a loss of around $700 billion by 2020." She also pointed to the tensions between China and the U.S. as a key factor behind "slower [economic] growth in nearly 90 percent of the world" this year.