Trump 1st president to confront authoritarian Beijing: Varney

There is one big Trump success that goes unnoticed: China! This president has won a degree of bipartisan support for the confrontation. And I use that word deliberately. For the first time an American president has forcefully confronted the authoritarian government in Beijing.

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When the confrontation began, there were many Democrats and Republicans who urged caution. Don't get into a fight; it might turn out badly. Don't impose tariffs. We'll get hurt.

But China had been stealing our technology, blatantly. China had been forcing our companies to hand over our technology, and China had racked up a gigantic trade surplus. As the story unfolded, the president brought many of his opponents around with a policy of firm negotiation.

I don't hear many Democrats demanding Trump ease up. I don't hear many Republicans demanding an immediate end to the tariffs.

Fast forward to the present, with three weeks to the deadline for a deal. Our top guys will be in China this weekend, Trade Chief Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The Chinese have just agreed to expand the talks to include cyberattacks! And Lighthizer just said a new agreement would be the model for all future agreements. There's a lot of speculation about a Trump-Xi summit to finalize a deal. A lot of positive developments.

So here's my point: A deal is by no means certain, despite the positive signals.

But to bring much of the country together behind confrontation and tough negotiation with our principal rival, is a significant Trump success. It’s time it was acknowledged.