Apparently someone finally got around to telling Donald Trump that $1 billion is chump change compared to the size of our trade deficit with China:

The Trump administration is asking Beijing for a plan to cut the annual U.S. trade deficit with China by $100 billion, according to people familiar with the matter….According to the people, Trump administration officials made the request to Liu He, the main architect of China’s economic policy, last week when he was in Washington.

I dunno. Maybe Trump can talk China into buying a billion tons of American coal each year. Alternatively, he could talk to an economist, who would tell him that the most effective answer is to weaken the dollar. That’s easier said than done, though, and doesn’t have the same appeal as being able to crow about beating China at its own game. In the end, I assume this whole affair will amount to nothing, although Trump might be able to persuade China to make a few face-saving concessions in return for real-life concessions from the US. That’s how Trump’s dealmaking usually seems to go.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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