By the time he welcomes Chinese President Xi Jinping to Mar-a-Lago this week, President Trump will have a briefcase full of notes about what topics he should raise. Many take just two words: North Korea, fair trade, currency manipulation, patent theft, cyber assault. Two words he should utter, but probably won’t: rare earths.
That’s because Trump, businessman par excellence, knows he has a weak hand.
Trump has already signaled via Twitter that he expects his meeting with Xi to be difficult. That is like telling an employee “You are underperforming,” instead of “You’re fired.”
The U.S. has little leverage over China’s economic support of North Korea, whose madman leader Kim Jong Un could test a nuclear device to mar the Sino-U.S. summit.