President Donald Trump needs two big achievements to keep markets and the economy as glittering assets in his challenging 2020 reelection bid: passage of a new NAFTA and a trade deal with China.
But Democrats are stringing him along on the first — the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — and he’s engaged in a seemingly endless rope-a-dope with China on the second with no guarantee of success. That’s left the economy as a major wild card for next year.
Businesses are sitting on cash instead of making investments. Growth is stalled at around 2 percent and expected to slow. Jobs numbers are decent but far from “yuge.” And big campaign promises remain unfulfilled. Even Trump’s most ardent supporters acknowledge the president’s reelection bid would face enormous risks if the economy turns down next year.