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World The photo that reveals who got the better of the US-China trade truce

04:55  14 october  2019
04:55  14 october  2019 Source:   theage.com.au

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Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade rep Robert Lighthizer with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and the Chinese delegation at a working dinner during the 13th round of trade negotiations. That time the truce lasted a month, at best . This time it might be different because of the US political context.

Chinese officials are trumpeting the truce while denouncing Mr. Pompeo, Peter Navarro, a hawkish trade adviser, and other American officials who have continued to criticize China this week, even if their barbs have been more muted. Representatives of the Chinese Foreign Ministry this week have

a group of people sitting at a table: Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade rep Robert Lighthizer with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and the Chinese delegation at a working dinner during the 13th round of trade negotiations.© Official White House photo by Keegan Barber Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade rep Robert Lighthizer with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and the Chinese delegation at a working dinner during the 13th round of trade negotiations. The US Treasury Department tweeted a revealing picture from a dinner between the US and Chinese trade delegations on Friday. The Chinese are beaming; the Americans look glum.

That picture, perhaps conveys a better sense of the outcome of the negotiations than US President Donald Trump’s tweet that ‘’the deal I just made with China is, by far, the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our country.’’

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Trade negotiators on both sides of the Pacific have been working on an agreement under which On Tuesday, President Trump said the United States and China were having “very productive While American intelligence agencies have not reached a final assessment of who performed the hacking, a

The US wants China to address the huge subsidies it gives to industries including steel and solar panels that have allowed Chinese companies to Mary Lovely, professor of economics at Syracuse University, described the deal as a “ trade truce with large state -directed purchases attached”.

Actually, he’s probably not wrong there. China’s agreement to, over the next two years, scale up to purchases of $US40 billion to $US50 billion ($A60 billion to $A74 billion) a year of agricultural products – about twice their historical level – is a very big deal if it eventuates.

It is however, not the first time similar deals have been announced and proclaimed as ''the biggest ever'' by Trump.

China needs to buy soy beans and protein from somewhere, particularly as it has a pork crisis after a deadly swine flu epidemic. Not only has the deal been on the table since the trade conflict began to develop – but it is doubtful, and even Trump expressed the doubt, that the US could actually produce that amount of product.

a man sitting on a bed: China has agreed to buy $US40 billion to $US50 billion a year of soy beans from the US.© AP China has agreed to buy $US40 billion to $US50 billion a year of soy beans from the US.

The commitment to agricultural purchases by China, and a US agreement not to proceed with a planned increase in the tariffs on $US250 billion ($A370 billion) of China’s exports that had been scheduled for this week, are the only concrete outcomes from last week’s trade talks.

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A cease fire is better than a trade war, and stocks and oil jumped higher after the United States and China " The good news is that this truce should be seen as Washington recognizing the potential damage on " We anticipate that things are still likely to get worse before they get better ," Craig said

And even they are subject to a final deal being agreed next month, probably at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation forum in Chile next month.

China also made some vague promises to be more transparent about its interventions in currency markets and opening up access to its financial services sector (which it has already been doing) but the difficult and substantive issues, most notably China’s subsidies to state-owned enterprises, weren’t addressed.

The US thought it could coerce China into an agreement by ravaging its economy with the tariffs.

There are tariffs on about $US360 billion ($A530 billion) of China’s exports to the US, with tariffs on another $US160 billion ($A235 billion) announced but yet to be implemented. The fate of that final tranche, which was deferred until December 15 to avoid impacting US consumers in the lead-up to Christmas, appears to remain open.

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The US - China truce merely buys both sides more time to negotiate. The White House says there will also be immediate discussions on issues such as The Chinese economy is cooling and the Shanghai stock market has fallen almost 30% since the start of the year. A survey showed on Monday that new

Please help us continue to provide you with free, quality journalism by turning off your ad blocker on our site. The trade deficit with China widened again last year. Rumor had it that some people involved in the Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council: Well , the vibe was good , at least.

China has been hurt by the trade war. Its economic growth has slowed significantly, with some analysts even tipping that it will slide below 6 per cent when its September GDP numbers are released on Friday.

The US has, however, also suffered (self-inflicted) harm.

Its farm sector is in recession despite $US28 billion ($A41 billion) of state-provided aid and its manufacturing sector in shrinking. Business investment has dried up and employment growth has slowed, as has the wider economy despite Federal Reserve rate cuts and a blow-out in the US federal budget deficit to almost $US1 trillion ($A1.5 trillion).

With Trump battling the impeachment investigation and next year’s presidential election now very visible on the horizon, the trade war and its impact on a slowing US economy have become part of the political calculus. It is damaging Trump in his political heartlands and undermining any credibility his administration’s economic policies might have.

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The news comes days before the first part of the US - China trade agreement is due to be signed. Meanwhile, some analysts believe the decision could still affect the shaky trade truce , as China’s quota system has been a bone of contention both in the trade talks between the world’s two biggest

the United States and China just days after they agreed a 90-day trade war truce in Argentina on Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a daily briefing on Thursday that China had FILE PHOTO : Meng Wanzhou, Executive Board Director of the Chinese technology giant Huawei

As the existing tariffs remain in place, with the possibility that more goods might be covered by tariffs in mid-December, the trade war will continue to damage the US and Chinese economies and undermine global growth.

Last week’s talks have therefore at least temporarily deferred an escalation of the conflict but not resolved it.

It is worth noting that the US and China have agreed deals in the past. Trump and Xi Jinping agreed a deal over dinner in Buenos Aires last December. Trump described the deal, which also involved huge purchases of US agricultural products, as ‘’incredible.’’ By May it had been forgotten and hostilities were resumed.

In June, in Osaka in Japan (this time after a lunch) Trump announced that China would buy ‘’a tremendous amount’’ of food and agricultural products from the US as part of a truce he had agreed with Xi Jinping. That time the truce lasted a month, at best.

This time it might be different because of the US political context.

The administration would presumably not want to take any further action to undermine US growth heading into an election campaign.  By now it must have realised China isn’t going to suddenly accede to the core US demands and demolish the structure of its centrally-planned economy and relinquish its economic ambitions.

The Chinese delegates at Friday’s dinner were smiling, probably because they gave up nothing that they haven’t always been prepared to concede and nothing that inhibits China’s ability to pursue its economic and geopolitical aspirations.

The US representative were sombre, perhaps because they finally realised they had consistently under-estimated China’s resolve and the efficacy of the trade war. For this political cycle, at least, time has just about run out on their attempt to stymie the growth of a serious challenger to US economic and geopolitical dominance.

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