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Trump-Xi consensus reached on trade but statements differ — Global Geopolitical Series

Trump-Xi consensus reached on trade but statements differ — Global Geopolitical Series

The Trump-Xi meeting was the marquee event of Trump's whirlwind two-day trip to Argentina for the G-20 summit after the president canceled a sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin over mounting tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

The truce, agreed on Friday (30 November) by United States president Donald Trump and China's president Xi Jinping, has been welcomed by USA associations representing apparel and footwear brands and retailers. In July, Trump said he was willing to slap tariffs on every single Chinese import if China did not agree to an acceptable trade deal.

USA companies and consumers are bearing part of the cost of the United States tariffs on China by paying higher prices for goods, and many companies have hiked prices on imported goods.

This face-to-face meeting has been the first between the two leaders since the trade war erupted earlier this year after Trump complained that China wasn't doing anything to cut its large surplus.

Beijing, too, will hold off on escalating in the meantime with retaliatory action, working instead to purchase what the White House has said will be a "very substantial" amount of USA goods in the agricultural, energy, and industrial sectors. The tariff is now 40 percent.

America and China have been in economic combat for months. For example, the Chinese statement (and official Chinese media) does not mention the 90-day deadline, only that tariffs will not be raised for the time being and that the two sides will negotiate.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on CNBC the USA and Chinese had "very specific discussions" in Buenos Aires Saturday evening on steps to defuse their conflict, which involves hundreds of billions in bilateral trade and had roiled world markets for months. Despite short-term optimism, however, the China-U.S. trade dispute is very complex and involves issues that are beyond trade, according to investment adviser Peter Creedon.

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"China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries", said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders. "However, I will say this: President Xi has never been this involved".

The truce, although temporary, is a positive step towards a resolution to the US-China trade war.

"Leaders of both nations reached consensus to stop adding new tariffs on each other".

The two sides also agreed to begin discussions on how to resolve issues of concern, including intellectual property protection, non-tariff trade barriers and cyber theft. "I believe Trump wants all this to be settled and avoid any possible impact on his chances in future elections", he said. China also blocked a tie-up between two major semiconductor manufacturers, Qualcomm and NXP, as a response to American trade tariffs.

Bonnie Glaser, director of the CSIS China Power Project in Washington, told CNN the disparity showed there was "a lot of room for misunderstanding" in the deal between Trump and Xi. Now, these tariffs will not be increased for 90 days, that is, until March 1, 2019.

"I believe Trump took advice from his advisers because the Republican Party did not perform very well during the USA midterm elections in the agriculture-dependent states".


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