Trump And China Agree To A Trade Ceasefire

Trump didn’t hold a press conference at the G20 Summit on Saturday out of respect for the passing of George H. W. Bush. But the news that Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping decided to give each other a little trade slack did hit the press on Sunday morning. Mr. Trump said he wouldn’t impose a 25 percent tariff on the remaining $200 billion in Chinese exports that currently have a 10 percent tariff status. And the Chinese president said China would buy more from the United States to reduce the gap in trade.

The trade ceasefire will help shaky financial markets be a little less shaky, according to the New York Times. But even though Trump calls the truce a win, it’s more like a pause in the battle. Trump didn’t hold a press conference at the G20 Summit on Saturday out of respect for the passing of George H. W. Bush. But the news that Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping decided to give each other a little trade slack did hit the press on Sunday morning. Mr. Trump said he wouldn’t impose a 25 percent tariff on the remaining $200 billion in Chinese exports that currently have a 10 percent tariff status. And the Chinese president said China would buy more from the United States to reduce the gap in trade.

Both sides agreed to finalize their differences in 90 days. If China doesn’t give in to Trump’s request to change their trade policy, Trump will change the duty rate on all Chinese good to 25 percent. The Chinese products that already have a 25 percent duty rate are products found in other consumer products so middlemen and wholesalers took the tariff punch for that merchandise. They absorbed the cost of the additional duty. But if Trump doesn’t get his way, the other $200 billion in Chinese merchandise like clothing, toys, and shoes will directly impact American consumers.

Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Trade Minister said China would expand U.S. imports, but only if those imports met the demand of Chinese consumers. In other words, China might import more goods from the United States if Chinese consumers want them.

Some news reports say the trade ceasefire reminds them of the deal Trump has with North Korea. Trump called his meeting with Kim Jon Un, North Korea’s leader, a win for the American people by averting a nuclear showdown with Kim. But North Korea hasn’t stopped working on their nuclear program. The only thing North Korea did was try to mend fences with South Korea. And Trump didn’t play a role in that reunion.

The G20 Summit did help Trump get away from the alligators swimming in the Washington swamp. And it helped the other 19 G20 members do what they had to do to reinforce their commitment to the Paris Climate Accord and other joint projects. Trump wasn’t his normal destructive self at the meeting. He didn’t intentionally try to irritate German Chancellor Angela Merkel. But he did have a short meeting with Russian President Putin. The topic of that meeting is still a mystery.

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