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Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images

China has agreed to "substantially reduce" its trade imbalance with the United States after trade deliberations this week in Washington led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, according to a joint statement from the two countries.

What's missing: The statement didn't include many details on how exactly both sides to achieve that goal — just that China simply plans to "significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services." The statement also didn't include any mention of Chinese phonemaker ZTE, which has become a flash point in China-U.S. trade relations over the past week.

Flashback: Earlier this month, an envoy led by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin was in Beijing to negotiate terms of a trade deal, in hope to avoid an all-out trade war. The primary requirement was to decrease the trade deficit with China by $200 billion by 2020.

What's next: "Both sides agreed to continue to engage at high levels on these issues and to seek to resolve their economic and trade concerns in a proactive manner."

Go deeper

Mike Allen, author of AM
15 mins ago - Economy & Business

First look: Business puts muscle behind Biden

Photo: Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images

Business Roundtable, the voice of America's top CEOs, today launched "Move the Needle," a campaign to support President Biden in rolling out COVID vaccines, increasing vaccine uptake and encouraging masks.

What they're saying: "Masks and vaccines are working. Now is the time to keep at it, overcome pandemic fatigue, and double down on the measures that will end this public health and economic crisis, said Business Roundtable president and CEO Josh Bolten.

28 mins ago - World

U.S. notified Israel in advance about Syria strike

Photo: Abir Sultan/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration notified Israel in advance about the airstrike against an Iranian-backed Shiite militia base on the Syrian-Iraqi border Thursday evening, Israeli officials told me.

Why it matters: The airstrike was the first overt military action by the U.S. in the Middle East since Biden assumed office, and one that Israeli officials see as a positive signal about the new administration's posture toward Iran.

The sovereign state of Facebook vs. the world

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Facebook's 3 billion monthly active users, its mountain of money and its control over the flow of information all put the company on an equal footing with governments around the world — and, increasingly, it's getting into fights with them.

Why it matters: Facebook's power alarms governments fearful that the tech giant could tilt the political scales inside their borders, and regulators around the world are seeking ways to rein the company in.