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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

Setting the Biden-era cybersecurity agenda

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The Biden administration will face a wide array of cybersecurity challenges but can take meaningful action in at least five key areas, concludes a new report by the Aspen Cybersecurity Group.

Why it matters: Cybersecurity policy is a rare refuge from Washington's hyperpartisan dysfunction, as shown by the recent work of the bipartisan Cyberspace Solarium Commission. President-elect Joe Biden should have a real opportunity to make progress on shoring up the nation's cybersecurity and cyber capabilities without bumping up against a likely Republican-controlled Senate.

Ina Fried, author of Login
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

Making sense of the $28 billion Salesforce-Slack deal

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As with most big deals in tech, the key question to ask about Salesforce's $28 billion purchase of Slack isn't whether the price is too high or low, but whether the combination makes sense.

Between the lines: Big Tech companies have plenty of their own cash and can easily borrow more, but only a finite amount of time to innovate before rivals capture their turf.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Energy & Environment

The chasm between CO2 goals and energy production

Reproduced from The Production Gap Report: 2020 Special Report; Chart: Axios Visuals

Projected and planned levels of global oil, natural gas and coal production are way out of step with the kind of emissions cuts needed to hold global warming significantly in check, a new analysis shows.

Why it matters: The "production gap" report from the UN's environment agency and other researchers provides another lens onto how the world is nowhere near on track to meet the Paris climate deal's goals.