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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The resumption of U.S.-China trade negotiations in October, after an acrimonious summer, is likely to offer the last chance for a breakthrough before both sides flip to a more hardline nationalist Plan B in 2020.

The big picture: The protracted dispute is impacting growth, business confidence and economic uncertainty in both countries. A 2019 deal remains probable and in each leader’s best interests, as President Trump looks to his 2020 campaign amid a softening economy and Chinese President Xi Jinping faces political liabilities from slowing growth.

Where it stands: Bad blood has accumulated on both sides. While some parts of the agreement — such as provisions on intellectual property protection and prohibitions on forced technology transfer — can be preserved from the previous draft, new areas of flexibility are needed to get a deal across the line.

  • The U.S. could yield to Chinese redlines that object to America retaining tariffs post-agreement and remove clauses that enable the U.S. to reimpose punitive tariffs unilaterally if it judges China out of compliance. Under those circumstances, the U.S. would take action regardless.
  • China could improve its offer of a $200 billion reduction in the bilateral trade deficit — a personal and political priority for Trump.
  • State industrial subsidies remain a problem, but could be dealt with in an accompanying communiqué including a Chinese policy declaration that limits subsidies through enforcement of domestic competition laws and relevant World Trade Organization rules.

What's needed: Both sides recognize the need for a more positive political atmosphere before the negotiators meet.

  • China could place large orders for American soybeans and corn, while the U.S. could defer the additional 5% tariff poisonously timed for Oct. 1, the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
  • The Trump administration could also issue permits for some U.S. firms to sell nonsensitive applications to Huawei — permitted under the company's current status as a listed entity.

What's next: The 2 months ahead are critical. The Nov. 16 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit is the last chance to sign an agreement before the window closes.

Kevin Rudd is a former prime minister of Australia and the current president of the Asia Society Policy Institute.

Go deeper: Read Rudd’s recent address on the negotiations.

Go deeper

Biden pledges to cut greenhouse gas emissions by up to 52% by 2030

U.S. President Joe Biden seen in the Oval Office on April 15. (Photo by Doug Mills-Pool/Getty Images)

The Biden administration is moving to address global warming by setting a new, economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions reduction target of 50% to 52% below 2005 levels by 2030.

Why it matters: The new, non-binding target, is about twice as ambitious as the previous U.S. target of a 26 to 28% cut by 2025, which was set during the Obama administration. White House officials described the goal as ambitious but achievable during a call with reporters Tuesday night.

Exclusive: Chauvin trial prosecution worked with strategic communications firm

People gather at the intersection of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue to celebrate the guilty verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial on April 20, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

For most of the past year, a strategic communications firm with deep Washington ties has played an integral role for the prosecution in the State of Minnesota v. Derek Chauvin — operating without pay and so under-the-radar that most of its own staff had no idea.

The big picture: Finsbury Glover Hering — formerly known as the Glover Park Group — has been conducting media monitoring and analysis as part of legal team special prosecutor Neal Katyal's vision for a three-pronged "modern appeal/trial strategy."

World leaders brace for historic Trump Facebook ban decision

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The upcoming decision from Facebook’s independent Oversight Board on whether to uphold or reverse Facebook’s indefinite suspension of former President Trump’s profiles has policymakers on edge.

Why it matters: The decision will set a historic precedent for how the tech giant treats accounts of world leaders, and could be a litmus test for the board’s power.