World Trade Organization (WTO)

Expert Voices

Critical window is about to close for U.S.-China trade deal

Illustration of the hands of a clock getting closer to midnight with a star beneath
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.

Trump admin calls for reform of World Trade Organization

World Trade Organization logo. Photo: THOMAS COEX / Staff/Getty Images

The Trump administration issued a memo Friday directing the U.S. trade representative to seek to change the way the World Trade Organization treats some foreign competitors of the U.S.

What they're saying: The action would target countries including China, Singapore, Korea, Mexico, Qatar and Turkey that self-declare as developing countries in order to claim special and differential treatment in WTO negotiations, a source familiar with the planning said.