Dec 2, 2019

A 2019 U.S.-China trade war deal is looking unlikely

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

The financially focused arm of China's Global Times newspaper this weekend posted a number of new details on Twitter about how Chinese negotiators are positioned in trade discussions.

What they're saying, per The Business Source's Twitter feed: A former Chinese vice minister of commerce says he expects the "phase one" trade deal will be signed before Chinese New Year, which begins Jan. 25, but that "[r]olling back tariffs levied by the U.S. is a must."

  • 22 of 25 "experts" surveyed say the possibility of reaching a trade deal is "greater than 50 percent." However, just "nine out of 25 experts surveyed said that a deal could be reached before the New Year, while seven think the deal will come after the New Year."
  • Tweets also quoted "experts" who said the "longer the #tradetalks drag on, the more difficult it gets to reach a phase one deal given the increasingly out-of-control anti-China movement in Washington."

Why it matters: Global Times is affiliated with the Chinese Communist Party and is therefore considered to have a direct line to top policymakers and reflect the party's thinking.

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U.S. and China reach "phase one" trade deal to avert December tariffs

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The U.S. and China agreed to a "phase one" trade deal on Friday, which President Trump touted in a series of tweets.

The state of play: The deal averts a new round of tariffs scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 15, and a Chinese official said that the U.S. would reduce its tariffs on Chinese goods in stages, per Bloomberg. The deal includes an agreement from China to increase imports from the U.S. and purchase agricultural goods.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Dec 13, 2019