Trump said he made the 'biggest deal ever' with China for farmers, but a written resolution to the trade war is still a long way off

trump china

  • President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that an initial
    trade agreement with China was the “greatest and biggest deal
    ever,” citing wins for US farmers and billions in Boeing plane
    sales.
  • The US and China reached an agreement Friday in which Trump
    suspended a new round of tariffs in exchange for trade
    concessions.
  • The initial deal represents significant progress, but a full
    resolution to the long-running trade dispute between the world’s
    largest superpowers is still a long ways off. 
  • Read more stories
    like this on Business Insider.

President Donald Trump on Saturday took to Twitter to tout
victory in an initial trade agreement the US and China reached the
day before, calling it the “greatest and biggest deal ever made for
our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our Country.”

But both sides acknowledge a full resolution to the long-running
trade dispute between the world’s largest superpowers remains a
long ways off. 

The two countries reached an accord Friday that will nix a new
round of tariffs Trump had planned to unleash on Tuesday in
exchange for trade concessions from China.

Precise details were scant, but the agreement reportedly
included China’s purchase of as much as $50 billion in US
agriculture products — one of the hardest-hit US industries in
the trade-war crossfire. 

Trump sought to pump air into the accomplishment of the
first-phase agreement Saturday, revealing that the deal also
includes billions in Boeing plane sales and saying that farmers
“really hit pay dirt!”

….Other aspects of the deal are also great
– technology, financial services, 16-20 Billion in Boeing Planes
etc., but WOW, the Farmers really hit pay dirt! @ChuckGrassley
@joniernst
@debfisher
@BenSasse
Thank you to all Republicans in Congress for your invaluable
help!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)
October 12, 2019

 

“The deal I just made with China is, by far, the greatest and
biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history
of our Country. In fact, there is a question as to whether or not
this much product can be produced? Our farmers will figure it out.
Thank you China!” Trump wrote. 

The two sides have held on-again, off-again efforts to mitigate
the conflict for months with little to show for it until this point
beyond increasingly escalating tariff threats. 

It’s a significant step, but the deal could still fall through

The agreement reached Friday marks a significant step toward
ending the dispute, though both sides acknowledged a long road
ahead to ending the tariff war that has been roiling global markets
since March of 2018.

A written pact has
yet to be signed and is still weeks away
, and the deal could
still fall through in the meantime. Trump told reporters he didn’t
believe that would happen. 

“There was a lot of friction between the United States and
China, and now it’s a lovefest. That’s a good thing,” Trump
said. 

In the Oval Office, Chinese Vice Premier Liu He gave a positive
yet more measured review of the agreement.

“We have made substantial progress in many fields. We are happy
about it. We’ll continue to make efforts,” Liu said.

The initial “phase-one deal” could be finalized next month,
Trump suggested, when he and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend an
economic summit in Santiago, Chile. 

Still, even as Trump suspended a new round of tariffs planned
for October — an increase to 30% from 25% on $250 billion in
Chinese imports — tariffs on some $360 billion worth of Chinese
goods remain in place. 

Trump’s plans to
hike tariffs in December on clothing and electronics
remain in
place. 

It’s also unclear whether the two countries are substantively
nearer to resolving key points of tension, such as
intellectual-property rights and currency manipulation. 

If the deal comes to fruition, it would provide a much-needed
salve on the wounds of the US agriculture sector, a key Trump
constituency that has suffered as China has thrown counter-punches
to Trump’s tariffs. 

But some experts nonetheless poo-pooed the results of the
negotiations and threw cold water on Trump’s claims of a major
victory for farmers, saying such relief could’ve been obtained long
ago in earlier negotiating rounds. 

“If this turns out to be all there is, we could have achieved
these results a year ago or more,” Derek Scissors, a trade expert
at the American Enterprise Institute who has advised the Trump
administration,
told The Wall Street Journal
.

And despite the progress and Trump’s confidence that a formal
pact will be hammered out in November, the reality of the
countries’ turbulent relationship suggests the progress could still
be scuttled before the next rendezvous in Chile.

“If they couldn’t agree on a text, that must mean they’re not
done. Wishing an agreement does not one make. This isn’t a skinny
deal. It’s an invisible one,” Scott Kennedy, a China trade expert
at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in
Washington,
told Reuters
.


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Trump said he made the 'biggest deal ever' with China for farmers, but a written resolution to the trade war is still a long way off