Superpower leaders President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping brokered a temporary deal to protect the world’s largest trading relationship during a dinner meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina Saturday.
For a start, the two presidents agreed to halt any new tariffs for 90 days as they continue talks. They also agreed to open up more markets to each other and move towards reducing and eliminating tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods.
Afterwards, Trump declared victory on a number of fronts including stating that China has agreed to drop 40 percent tariffs on the auto industry. China has not confirmed that.
“If it happens, it goes down as one of the largest deals ever made,” Trump told reporters afterward. “It will have an incredibly positive impact on farming, meaning agriculture, industrial products, computers, every type of product.”
Whether this will result in more concessions or another standoff is unclear, trade experts said.
Trade is not the only issue of contention. Trump wants concessions on a flurry of complex issues – all within 90 days – including forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture, according to White House statements.
“Going from where we are over the next days to actually dealing in an enduring way with the differences of the trade front and the economic front between the U.S. and China will be extraordinarily difficult because so many of the issues on the agenda don’t lend themselves to an easy bilateral negotiation,” foreign relations expert Richard Haass told national reporters after the historic dinner meeting.
Meanwhile, tariffs imposed by both countries on more than $300 billion in goods remain in effect. If negotiations fail after 90 days, Trump will increase current tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent on $200 billion in Chinese goods. He also could slap tariffs on an additional $267 billion in goods.
Trade wars with China are hurting business sectors across Arizona and the nation. In Arizona, current retaliatory tariffs affect approximately $808 million in exports, according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Almost 773,000 Arizona jobs are supported by global trade.
“My hope is cooler heads will prevail,” Arizona Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Glenn Hamer said. “Tariffs are taxes on hardworking American families – they just make life more expensive. I’m glad both countries have agreed to press the pause button on any new tariffs, and our hope is that both countries will begin the process of removing the tariffs already in place and that China will address the serious and legitimate issues raised by the administration on its trading practices, a view shared by many of the world’s countries.”