Trump Signs China Trade Deal, Putting Economic Conflict on Pause

“Because the United States was willing to compromise with China and not press them on the most difficult issues, they were able to reach positive ground,” she said.

The trade deal contains a variety of victories for American industry, including opening up markets for biotechnology, beef and poultry. Banks, insurers, drug companies and the energy industry are also big beneficiaries.

China has also agreed not to force American companies to hand over their technology as a condition of doing business there, under penalty of further tariffs. And it will refrain from directing its companies to obtain sensitive foreign technology through acquisitions. The agreement also includes a pledge by both countries not to devalue their currencies to gain an advantage in export markets.

The president trumpeted many of China’s concessions during the signing ceremony, singling out audience members who will benefit. He called out a litany of Wall Street executives, many of whom have been pressing for greater access to China’s financial services market, including Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the private equity firm the Blackstone Group, and Kenneth C. Griffin, the billionaire founder of the hedge fund Citadel. He also mentioned the chiefs of Boeing, Citibank, Visa and the American International Group, and the chip makers Micron and Qualcomm.

Referring to the energy purchases in the agreement, Mr. Trump told Senator Joni Ernst, the Iowa Republican, who was in attendance: “You got ethanol, so you can’t be complaining.”

But those victories have come at a heavy price. The uncertainty created by Mr. Trump’s tariff threats and approach to trade has weighed on the economy, raising prices for businesses and consumers, delaying corporate investments and slowing growth around the globe. Businesses with exposure to China, like Deere & Company and Caterpillar, have laid off some workers and lowered revenue expectations, in part citing the trade war.

And other sources of tension remain in the United States-China relationship. The Trump administration has taken a tougher approach to scrutinizing Chinese investments and technology purchases for national security threats, including blacklisting Chinese companies like Huawei, the telecom firm.

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