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By Jonathan Allen
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina ̵
1; President Donald Trump agreed to temporarily hold his next fire in the US trade war with China to give Washington and Beijing more time to talk, White House announced Saturday.
The word of the agreement, which basically sets a process for more negotiation, arrived hours after Trump met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the side of the G20 summit here and after the air force one had resigned to Washington.
“This was a fantastic and productive meeting with unlimited opportunities for both the US and China,” said Trump in a statement from the White House. “It is my great honor to work with President Xi.”
Under the agreement, Trump will stick to its promise to increase US $ 200 billion to Chinese goods from 10 percent to 25 percent on January 1. But if negotiators can not reach a broader agreement at the end of the time, the rates will rise, said White House’s press secretary Sarah Sanders in the statement.
In exchange for Trump to cancel the planned increase, China agreed to buy a “unafforded but very significant amount” of US goods from the agricultural, energy and industry sectors, according to Sander’s statement. China will also make fentanyl, a fatal synthetic opioid, a controlled substance, said the White House.
At the political level, the Trump agreement gives some breathing space when his election campaign grows. Some critics of his policy have said that raising tariffs on Chinese goods is likely to increase prices for voters.
Aaron Friedberg, Professor of Politics and International Affairs at Princeton University, told NBC News before the G20 Summit that such a temporary ceasefire – setting up a structure for further negotiations – was the likely outcome of the Trump-Xi call.
“It’s the way to hit the can,” he said. But he noted: “The differences are deep.”
In addition to the trade deficit that occupies much of Trump’s attention, the United States has a long list of bases it wants to address Beijing in some upcoming negotiations. They included forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection and cybercrime, according to the White Paper’s statement.
On another trade front, Trump said on Saturday night that he would soon terminate North America’s free trade agreement so that there is no return pact if Congress does not approve of its new USMCA agreement with Mexico and Canada.
“Congress will choose between USMCA or pre-NAFTA,” said Trump aboard the Air Force One.
The rapporteurs of the three national treaties have hoped that legislators could act on it before democracies take control of the United States, the House of Representatives in January. But with technical and practical obstacles in the way it’s a long order.