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Trump, the deal maker, blinks before China

25 0 0
17.01.2020

Opinion |

The signing ceremony of the China-US phase-one economic and trade agreement at the East Room of the White House in Washington on Jan. 15, 2020 turned out to be a unique event. Historically, the East Room witnessed many important signing ceremonies. Notably, the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty was in the East Room on December 8, 1987, by US President Ronald Reagan and the Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev; the East Room was also the venue when President George H. W. Bush and Gorbachev signed five treaties on June 2, 1990, including the 1990 Chemical Weapons Accord.

This must be the first time that the East Room witnessed an agreement being signed by the US President and foreign dignitary who is way down in the protocol. Last December, United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had said that “representatives from both countries” would sign the Phase 1 trade deal agreement in the first week of January. But, evidently, President Trump insisted on signing the agreement himself, although Chinese President Xi Jinping stayed back in Beijing, preparing for a historic visit to Myanmar to “write a new chapter” in the two countries’ “millennia-old pauk-phaw friendship”.

The new deal envisages that China will boost purchases in manufacturing, services, agriculture and energy from 2017 levels by $200bn over two years

The new deal envisages that China will boost purchases in manufacturing, services, agriculture and energy from 2017 levels by $200bn over two years

Wednesday’s photo-op in the East Room tells a story by itself. It underscores how terribly important this trade deal has become politically for Trump, as he makes his bid for a second term in the November election.

However, the main assumption behind launching the trade war on June 15, 2018, turns out to........

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