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President Donald Trump meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office. President Donald Trump meets with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office of the White House, in Washington, Oct. 11, 2019 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

How Chile’s Political Unrest Complicated the ‘Phase One’ U.S.-China Trade Deal

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2019

If all had gone as planned this past weekend, President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping might have signed the “phase one” trade agreement that Trump billed as “the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our Country.” The two leaders had been scheduled to meet and discuss the deal in Santiago, Chile, during the annual Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. But with street protests over economic policy and inequality rocking Chile, President Sebastian Pinera canceled the summit late last month, citing the “difficult circumstances” in the country and the priority of “fully restoring public order, security and social peace.”

While the venue for finalizing and signing the so-called phase one agreement is now up in the air, it is increasingly clear that the deal itself is too. Trump was way ahead of his negotiators when he played up the agreement with typically inflated rhetoric and announced it could be ready so soon. There are still several roadblocks. ...

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