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President Donald Trump listens as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He speaks during a press conference President Donald Trump listens as Chinese Vice Premier Liu He speaks during a press conference at the White House, in Washington, Jan. 15, 2020 (SIPA photo by Oliver Contreras via AP Images).

The Incredible Shrinking U.S.-China Trade Deal

Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020

Two weeks after it was signed, President Donald Trump’s phase-one trade deal with China, which the White House typically hyped as a “landmark” and “historic agreement,” is looking more suspect. There were always questions about what was left out of the deal—especially industrial subsidies in China and continued tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in imports from China. But now there is growing skepticism about the value of what is actually in the deal.

What happened to the $40 billion to $50 billion in additional sales that Trump promised American farmers? Can Beijing really deliver on its commitment to increase imports of goods and services from the United States by $200 billion over the next two years? And can it do so without antagonizing other trade partners and running afoul of international rules barring China from favoring U.S. exports at the expense of other countries? ...

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