Temporary trade truce with China could last for years


Pete Marovich - New York Times

President Donald Trump, right, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He sign an initial trade agreement in the White House in Washington, Jan. 15, 2020. Last year's U.S.-China trade deal could set the rules for global commerce for years to come, leaving the door open to lavish Chinese subsidies and unilateral American tariffs.

SHANGHAI – Just days before the coronavirus shut down the Chinese city of Wuhan and changed the world, the Trump administration and China signed what both sides said would be only a temporary truce in their 18-month trade war.

Since then, the pandemic has scrambled global priorities, international commerce has stalled and surged again, and President Joe Biden has taken office. But the truce endures - and now appears to be setting new, lasting ground rules for global trade.

The agreement did not stop many of the same practices that sparked the trade war, the biggest in history. It does nothing to prevent China from throwing huge subsidies at a range of industries - from electric cars to jetliners to computer chips - that could shape the future but for which the country often relies heavily on U.S. technology.



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