The trade dispute between the United States and China keeps not only the citizens of these countries on edge, but the entire world. That’s why on Friday, June 28, all eyes were on the Japanese city of Osaka: U.S. President Donald Trump was meeting his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.
Before the meeting and during the G-20 summit, President Trump promised that the meeting would be “productive” and his prognosis was apparently not wrong: both leaders agreed to resume negotiations to end the trade war between Washington and Beijing.
For its part, the White House promised not to impose new tariffs on Chinese imports, worth $350 billion.
In addition, President Trump explained that they discussed Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products. “China is going to buy a lot of food and agricultural products, and they will start doing so very soon, almost immediately,” the president said after the meeting.
The markets did not take long to respond positively.
However, there are many issues that still need to be addressed. One of them is Huawei. President Trump acknowledged that they talked about it, and while he stated that he will allow U.S. companies to sell technology products needed by the Chinese company, it was not clear how the issue will proceed. “We’ll have to keep that until the end. We’ll see,” Trump told Xi about it, the U.S. president said.
The issue with Huawei is certainly complex: it is not only a commercial issue, it is a question of national security.
What’s more, the Huawei issue is only one of the many sensitive topics that affect both powers, and that were addressed at the meeting but not shared.
In short, one could say that the meeting was positive for the United States, for China, and for the whole world: Americans will not have to pay more taxes on many of the products they buy from the Asian country (which certainly are not few). Beijing, on the other hand, will remain competitive by not having to pay additional tariffs and, in turn, Xi sends a signal to his country that he defends Chinese products.
The dispute transcends the purely commercial field. Trump has to deal with the Democratic opposition and the mass media that accuse him of being permissive with Beijing. On Xi’s side, while he does not have to face elections, he has a tough internal dispute with the hardest wing of the Chinese Communist Party, led by Jiang Zemin (in fact, Huawei is very involved with this faction).
In the meantime, uncertainty remains about when an agreement will be reached. Some assume that this could happen by the end of the year. The truth is that in the process, President Trump is still negotiating and trying to stop the Chinese regime from taking advantage of the American passivity that characterized his predecessors.