Trump, Xi Reach Trade Truce (Again)

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were face-to-face for 80 minutes while both were at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan, over the weekend, where Trump agreed to postpone his plans to put tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods. The hope is that it will allow Washington and Beijing to resume trade talks after things fell off the rails in March.

After the sit-down, China bought 544,000 metric tons of soybeans, which the USDA says is the country’s largest purchase since March. While more farm goods going to China is good news for producers, the decision to postpone tariffs is also good for U.S. businesses and consumers. However, Politico points out that China hasn’t fulfilled previous promises from earlier negotiations. China had said it would purchase as much as 14 million tons of soybeans as part of prior short-term trade deals with Trump. Another report notes that the Chinese government’s summary of the current truce mentions nothing about more food and farm purchases from the U.S.

One thing not in the truce is a timeline for concluding the trade talks. There aren’t any guarantees that the two countries will be able to come to an agreement on major issues like structural changes to the Chinese economy that the administration is looking for.