Following a high-profile meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on Sunday, the United States agreed to hold off on imposing further tariffs on Chinese imports for three months while the two sides attempt to negotiate a more lasting solution to the trade war.
The US was due to raise duties on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% in January, but White House officials confirmed that this has been postponed while the two sides continue to pursue a deal.
The agreement will likely offer some respite for Xi’s team, which has been under pressure to soften an economic slowdown back home which has been exacerbated by the shock of US tariffs.
There is scepticism among analysts, however, as to the significance of the deal. Although officials have said that resolutions were being put forward to address bilateral tensions, there is still scant evidence that Beijing is tackling Washington’s principal complaints surrounding intellectual property theft and subsidies to state-owned enterprises.
“Just because the US and China have agreed to call a truce in their trade war doesn’t mean that it’s over: This was a classic exercise in can-kicking,” wrote Tyler Cowen for Bloomberg.