US and China agree trade deal

US and China agree trade deal

12/05/17

US President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed their first trade deal, signaling a softening of the protectionist stance of the administration on China trade, reports the FT.

China will open internal markets to US credit cards and credit rating agencies in a move that would allow MasterCard and Visa to apply for licenses to settle renminbi payments in China.  In return, China will resume imports of US beef and natural gas.

In an interview with The Economist, Trump said of Jinping; “I’m dealing with a man, I think I like him a lot. I think he likes me a lot,” he said. “I mean, he’s a great guy.”

In a coup for Beijing, Washington have agreed to send a delegation to the Belt and Road Summit this weekend, bolstering Xi Jinping’s cohort of world leaders queuing up for Chinese infrastructure deals.

A reciprocal invitation has been sent to China to a US meeting of foreign investors in July, opening US investment to Chinese entrepreneurs.

Commentators observe that much of the agreement stems from negotiations conducted with the Obama administration; however a deal will be claimed as a win by Trump, who is counting on Chinese support over US action on North Korea.