U.S., Bei­jing an­nounce 90-day truce in trade dis­pute

San Francisco Chronicle - Late Edition (Sunday) - - WORLD - By Paul Wise­man, Zeke Miller and Cather­ine Lucey

BUENOS AIRES — The United States and China reached a 90-day cease-fire in a trade dis­pute that has rat­tled fi­nan­cial mar­kets and threat­ened world eco­nomic growth. The break­through came af­ter a din­ner meet­ing Satur­day be­tween Pres­i­dent Trump and Chi­nese leader Xi Jin­ping at the Group of 20 sum­mit in Buenos Aires.

Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise tar­iffs Jan. 1 on $200 bil­lion in Chi­nese goods. The Chi­nese agreed to buy a “not yet agreed upon, but very sub­stan­tial amount of agri­cul­tural, en­ergy, in­dus­trial” and other prod­ucts from the United States to re­duce Amer­ica’s huge trade deficit with China, the White House said.

The truce, reached af­ter a din­ner of more than two hours, buys time for the two coun­tries to work out their dif­fer­ences in a dis­pute over Bei­jing’s ag­gres­sive drive to sup­plant U.S. tech­no­log­i­cal dom­i­nance.

“It’s an in­cred­i­ble deal,” Trump told re­porters aboard Air Force One. “What I’ll be do­ing is hold­ing back on tar­iffs. China will be open­ing up, China will be get­ting rid of tar­iffs. China will be buy­ing mas­sive amounts of prod­ucts from us.”

In a long-sought con­ces­sion to the U.S., China agreed to la­bel fen­tanyl, the deadly syn­thetic opi­oid re­spon­si­ble for tens of thou­sands of Amer­i­can drug deaths an­nu­ally, as a con­trolled sub­stance. And Bei­jing agreed to re­con­sider a takeover by U.S. chip­maker Qual­comm that it had pre­vi­ously blocked. The White House an­nounce­ment framed a vic­tory for Trump and his un­flinch­ing ne­go­ti­at­ing tac­tics, se­cur­ing a com­mit­ment from China to en­gage in talks on key U.S. eco­nomic pri­or­i­ties, with lit­tle ob­vi­ous con­ces­sion by the U.S. No­tably, how­ever, the White House ap­pears to be re­vers­ing course on its pre­vi­ous threats to tie trade dis­cus­sions to se­cu­rity con­cerns, like China’s at­tempted ter­ri­to­rial ex­pan­sion in the South China Sea.

The Trump-Xi meet­ing was the mar­quee event of Trump’s whirl­wind two-day trip to Ar­gentina for the G-20 sum­mit af­ter the pres­i­dent can­celed a sit-down with Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin over mount­ing ten­sions be­tween Rus­sia and Ukraine.

The United States and China are locked in a dis­pute over their trade im­bal­ance and Bei­jing’s tech poli­cies. Wash­ing­ton ac­cuses China of de­ploy­ing preda­tory tac­tics in its tech drive.

Paul Wise­man, Zeke Miller and Cather­ine Lucey are As­so­ci­ated Press writ­ers.

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