Trade relations between the US and China improved this weekend.
The Trump administration made meaningful actions to put the looming trade war with China on hold after Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said they would refrain from implementing significant tariffs on various Chinese goods.
In a joint statement on May 19, China agreed to purchase increased amounts of U.S. goods, including agriculture, energy, and manufactured goods. However, China has not formally released a quantitative figure committing to the amount they will purchase, and when.
The announcement comes after President Trump announced tariffs of $150 billion on Chinese goods, including an initial $50 billion set to take effect in the coming weeks. China retaliated with tariffs of an equal scale, all of which has been in stalemate and a state of uncertainty over the past month.
The U.S. – China trade deficit reached $337 billion last year, by far the largest of any country.
These announcements come through a mix of the joint statement, statements by Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, and President Trump’s personal Twitter account.
President Trump is scheduled to meet with North Korean ruler Kim Jong Un in Singapore in early June, and the trade talks with China may be a precursor to assistance soliciting North Korea to give up their nuclear arsenal.
It is unforeseen and unpredictable what may happen with the U.S. and China trade relationship, and tariffs may likely not be entirely off the table. However, the recent news and announcements appear to be a sign toward deescalating potential trade war concerns and economic stability between nations.
China has agreed to buy massive amounts of ADDITIONAL Farm/Agricultural Products – would be one of the best things to happen to our farmers in many years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 21, 2018