For Both Trump and Xi, Trade Deal Comes Amid Growing Pressures at Home

For Both Trump and Xi, Trade Deal Comes Amid Growing Pressures at Home

Lam Yik Fei for The New York Times BEIJING — The interim trade pact announced Friday between the United States and China came together as both country’s leaders faced mounting political pressures and rising economic worries at home. For months, President Trump has increased pressure on Beijing with higher tariffs on Chinese goods, insisting on a comprehensive trade deal that addressed a long list of concerns about how China manages its economy. And for months, senior Chinese officials met Mr. Trump’s escalating tariffs with their own as they remained equally emphatic that any deal must completely erase Mr. Trump’s tariffs. On Friday, both sides decided that half a deal was better than none, consenting to a preliminary agreement that would involve China buying more American farm products and taking several other limited steps to open its economy in exchange for the United States foregoing its planned tariff increase next week. The truce will help calm a trade fight that has taken a significant toll on the world’s two largest economies and threatened to further slow global growth at a precarious moment. Perhaps more important, it will help both Mr. Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, secure a win in the midst of domestic tumult. Mr. Xi faces violent street protests in Hong Kong, as well as sharply rising grocery prices that could be brought down with imports of American food. Mr. Trump is eager to change the conversation away from an impeachment inquiry and a rapidly widening series […]

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