REUTERS COLUMN: Trump’s non-deal deal with China is mainly significant for sentiment

Lukuaika noin 4 min LAUNCESTON , Australia, Oct 14 (Reuters) – When is an agreement not really an agreement? When it is the latest manoeuvre in the long-running trade dispute between the United States and China. That’s not to say the Oct. 11 announcement by both parties isn’t significant, but it is still a long, long way from the sort of comprehensive resolution sought not only by the world’s two biggest economies, but also by the rest of the world fearful of a trade war-inspired recession. President Donald Trump went so far as to call the announcement a "lovefest," while Chinese Vice Premier Liu He was more circumspect, noting that the two sides had made "substantial progress in many fields." In some ways the positive reaction by financial and commodity markets to the announcement in Washington was more justified than previous bouts of optimism, which have generally been followed by a fresh breakdown in talks and an escalation of the tariff war. This was the first time that the two sides appeared determined to get something down on paper, with a "Phase 1" deal now scheduled to be signed at a Nov. 16 summit of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation countries in Chile. But the good news from the Oct. 11 announcement is all largely sentiment, with scant detail on what has, or has not, actually been agreed between the two sides. The tit-for-tat tariffs have also not been removed or wound back, the only concession being that the […]

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