President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping will meet for dinner Saturday to discuss a possible trade deal at the end of the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires. Officials on both sides have indicated the deal may halt any further tariffs through the spring in exchange for discussions on changes to Chinese economic policy. The U.S. and China are looking to ease tensions and boost markets, effectively creating a trade "architecture" that includes issues like intellectual property protection, technology transfer and state-owned enterprises.
"I think we'll either make a deal or we'll be taking in billions and billions of dollars a month in tariffs, and I'm OK with either one of those two situations," President Trump told The Washington Post this week. However, that's not really how tariffs work, Vox reports: the U.S. may be generating some revenue from tariffs, but not billions of dollars. Moreover, a lot of the money that is made comes from U.S. consumers — not Chinese companies.
Though it is unclear what the U.S. is specifically asking for, one offer, in return for the suspension of tariffs, is that Beijing would agree to lift restrictions on China's purchases of U.S. farm and energy products. However, for China, holding off on making a deal might be reasonable, said Princeton Politics and International Affairs Professor Aaron Freidberg, as the expansion of Chinese counter-tariffs on consumer goods could hit voters in the wallet right as Trump begins his 2020 reelection bid.
Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China every week, while adding a dose of historical perspective.