China trade cease fire does little to narrow differences

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The G20 truce shouldn't leave investors worry-free, but it is likely to give markets the short-term confidence needed to end 2018 on a high note.

Both countries have agreed to open up their domestic markets.

The U.S. has agreed to not escalate tariffs further, including not raising the 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese exports on January 1, as originally scheduled.

During the meeting in Buenos Aires, the U.S. agreed not to increase tariffs on January 1, as had been planned, while China agreed to immediately buy more agricultural products from U.S. farmers.

President Trump jolted global auto stocks on Monday with a claim that China agreed to "reduce and remove" tariffs on imported American-made cars, raising more questions about the outcome of his meeting with counterpart Xi Jinping.

Fentanyl overdoses are "still increasing and show few signs of falling down, so whatever we can do on that front to really stem the supply, nearly all of which is from illicit manufacturing, should be helpful and impactful", Haffajee says.

In July, Qualcomm - the world's biggest smartphone-chip maker - walked away from a $44 billion deal to buy NXP after failing to secure Chinese regulatory approval, becoming a high-profile victim of the China-U.S. trade dispute.

Instead, Xinhua stressed the two leaders had agreed not to escalate the tariff war and to "take immediate efforts to address issues of mutual concern based on mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit". The downside for China is that it also needs US sourced LNG as its insatiable gas demand expands amid Beijing's mandate that gas make up at least 10 percent of its power generation energy mix by 2020, with further earmarks set for 2030.

Both sides certainly came prepared for serious discussion.

It suggests that cooperation is the key to the solution of problems, said Zhu Feng, a professor with the School of International Studies at Peking University, adding that given the differences between China and the United States in institutions, industrial policies and markets, Xi and Trump have demonstrated strategic courage and resolution at the dinner table.

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The U.S. and China also made progress on the regulation of fentanyl, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin.

The announcement comes after Trump's dinner with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday at the G20.

Trump declared widespread opioid abuse a public health emergency in October 2017 and vowed to use the federal government's legal powers to pursue companies that help fuel the epidemic. "China's reform and opening-up's broad perspective recognizes that the rest of the world does things differently", it said in its editorial.

What this means in terms of the Trump-Xi meeting at the G20 is that it's going to be apparent fairly quickly if China is going to switch tactics and resume buying USA commodities.

China's factory activity grew slightly in November, a private survey showed on Monday, though new export orders extended their decline in a further blow to the sector already hurt by the Sino-U.S. trade frictions.

Both parties agree that they will endeavor to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days.

Neither country had mentioned auto tariffs in their official read-outs of the Trump-Xi meeting.

Ultimately, a meaningful, lasting deal is unlikely in the 90-day window. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield rose to 3.041%, compared with 3.013% Tuesday. That alone, however, won't satisfy Trump's most hawkish advisers on trade, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and adviser Peter Navarro.

China is dependent on countries such as the United States and South Korea for high-end microchips, a weakness in its bid to become a global tech leader.

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