U.S. Strikes China Trade Deals but Leaves Major Issues Untouched

- Updated

The Obama administration had advanced its own regional plan in the form of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a trade deal that included 12 Pacific Rim nations but left out China. The two plans were widely seen as offering competing visions of Asia’s future. But Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the partnership in January, effectively killing the deal.

The trade deal announced Thursday will also allow Chinese companies to export cooked poultry products and offered reassurance to China that it could buy liquefied natural gas from America.

The trade agreements did not address areas such as steel, aluminum or auto parts — areas where Chinese exports have a deep, industrywide impact. Mr. Trump criticized China’s trade practices both before and after the election, saying China was benefiting at the expense of American workers.

The Trump administration has since moderated its language, with Mr. Trump suggesting that China could strike better trade terms if it helped the United States contain North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Yu Jianhua, China’s deputy commerce minister, said the trade deals “have changed others’ anticipation on a potential trade war between China and the United States.”

. . .

Jeremie Waterman, the executive director for greater China at the United States Chamber of Commerce, cautiously welcomed the trade deals, while noting that he did not yet have the details. “The administration deserves credit for hopefully ensuring full and timely implementation of commitments China has already made in the areas of beef, biotech and electronic payments,” he said.

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