3 December 2018   Leave a comment

The US and China reached some sort of trade agreement on Saturday, but, on closer examination, it is not clear what the agreement actually entailed.  Bloomberg went through both the US and Chinese statements and found significant differences between the two (Bloomberg also notes that the Chinese statement was partially censored).  Markets responded favorably to the news, but there is no question that a high degree of uncertainty exists.  It is, however, troubling that the US interpretation of the agreement is not substantiated by the Chinese version.  I would suspect that the US interpretation is excessively optimistic.

Tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods won’t be raised on Jan. 1. Wang Yi’s statement says there will be no higher tariffs. Deputy Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said separately tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods won’t be raised on Jan. 1.
Those tariffs will be raised to 25 percent if a deal is not reached in the next 90 days. 90-day deadline not mentioned.
Not mentioned. Both leaders asked their teams to speed up talks, work toward scrapping all tariffs and reach a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement.
U.S., China will negotiate immediately on forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers and cyber theft. U.S., China will work together to reach a consensus on trade issues.
China will purchase “very substantial” farm, energy, industrial and other products. China will import more U.S. goods.
China will immediately restart buying agricultural products. Not mentioned.
Xi will reconsider Qualcomm-NXP deal. Not mentioned.
Bilateral visits not mentioned. Trump, Xi will visit each other’s countries at an appropriate time.
China will designate Fentanyl a Controlled Substance. China will tighten supervision of Fentanyl, revise rules on the drug.
U.S., China and North Korea will work toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. China supports another meeting of U.S. and North Korea’s leaders.
One-China policy not mentioned. U.S. agrees to continue respecting One-China policy.
Market access not mentioned. U.S. and China agree to boost market access.
Chinese students in U.S. not mentioned. Xinhua story forwarded on Foreign Ministry WeChat account says U.S. welcomes Chinese students to live and study



The need to reduce carbon emissions is urgent but we often tend to look at country-by-country statistics.  The real issue is how much we as individuals are responsible for.  Per Capita carbon emissions are rarely discussed, but there is little question that richer countries have a more substantial obligation to make a more serious effort.  While India and China have larger populations and therefore are beginning to contribute more carbon on a country basis than some of the richer countries (the US excepted), individuals in those larger countries do not benefit in material terms from the consumption of carbon products.  The impact of carbon reductions on development prospects in poorer countries needs to be carefully considered.

Infographic: The Global Disparity in Carbon Footprints | Statista

Posted December 3, 2018 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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