Mission Not Yet Accomplished – The Phase 1 Trade Deal Awaits

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The U.S.-China trade war was the defining trade policy challenge for international supply chains since Aug. 2017. It won’t be resolved by the phase 1 trade deal due to be signed in mid-January. Putting aside longer term issues such as decoupling, there are at least five risks to consider for 2020 alone. The first is a simple matter of definitions. China’s measure of the trade-in-goods deficit – the Trump administration’s key measure of trade policy success or otherwise – in the 12 months to Nov. 30 was $302 billion compared to $357 billion on U.S. measures. A disagreement over statistics...

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