President Xi Jinping and President Donald Trump’s dinner meeting on Saturday was the most anticipated event at the G20 summit in Argentina.
Xi came into the meeting with significant economic incentive to reach a trade deal, even as a prominent government advisor warned Chinese businesses to prepare for a lengthy trade war. President Trump entered into it following a week in which some of his own economic stress had been relieved, but which has been fraught with political problems associated to investigations of illegal activity up to and including working with Russian agents and improperly using campaign funds to influence an election.
Both sides wanted a deal. They both agreed to one, but there is little of substance.
Per The Guardian, The Chinese received, not a rejection of increased tariffs, but rather a 90 day delay in the implementation of them.
The U.S. received an agreement by the Chinese to label fentanyl as a controlled substance, something the U.S. has been requesting for years in an effort to stem the flow of the opioid.
They also received a pledge to purchase unspecified but “very substantial” amounts of U.S. products, which the U.S. presented as a win because of reduced trade imbalances and which China presented as a win because it indicated that previously restricted markets would be opened to them.
From the Washington Post, they also extracted a promise that China would be open to possibly allowing the US company Qualcomm to purchase a chip maker, NXP, after previously scuttling the deal; the issue there is that Qualcomm has already abandoned the attempt and would have to decide to spend the time, money and energy to present another bid on the strength of an agreement to consider possibly allowing a purchase.
Both sides agreed to continued talks on trade and initiation of new talks on policy.