China wins Round 1 in trade spat with US

Last Saturday's pledge by the US and China to stop slapping tariffs on each other, thus averting a "trade war", hides the fact that China is the unequivocal "winner" of this round of bilateral trade negotiations. It has also proven itself "master of the deal" against self-proclaimed master dealmaker Donald Trump.

Recall that this trade spat started with the Trump administration threatening large tariffs on imports from China, a threat the President himself made frequently and vigorously on the campaign trail, and after taking office, arguing (erroneously) that this would reduce the United States' "massive" US$375 billion (S$505 billion) trade deficit with China.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 22, 2018, with the headline 'China wins Round 1 in trade spat with US'. Print Edition | Subscribe