News analysis

Phase one deal a good start but difficult issues remain

Yet to be addressed are market reform, access in China and strategic competition

US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He during a signing ceremony for "phase one" of the US-China trade agreement, on Jan 15, 2020.PHOTO: REUTERS

After almost two years of a damaging trade war that has had ripple effects across the globe, a phase one agreement between China and the United States is set to bring a truce, with commitments by China to buy significantly more US produce and products.

While there is some concern that purchasing targets are set very high and the US may not even be able to supply that level of demand, the truce is good for the global economy - and for President Donald Trump politically.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2020, with the headline 'Phase one deal a good start but difficult issues remain'. Subscribe