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A world trade war is brewing

January 16, 2020 4:28 pm

The United States has signed a partial trade agreement with China.

But that doesn’t mean simmering conflicts and doubt over trade won’t drag down the global economy this year.

Tensions between the world’s two biggest economies are likely to persist in 2020 as Beijing and Washington enter the second round of trade talks that are expected to be more difficult than the “phase one” process that culminated in a deal on Wednesday in Washington.

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The European Union is also locked in its own trade dispute with the United States that has strained ties between the preeminent western powers.

And the United Kingdom’s looming break with Europe brings with it a swerve of challenges as the country attempts to forge a new relationship with its largest export market.

President Donald Trump has heralded the “phase one” US-China trade deal as a significant breakthrough.

US officials said the agreement will reduce some tariffs and allow Beijing to avoid additional taxes on almost $160 billion of the country’s goods.

The Trump administration also said it received commitments from China to purchase billions worth of agricultural goods and crackdown on intellectual property theft.

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