A closed steel factory in Tangshan, China, February 2016.
Kim Kyung Hoon / Reuters

In early April, U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, met for the first time to discuss relations between the world’s two most powerful countries. The summit, largely focused on bilateral economic issues, ended with the announcement of a 100-day plan for trade talks between the two countries. The goal of the talks, according to U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, would be to fulfill one of the Trump campaign’s promises by reducing the $347 billion U.S. trade deficit with China, which in 2016 accounted for nearly 70 percent of the United States’ total trade deficit of $502 billion.

Last week, on May 12, the two sides announced the results from some initial negotiations. China agreed, among other things, to improve market access for U.S. credit-rating agencies and to remove import restrictions on U.S. beef. The United States, in turn, made concessions on Chinese poultry and

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  • HAO TAN is Senior Lecturer in International Business and Strategy in the Newcastle Business School at the University of Newcastle, Australia. 
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