White cloud on the horizon for US-China trade deal
White clouds have appeared over the US-Chinese trade agreement, which would be the first step in dismantling decades of US policy toward the two countries, according to experts and analysts.
The White House announced Wednesday that President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping would meet at the White House for talks on a free-trade agreement.
The talks will be aimed at reaching a deal on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, which is stalled in Congress.
“The President and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang have committed to pursue a trade agreement that enhances American workers, businesses, and communities,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
“China has been a valued partner in our trade relationship for many years and will continue to do so.”
The Trump administration has made no mention of the pact in recent months.
But the White Helmets rescue of a Syrian airfield and subsequent evacuation of more than 2,000 people from a besieged area of Aleppo has triggered concern about whether China is willing to honor its commitments under the trade pact.
The US-led coalition has been battling ISIS in Syria since 2013, and the agreement would bring the US military closer to the Chinese border.
The agreement has been controversial in the US, with some analysts saying it would create a massive new US military presence in Asia.
US President Donald Trumps administration has been trying to hammer out the details of the trade deal since December, and has been pushing for an agreement with the European Union.
On Wednesday, Trump said he would not certify the agreement in front of Congress before the end of the year, despite bipartisan pressure to do that.
The deal has been put on hold while the administration deals with the opioid crisis.
“We’re still working out a lot of details, but I think that’s an important step,” Trump said during a press conference.
“It’s important for us to be able to certify before the year is out, because we need to make sure we get the benefits that we have going.”
The White Helmers rescue of the airfield was the first major American rescue since Trump took office in January.
A group of US lawmakers and experts have been calling on the administration to act on the deal.
“I think it’s absolutely critical that we get this done,” Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) said.
“There is no other trade deal that’s more important to America than the Trans Pacific Partnership.
It’s an investment in our economy and jobs, and it’s an American investment.
This trade deal would put American jobs, American companies, American workers at risk.”
The group of Democrats and Republicans, who together control the House and Senate, sent a letter to the administration on Tuesday requesting a waiver on the certification process, which the administration has rejected.