COLUMN-How cynical should you be about the Trump-Xi deal? Watch commodities – by Clyde Russell (Reuters U.S. – December 3, 2018)

LAUNCESTON, Australia, Dec 3 (Reuters) – Perhaps the most interesting thing to try and calculate after the seeming trade ceasefire between the United States and China is the level of cynicism that will greet the new detente.

President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to halt imposing additional tariffs on each other’s imports while they try to reach a deal to end their trade dispute within 90 days.

The agreement, reached at a meeting between the two leaders at the weekend G20 summit in Buenos Aires, certainly appears to be a de-escalation of trade tensions. And it does provide yet another opportunity for some sort of lasting deal.

However, it also appears long on rhetoric and short on substance – largely in keeping with much of Trump’s pattern of dealing with foreign trade policies.

The mercurial U.S. leader was effusive on the meeting with Xi, telling reporters on Air Force One that China has agreed to immediately buy “tremendous amounts of agricultural and other product” and this will have an “incredibly positive impact on farming”.

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