The U.S. and China’s Trade Truce Statements, Compared

(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. and China emphasized different results from Sunday’s high-stakes meeting between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, with the split highlighting how much of a gap needs to be overcome over the next three months.

After a dinner which both sides called "highly successful," White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi released parallel and rarely overlapping statements. The U.S. listed what China had agreed to in exchange for a 90-day pause in raising tariffs on Chinese goods, while Beijing focused on the broad reduction in trade tensions, without going into specifics.

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the main points of the two statements:

U.S. Statement (link)Chinese Statement (link)
Tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods won’t be raised on Jan. 1.Wang Yi’s statement says there will be no higher tariffs. Deputy Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said separately tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods won’t be raised on Jan. 1.
Those tariffs will be raised to 25 percent if a deal is not reached in the next 90 days.90-day deadline not mentioned.
Not mentioned.Both leaders asked their teams to speed up talks, work toward scrapping all tariffs and reach a mutually beneficial, win-win agreement.
U.S., China will negotiate immediately on forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers and cyber theft.U.S., China will work together to reach a consensus on trade issues. 
China will purchase "very substantial" farm, energy, industrial and other products.China will import more U.S. goods. 
China will immediately restart buying agricultural products.Not mentioned.
Xi will reconsider Qualcomm-NXP deal.Not mentioned.
Bilateral visits not mentioned.Trump, Xi will visit each other’s countries at an appropriate time.
China will designate Fentanyl a Controlled Substance.China will tighten supervision of Fentanyl, revise rules on the drug.
U.S., China and North Korea will work toward a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.China supports another meeting of U.S. and North Korea’s leaders.
One-China policy not mentioned.U.S. agrees to continue respecting One-China policy.
Market access not mentioned.U.S. and China agree to boost market access.
Chinese students in U.S. not mentioned.Xinhua story forwarded on Foreign Ministry WeChat account says U.S. welcomes Chinese students to live and study.

Chinese state media including Xinhua, People’s Daily and CCTV ran photos and videos of the two leaders shaking hands and smiling. Chinese-language coverage focused on the agreement that tariffs won’t be raised in January, without saying they would be imposed if a deal isn’t reached in 90 days.

In Chinese and English editorials, the Global Times said the agreement not to raise tariffs is temporary and dependent on successful negotiations. A Chinese op-ed by Sun Lipeng of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations in state-run portal also mentioned the 90-day period, citing the White House statement. An analysis piece cited by a People’s Daily social media account warned that tariffs could be boosted again if there is no deal.

Although the U.S. statement was available on the White House website in English, the official U.S. translation into Chinese on the WeChat social network was partially censored. It was visible and could be read, but the function to allow a reader to forward, share or save it was disabled.

©2018 Bloomberg L.P.