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U.S. trade deal with China in limbo after summit cancellation

Published: Wednesday, October 30, 2019 @ 11:27 AM

With growing demonstrations in the streets, the President of Chile on Wednesday canceled a major world economic summit set for mid-November in his country, raising questions as to when President Donald Trump would be able to meet his Chinese counterpart, in hopes of finalizing the first phase of a trade agreement between the two nations.

The announcement delaying the APEC Summit came at a time when the Chinese are reportedly refusing to buy as much as $40 billion in farm products from the United States - something President Trump publicly declared earlier this month - but Beijing has not endorsed.

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"The deal I just made with China is, by far, the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers," the President said on October 11.

"Start thinking about getting bigger tractors," Mr. Trump told farmers on October 12. 

But the Chinese government has not announced any major purchases of American agricultural products, as it's not clear what will happen now on the broader trade negotiations.

The negotiations with China have raised eyebrows among some Democrats in the Congress, concerned the trade talks may have also included a request for the Chinese to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden and his son.

In letters to the Trump Administration, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR)said 'it appears that the administration was making a trade deal with China contingent on getting manufactured kompromat on Biden.' 

"I'm demanding answers," Wyden added.

Meanwhile, the White House had no immediate answer for where or when the President might meet with the Chinese leader.

“We look forward to finalizing Phase One of the historic trade deal with China within the same time frame, and when we have an announcement, we’ll let you know,” said White House spokesman Hogan Gidley.

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