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Economic Work Conference Convened in China Presages Phase-1 Agreement


The Economic Work Conference that meets annually in mid-to late-December to establish the economic agenda for the following year will convene early in 2019. This is considered noteworthy and may be in advance of the December 15th deadline for the U.S. to raise tariffs on imports from China.


Observers consider that a “recommendation” from the arbiters of economic policy will provide Premier Xi Jinping with the cover needed to make some concessions leading to a Phase-1 Agreement with the U.S. At this time any agreement, long-promised by the White House, would benefit the President in his reelection campaign, especially if it involves substantial sales of agricultural commodities. Premier Xi Jinpeng would benefit from one less factor affecting social and political stability given the situation in Hong Kong and both declining GDP and industrial profits.