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US-China trade agreement poses risk for global trade, says Russian presidential aide

The European reaction on the US-China deal raises fears, Maksim Oreshkin said

DAVOS /Switzerland/, January 24. /TASS/. The US-China trade agreement poses threat for international trade and may trigger trade disputes starting 2021-2022, Russian Presidential Aide Maksim Oreshkin said in an interview with the Rossiya-24 TV news channel following the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"The European reaction on the US-China deal, in which China commits to boosting purchases of US goods, raises fears," he said.

The agreement itself is not worrisome, Oreshkin said, adding though that a number of questions remain, for example, which principle China will use for shifting from European to US products, whether those will be market principles or additional barriers will appear for European products. "That means it is a catastrophe waiting to happen, which I do not expect in 2020, of course, but starting from 2021-2022 (Russia) together with the US, China and Europe and other countries will witness many disputes," he explained.

Russia remains committed to multilateral formats in global trade, such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), Oreshkin said. "I do not think that two-sidedness is the new future for international trade policy. We in Russia definitely remain fully supportive of multilateral formats, the WTO, and I should put it very simply - what is liked by two is not necessarily liked by the third and all others," he emphasized.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He signed an agreement on the first phase of a deal to settle bilateral trade disputes on January 15 in Washington. Particularly, Beijing agreed to increase purchases of US goods by $76.7 bln during the first year and by $123.3 bln during the second year of the agreement. The issue is not only about agriculture products, but about other US goods as well.