WASHINGTON (AP) – The United States and China reached a trade agreement Wednesday that eases tensions between the world`s two largest economies, offers massive export opportunities for U.S. farms and factories, and promises to do more to protect U.S. trade secrets. A3: The commitments made under the “Macroeconomic Policies and Exchange Rate Issues” chapter of the first phase of the agreement do not go beyond what has already been agreed in the G20, in particular to avoid competitive devaluation and the direction of exchange rates for competitive purposes; and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in particular to avoid exchange rate manipulation. Indeed, the transparency obligations under the agreement explicitly acknowledge the absence of new commitments, indicating that the United States and China continue to “publicly” disclose international reserves and balance of payments data. What is new is the possible dilution of the Department of Finance`s role in dispute resolution, which will focus on the bilateral dispute assessment and settlement agreement under the USTR. UsTR, on the other hand, can consult with other agencies, but there is no obligation, which places the Ministry of Finance in a secondary role in macroeconomic and exchange rate issues. (On this point, it should be noted that the agreement has confirmed the autonomy of monetary policy for both the United States and China; and that each party may request IMF participation.) Another aspect of the agreement is the tension between exchange rate flexibility – long the objective of the US exchange rate commitment with China – and exchange rate stability. This tension probably reflects U.S. concerns that market forces could weaken the Chinese renminbi against the dollar, a sentiment reflected in the Treasury`s latest currency report, which, while removing China`s name as a currency manipulator in August 2019, raised concerns about the “persistent strength of the dollar.” On August 14, 2019, the Dow fell 800 points, in part due to rising trade tensions between the United States and China.
 Nine days later, on August 23, the Dow fell 623 points on the day Trump informally ordered U.S. companies to immediately seek alternatives to do business in China.   At the end of 2019, stock markets reached record levels after increasing due to the agreement between the United States and China on the signing of the first phase of a trade agreement.   In parallel with the noise caused by this Phase 1 agreement, trade representatives from the United States, Japan and the European Union met on 14 January and announced a proposal to strengthen WTO provisions on industrial subsidies that they considered “insufficient to combat market and trade-distorting subsidies in certain legal systems” , a barely misguided reference to China.