Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

Your Thursday Briefing – The New York Times

President Trump signed an initial agreement with China, a first step in ending an 18-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies. But crucially, its success hinges on whether China will follow through on its commitments.

The agreement is intended to open Chinese markets to more American goods, and it includes concessions to protect U.S. technology and trade secrets. Beijing also agreed not to devalue its currency, the renminbi, to gain an advantage in export markets.

But the agreement preserves the bulk of the tariffs placed on Chinese goods, and even threatens more.

What’s not included: Beijing’s subsidies for key industries like solar and steel — a practice critics blame for putting American companies out of business.

It was not immediately evident whether the resignations signaled a rift at the top of Russia’s hierarchy or if they were part of a coordinated plan to reshape the system. Under current law, Mr. Putin must step down in 2024.

Mr. Putin and Mr. Medvedev have choreographed moves in the past: In 2008, when Mr. Putin last faced term limits, Mr. Medvedev was elected president and Mr. Putin became prime minister, though he remained the real power in the government. He then returned to the presidency in 2012, when Mr. Medvedev became prime minister.

What’s next: Some experts said Mr. Putin could be contemplating a return to the prime minister’s office, but this time at the helm of a newly empowered Parliament. Others saw signs that he intended to create a system similar to that in Kazakhstan, where the longtime president stepped down but took the new title of “leader of the people.”

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