The U.S. and China will not be signing their new trade deal in Chile next month. That’s because Chilean president Sebastián Piñera announced Wednesday morning the cancellation of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, amid growing unrest in his country. Chile’s capital Santiago was to host the meeting November 16th and 17th, where the world’s two largest economies were hoping to sign the first phase of a trade deal aimed at defusing the year-and-a-half trade war that’s substantially reduced ag exports from the U.S. to China. The Hill reports that protests in Chile began earlier this month over concerns about the cost of living and poverty. It’s not clear whether the summit will be relocated or rescheduled.
Earlier, the South China Morning Post had reported that President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were set to sign an interim trade deal during the summit. Top-level negotiators met over the phone last Friday and were expected to do so again very soon. The agreement includes an estimated $40-$50 billion of agricultural purchases by China over a two-year period, with $20 billion possible the first year. Market analysts say agricultural trade with China appears to be starting to normalize, ahead of the agreement. In 2017, before the trade war began, the U.S. shipped $19.5 billion worth of agricultural products to China.