August 13, 2020 at 01:06PM

The U.S. and China will reportedly review the progress of their “phase one” trade deal later this week — roughly six months after the agreement came into effect. The deal paused a damaging trade war — involving retaliatory tariffs being slapped on billions of dollars worth of goods — between the world’s top two economies that started in 2018.

Among other things, the phase one agreement aims to address concerns over alleged intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers by China. But the centerpiece of the deal is China’s commitment to buy at least $200 billion more in U.S. goods and services over 2020 and 2021 on top of its purchases in 2017.

Even before the deal was signed, some experts said it was not realistic for China to increase its purchases of U.S. goods and services by that amount. That obligation has become even more difficult to meet as the coronavirus outbreak led to a plunge in Chinese demand.

According to Peterson Institute for International Economics, China should buy a total of $142.7 billion of American goods by the end of this year, as agreed under the deal, if measured using U.S. exports data. Using the official Chinese import data, Beijing’s purchase of those products this year should amount to $172.7 billion, said the think tank.

But in the first half of 2020, China bought less than a quarter of the targeted full-year amount of U.S. products based on both sets of statistics, data compiled by PIIE showed. The data doesn’t include China’s purchase of U.S. services because those are not reported on a monthly basis, said the think tank.

3 charts show China is far from meeting its ‘phase one’ trade commitment to the U.S., CNBC, Aug 13

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