With the phase-one trade deal between the U.S. and China about to be signed, a key threat hanging over the global economy has diminished. After 18 months of wrangling about Chinese purchases of U.S. goods and opening of its markets, investors are hopeful that the current pause in the trade war will be maintained.

But many trade experts are wary. One reason is that disputes inevitably will arise over specific features of the agreement, the most notable being the volume of Chinese purchases of U.S. farm goods. If so, enforcement mechanisms call for the two sides to settle them during subsequent rounds of talks. But if that doesn’t work, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has indicated the U.S. could re-impose duties on China.  Read More