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AP FACT CHECK: US-China trade package mostly about symbolism

November 10, 2017

BEIJING (AP) — An AP Fact Check finds that a trade and investment package announced during President Donald Trump’s visit to China is more about the art of diplomacy than the art of the deal.

The package is said to be worth more than $250 billion. But it puts a symbolic gloss on fundamentally strained economic relations between the U.S. and China.

The trade and investment package draws together some new orders and extensions of business from existing Chinese customers, previously worked-out deals, tentative investments and statements of intent that may or may not turn into new dollars and jobs for the U.S.

Such signing ceremonies in China are often just that, ceremonial. They typically represent purchases that Chinese customers already planned to make and held off on announcing.

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