Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock … Nearly three weeks have passed since the United States and China agreed on a 90-day ceasefire in the trade conflict at the Group of 20 summit earlier this month. But the euphoria in Buenos Aires has been replaced by the stark reality of trying to hammer out a deal to defuse the threat of a new economic Cold War.
So far, there have been moves to bring down taxes on cars imported into the world’s second-largest economy but the crucial sticking points of intellectual property violations, cyber theft and Beijing’s state-backed model still remain. Solving these problems will probably take more than 90 days and involve delicate diplomacy. To illustrate the magnitude of the challenge, the World Bank has now waded into the forced “technology transfers” row.