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Breakthrough U.S.-China Trade Deal Signed Yesterday

HeadlineNov 16, 1999

The breakthrough U.S.-China trade deal signed yesterday creates numerous winners and losers, as it pushes China’s protected state-dominated economy toward a “freer market.” Some of the big winners include foreign banks, insurers and service companies that get wider access to China’s 1.2 billion consumers. Elite Chinese companies will get cheaper foreign technology and surer access to export markets. Other winners include China’s small but fast-growing computer and high-tech firms, which will see tariffs on imported technology drop. Casualties of the deal could include China’s farms, which employ hundreds of millions of people. And state-owned banks, which could find themselves beaten out by sophisticated foreign competitors, will be allowed to conduct business in local currency.

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