It is too early to give a final assessment of the U.S.-China trade deal, the details of which have just been published, but it’s not too soon for a provisional opinion: China is badly shaken, and American credibility has been greatly enhanced.

Some parts of the deal probably won’t matter much. First, taking away the currency manipulation charge is a non-event, and to the extent China was manipulating its currency, it was keeping it up, not down. Second, it is fine that China agreed to respect more intellectual property rights, but that can be hard to enforce and in any case China has been headed in that direction. Third, it is good that China is opening further to U.S. financial services, but that is a marginal change.

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