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U.S. And China Close To Reaching Long Awaited Trade Deal

China has also agreed to Trump's demand that Beijing lower the trade gap between the two nations.

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American flags are displayed together with Chinese flags on top of a trishaw in Beijing. Pixabay

The United States and China are close to reaching a trade deal that could see both sides ending the tit-for-tat war of tariffs that has been escalating since last year, the Wall Street Journal reported Sunday.
News of the deal buoyed markets in Asia early Monday as the Journal reported that U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could meet to sign a deal as early as the end of March, after Xi ends a tour of Europe.

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China has also agreed to Trump’s demand that Beijing lower the trade gap between the two nations. It has agreed to buy more American products, including a possible multibillion-dollar purchase of natural gas. VOA

The report said China has agreed to lower tariffs and ease restrictions on American goods, including farm, auto and chemical products. In return, the U.S. would lift the tariffs imposed on Chinese goods last year.

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China has also agreed to Trump’s demand that Beijing lower the trade gap between the two nations. It has agreed to buy more American products, including a possible multibillion-dollar purchase of natural gas.

The report quoted people on both sides, who cautioned that not all hurdles have been crossed. (VOA)

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U.S. Pentagon Emits More Greenhouse Gases Than Portugal, Study Finds

The Pentagon, which oversees the U.S. military, released about 59 million metric tons of carbon dioxide

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U.S., Pentagon, Greenhouse Gases
FILE - The Pentagon building is seen in Washington. VOA

The United States creates more planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions through its defense operations alone than industrialized countries such as Sweden and Portugal, researchers said Wednesday.

The Pentagon, which oversees the U.S. military, released about 59 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in 2017, according to the first study to compile such comprehensive data, published by Brown University.

The Pentagon’s emissions were “in any one year … greater than many smaller countries’ greenhouse gas emissions,” the study said.

If it were a country, its emissions would make it the world’s 55th-largest contributor, said Neta Crawford, the study’s author and a political scientist at Boston University.

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FILE – Air pollution hangs over the skyline as the sun rises over Beijing’s central business district, Jan. 14, 2013. VOA

“There is a lot of room here to reduce emissions,” Crawford said.

Request for comments to the Pentagon went unanswered.

Troop movements

Using and moving troops and weapons accounted for about 70% of its energy consumption, mostly due to the burning of jet and diesel fuel, Crawford said.

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It dwarfed yearly emissions by Sweden, which the international research project Global Carbon Atlas ranks 65th worldwide for its of CO2 emissions.

Pentagon emissions were higher than those of Portugal, ranked 57th by the Global Carbon Atlas, said Crawford.

China is the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, the main gas responsible for climate change, followed by the United States.

The Pentagon called climate change “a national security issue” in a January report to Congress and has launched multiple initiatives to prepare for its impact.

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The United States creates more planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions. Pixabay

Global temperatures are on course for an increase of 3 to 5 degrees Celsius (5.4-9.0 degrees Fahrenheit) this century, far overshooting a global target of limiting the increase to 2 C or less, the U.N. World Meteorological Organization said in November.

Four degrees Celsius of warming would increase more than five times the influence of climate on conflict, according to a study published in Nature magazine on Wednesday.

Improvements

Crawford said the Pentagon had reduced its fuel consumption significantly since 2009, including by making its vehicles more efficient and moving to cleaner sources of energy at bases.

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It could reduce them further by cutting fuel-heavy missions to the Persian Gulf to protect access to oil, which were no longer a top priority as renewable energy gained ground, she said.

“Many missions could actually be rethought, and it would make the world safer,” she said. (VOA)