Washington — US and Chinese officials say an historic deal ending their trade war could be imminent, but a key question is how can Washington be sure Beijing will live up to its end of the bargain? With up to 100 Chinese officials reportedly expected next week in Washington, with the possibility of unveiling a grand agreement after months of tension, that question is hanging over the talks. Beijing may make eye-popping offers to buy American energy and agriculture exports as a means of cutting the soaring US-China trade deficit ($378.7bn in 2018, including services trade), but all eyes will be on whether the agreement has any teeth. US vice-president Mike Pence said on Friday the enforcement mechanism would be key to the decision on whether to remove the punishing US tariffs which now cover more than $250bn in Chinese imports. “The reason enforcement has become central to this negotiation is the long history of China not living up to the spirit of the commitments it has made in the...

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