In announcing “phase one” of a tentative trade deal with China, President Donald Trump wrongly stated that the “all-time high” for U.S. agricultural exports to China was “$16 or $17 billion.” Actually, it was nearly $26 billion in 2012.
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Rebels in eastern Congo and the Congolese army have been fighting since the 1990s. The fighting escalated in 2022 as Rwanda-backed rebels, known as M23, invaded and took over several villages. The violence escalated further last summer when M23 moved closer to the area near Goma, one of the largest cities in the region. A war between Congo and Rwanda would not only be a humanitarian disaster, but it would upend the administration’s efforts to get into the cobalt market — a key component for electric vehicle batteries. Congo is home to about 70 percent of the world’s cobalt reserves, and China, one of Washington’s biggest trade competitors, is its main producer and is supporting M23 with drones.