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U.S. President Donald Trump has announced a detente (of sorts) in the U.S.-China trade war.

Reuters reports that Chinese officials said that the United States has agreed to phase out tariffs on Chinese goods because of progress in trade talks.

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On Twitter, Mr. Trump said the U.S. had agreed to a “very large Phase One deal with China," that included “structural changes and massive purchases” of U.S. goods.

Back in Canada, the government is still hoping for China to release two Canadians, Michael Kovrig and Michael Spavor, who were arrested a year ago as apparent retaliation for Canada’s arrest of a Chinese businesswoman on a U.S. extradition request. Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne says the Canadian government is considering whether to compensate Mr. Kovrig and Mr. Spavor for their ordeal.

And in other U.S. news, the Democrat-controlled House judiciary committee has approved the impeachment charges against Mr. Trump, setting him up for a historic vote in the House of Representatives.

This is the daily Politics Briefing newsletter, written by Chris Hannay. It is available exclusively to our digital subscribers. If you’re reading this on the web, subscribers can sign up for the Politics newsletter and more than 20 others on our newsletter signup page. Have any feedback? Let us know what you think.

TODAY’S HEADLINES

The UK Conservatives romped to victory last night, giving Prime Minister Boris Johnson a large mandate to carry out Brexit in the coming weeks.

Andrew Scheer’s resignation yesterday as Conservative Leader means the race to replace him has unofficially begun. Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and former Saskatchewan premier Brad Wall are already publicly stumping for former interim leader Rona Ambrose to run, though she has so far not said anything publicly. Other possible contenders include former cabinet minister Peter MacKay and Ontario MP Erin O’Toole, who finished third in the 2017 race.

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The Liberal government has released the mandate letters (read them here) given to ministers. The letters detail the marching orders and campaign pledges that the ministers are expected to enact under the new minority government (however long it lasts). Promises include everything from asking the Finance Minister to “preserve fiscal firepower” in the event of an economic downturn, to establishing the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina as a new national museum.

Independent MP (and former cabinet minister) Jody Wilson-Raybould is in a dispute with the Liberal government over her office space.

Quebec Premier François Legault is the most popular premier in Canada, according to the Angus Reid Institute’s tracking.

And Hamilton police are backing a call for an inquest into the death of a First Nations teenager whose body was found seven months after he went missing from a group home.

Robyn Urback (The Globe and Mail) on the rising unemployment rates of young men in Alberta: “What this tells us is that young men in Alberta are doing worse than their peers in other provinces, worse than their female peers and significantly worse than their parents. They’re old enough to remember when dropping out of school for oil meant a six-figure salary – but too young to actually reap the benefits. They likely don’t have the experience nor the education to fall back on now that a lucrative job in oil is anything but a guarantee.”

Andrew Coyne (The Globe and Mail) on Andrew Scheer’s resignation as Conservative Leader: “It is not just the right decision, then, but the only one, not just for the party’s sake but for his. The alternative would have been another six months of brutal political infighting, of which the expediently timed revelation of Mr. Scheer’s use of party funds to pay for his children’s education was only a foretaste. Had there been any chance of surviving the leadership review, he might have risked it. That there was not became evident less from the loud attacks of his critics than from the silence of his supporters.”

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Andrew MacDougall (Ottawa Citizen) on Scheer’s end: “The manner of Scheer’s exit is at least consistent with how the Canadian public came to know him during the 2019 election: not as advertised, i.e. the goat horns they wanted pinned on Justin Trudeau. The irony slays. An almost-insurance broker and secret American not enough? Try the ultimate family man on a fat public salary getting done in for sending his kids to private school. Not very conservative, mate. Try again.”

Don Martin (CTV) on what Scheer will be remembered for: “He has proved there is no longer a route to victory for a person with deeply held social conservative beliefs, even if they vow to never legislate them as a government. He showed there’s a need for a leader with a progressive plan to fight climate change instead of a single-minded loathing of the carbon tax. And in an age where personality counts more than a platform, he’s shown that the Conservatives need a leader with more than dimples and an aw-shucks charisma.”

Campbell Clark (The Globe and Mail) on what’s next for the Conservatives: “Now the Conservatives will face a new leadership race, where the most obvious challenge will be answering the questions that Mr. Scheer couldn’t: how to reconcile social conservatives with swing voters, how to address climate change and how to beat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.”

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