World, Economy, Asia - Pacific

Trumps says US, China reach 'phase one' trade deal text

US president says Washington and Beijing 'will begin negotiations on the Phase Two Deal immediately'

Michael Hernandez   | 13.12.2019
Trumps says US, China reach 'phase one' trade deal text


The world's two largest economies have agreed to a preliminary "phase one" trade agreement text on Friday that would significantly draw down mutual economic recriminations they have imposed on one another. 

In announcing the breakthrough, U.S. President Donald Trump said he has decided to cancel a new round of tariffs that were set to be imposed on Sunday and reduce some already-imposed import duties in exchange for a series of concessions from China.

"We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China," Trump said on Twitter. "They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more."

He did not provide additional details on what China would concede, but said 25% U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods would remain in place while 15% tariffs placed on other goods would be halved.

"We will begin negotiations on the Phase Two Deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election. This is an amazing deal for all. Thank you!" Trump said.

The U.S.-China trade dispute has sent shockwaves through global markets amid fears that it could cause a global economic slowdown.  

At issue for Washington is a lopsided trade imbalance with China -- the U.S. had a $378.6 billion trade deficit with China in 2018, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative -- as well as concerns over intellectual property theft, including what the Trump administration says is Beijing's policy of forcing American firms to transfer intellectual know-how in order to do business in China.  

Trump has imposed wave after wave of U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and China has responded in kind.  

To date, the U.S. has imposed tariffs on $360 billion in Chinese imports

Trump announced in October that Washington and Beijing agreed to a "phase one" of a larger trade deal, but the time since has been spent negotiating the details of that agreement, and committing them to paper.

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