U.S, China Sign Phase One Trade Deal Today In Washington

Today at the White House, President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed a “phase one” trade deal that would cut some U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports and increase Chinese purchases of U.S. goods, and signals a thawing in the 18-month trade dispute between the two countries.

The deal would see China increase purchases on an array of U.S. agricultural products, including soybeans, pork and cotton; energy exports, financial services and manufactured goods such as aircraft, automobiles and auto parts, and medical devices.

The U.S. has cancelled planned tariffs on cellphones, laptops, toys and certain other Chinese-made products, while the 15 percent tariffs on $120 billion in Chinese imports ranging from flat-screen televisions to shoes, has been cut in half to 7.5 percent. Tariffs on a further $250 billion in Chinese imports, primarily industry products and materials used by U.S. manufacturers, remains at 25 percent. Speaking to CNBC today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said that further tariff reductions could come as part of a “phase two” deal that would also address cybersecurity and other issues.

The phase one deal includes an agreement by the Chinese to prohibit the forced transfer of U.S. technology to Chinese firms and increase intellectual property protections. However, it does not curtail subsidies of state-owned businesses, or address digital trade restrictions or cybersecurity regulations.

China’s official Xinhua news agency reports Vice Premier Liu saying that the U.S. and China will work more closely to obtain significant results and that despite their political and economic differences, achieve a win-win for both sides.

filed under January 2020
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