Trump Approves Draft US-China Trade Deal to Halt Looming Tariffs

Getty Images  Saul Loeb

Getty Images Saul Loeb

Meanwhile, President Trump stated that phase two talks will begin immediately while specifics on agricultural purchase commitments and further details on the phase one trade deal will be provided 'in the future.' Though US congress remains occupied with impeachment proceedings and ratifying the long-outstanding USMCA deal, which may make it hard to finalize the phase one trade agreement between Beijing and Washington anytime soon.

If the United States does not suspend the new tariffs, Beijing officials will apply more tariffs on U.S. goods and may suspend talks until after the USA presidential election in November 2020, many trade experts believe.

While the substance of the phase-one deal - which Trump first announced in early October - remained unclear, it does not come close to a comprehensive resolution of US complaints related to China's subsidies of its state businesses and its forced technology transfers by USA corporations in the country.

The exact details of the deal are not yet official, but the USA has reportedly agreed to scale back some of its existing tariffs on Chinese goods. China has also pledged to make sizeable agriculture and services purchases while the United States agreed to significant changes to Section 301 tariffs.

The two sides are negotiating to avoid those duties, looking at a deal that contemplates higher Chinese purchases of USA agricultural products and a roll back of existing tariffs.

The S&P 500 and chip stocks including Qorvo and Advanced Micro Devices pulled back a bit after details of the deal were announced in Beijing during NY trading hours, while Apple traded up 0.6%, on track for another record high close.

Thursday evening, a senior administration official said a policy announcement regarding China would take place on Friday. Before meeting his trade advisers, Trump engaged with members of the Business Roundtable, which represents some of the largest USA companies, the sources added.

United States President Donald Trump and Beijing officials said on Friday that the U.S. and China have reached a so-called phase one trade deal that will see Washington suspend new tariffs on Chinese imports scheduled for Sunday and lower some existing tariffs, while Beijing will step up purchases of some US-made goods and products.

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The United States and China announced a "Phase One" deal that would prevent an immediate escalation of the trade war between the two largest global economies on Friday.

Repeated rounds of negotiations had failed to achieve even a preliminary agreement.

"We want to see evidence that things aren't deteriorating and if tariffs are getting delayed or rolled back, that's evidence".

Neither the US nor China have publicly confirmed reports that terms for such a phase-one arrangement have been agreed upon.

In his tweet Friday, Trump promised that the USA would start negotiations on a phase two trade deal "immediately".

Chinese officials and trade experts have warned that another exchange of tariffs could torpedo the trade negotiations and further escalate the dispute.

Still, Thursday's developments suggest the world's two largest economies may be seeking to avoid a protracted trade war that economists contend would depress global growth. "What we don't know is, is this an aspirational goal, is it a target or is it a contract?" he said.

China will increase imports from the USA and other countries, Wang said at a briefing in Beijing Friday.

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