Trump: ‘We Have Agreed to a Very Large Phase One Deal With China’

President Donald Trump said that his administration has reached a “phase one deal” with China, adding that the two countries will immediately start negotiating a “phase two” trade agreement.

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

The United States will maintain 25 percent tariffs on approximately $250 billion of Chinese imports, he said, adding that there would be 7.5 percent tariffs on about $120 billion of Chinese imports—marking a 50 percent reduction in those tariffs.

Trump said that U.S. tariffs set to take effect on Sunday on about $160 billion of Chinese consumer goods will not be imposed in light of the deal.

“The Penalty Tariffs set for December 15th will not be charged because of the fact that we made the deal. 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!” he added.

United States Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer confirmed the deal, writing in a statement: “President Trump has focused on concluding a Phase One agreement that achieves meaningful, fully-enforceable structural changes and begins rebalancing the U.S.-China trade relationship. This unprecedented agreement accomplishes those very significant goals and would not have been possible without the President’s strong leadership.”

His office said that the deal requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. The deal also includes China committing to buying American-made goods and services in the coming years.

The announcement came a day after Trump declared, “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!”

Reports on Thursday had indicated a deal had been reached “in principle” just days before the United States is set to impose new tariffs on almost $160 billion of Chinese imports on Dec. 15.

Chinese officials said at a press conference in Beijing Friday evening that the United States has agreed to phase out tariffs on Chinese goods.

The two countries have achieved major progress in their phase one trade negotiations, Beijing officials said, and agreed on the text of a phase one deal.

The deal will provide more protection for foreign companies in China, and Chinese companies in the United States, Chinese officials said.

“Negotiations must be based on the principles of equality and mutual respect,” said a foreign ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, earlier Friday. “The deal must be mutually beneficial, a win-win.”

Reuters and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Follow Zachary on Twitter: @zackstieber

2019-12-13T10:50:02-05:00

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