- President Donald Trump confirmed Friday that the US would lower tariffs against China as part of an interim trade agreement.
- China had announced moments earlier that the two sides reached an agreement on the text of a so-called phase-one deal.
- Trump said that as part of the agreement, the US would lower the tariff rate on some Chinese products to 7.5% from 15% and cancel plans to hit virtually all imports from that country.
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President Donald Trump confirmed Friday that the US would lower tariffs against China as part of an interim trade agreement and that further escalations would be suspended.
China had announced moments earlier that the two sides reached an agreement on the text of a so-called phase-one deal, which could pave the way for a broader pact to defuse a 19-month trade dispute between the largest economies.
“We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China,” Trump tweeted. “They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more.”
Trump said the US would lower the tariff rate on $120 billion worth of Chinese products to 7.5% from 15% as part of the agreement and cancel Sunday’s plans to target virtually all imports from that country. A 25% tariff will remain on three separate tranches of Chinese goods that were valued at about $250 billion last year.
At a news conference in Beijing, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said the US would remove some of those tariffs gradually.
China is expected to make changes to the way it manages its economy in return, a statement from the Office of the US Trade Representative said, including through unspecified intellectual-property protections and steps to open its financial-services sector.
The phase-one agreement included a commitment from China to purchase more American agricultural products, which it had placed steep tariffs on last year to retaliate against the Trump administration.
But both sides declined to confirm the $50 billion quota Trump has touted. That would be more than double the value of soybeans, corn, and other farm products China imported from the US in 2017.
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The text of the agreement, which is nine chapters long, still faces a series of logistical hurdles, including translations and legal reviews. It would then need to be signed by both sides.
Trump said the US would “immediately” try to reach a more comprehensive economic détente with China, which White House advisers have said would require at least two more rounds of negotiations.
“We will begin negotiations on the Phase Two Deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election,” Trump said. “This is an amazing deal for all. Thank you!”
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