U.S. and China reach preliminary trade agreement

Donald Trump met with trade advisers on a deal that could be announced as soon as today according to people briefed on the

Donald Trump met with trade advisers on a deal that could be announced as soon as today according to people briefed on the

China's Foreign Ministry, when asked about the trade deal with the United States, said it is committed to resolving the issues but the deal must be mutually beneficial.

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

President Trump will not impose new tariffs on an additional $160 billion of Chinese imports that were scheduled to take effect this weekend, after tentatively signing off Thursday on a so-called phase-one trade agreement with Beijing, according to an administration official close to the process.

The U.S. has added a 25% duty on about $250 billion of Chinese products and a 15% levy on another $110 billion of its imports over the course of a roughly 20-month trade war.

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.

President Donald Trump also wrote on Twitter that the two countries have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of agricultural products, energy and manufactured goods.

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"When news came out suggesting the phase one deal was close, stocks markets in the United States and Europe jumped".

"We'll use them for future negotiations on the phase-two deal", Trump said, adding that his administration was planning to wait until after the 2020 election for the next step.

He wrapped up by calling it "an fantastic deal for all".

While U.S. stocks rose when the agreement was initially announced, they shed their gains as more details emerged. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were both up 0.7% for the week while the Dow had gained 0.4% through Thursday.

Critics say striking a deal now negates the previous year and a half of pressure on China to reform practices that give its businesses an unfair advantage. Officials also discussed possible reductions of existing duties on Chinese products, they said.

Trump has long criticized the massive trade deficit between the USA and China and in May 2017 rolled out steel and aluminum tariffs that launched what's become a multibillion-dollar trade war between the two nations.

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Yet its impact on structural issues that motivated the trade war, such as Chinese state subsidies and intellectual property concerns, is less clear.

Beijing has said previously it would retaliate if the United States escalates the trade dispute.

The US ultimately wants China to open its vast economy to more goods and to conduct sweeping reforms of what Washington has long called systemic abuse against foreign investors.

And the agreement must still undergo legal review, translation and proofreading before it is officially signed.

With his 2020 re-election battle heating up Trump is keen to seize the political initiative and show voters his punishing struggle with China has brought results. But it offered no details, and business groups said more needed to be done to combat Beijing's aggressive trade practices.

"The U.S. side has successively imposed unjustified restrictions and crackdowns on China in economy and trade, science and technology and personnel exchanges", Wang said.

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