United States and China sign phase one of new trade deal

Chinese 100 Yuan

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The world's two dominant economic powers, the United States and China, are poised to sign a trade truce on Wednesday, letting businesses around the globe breathe a sigh of relief.

The easing of US-China trade frictions has boosted stock markets worldwide in recent weeks, as it takes the threat of new tariffs off the table for now.

Existing tariffs on billions of dollars of Chinese goods coming into the US are likely to stay in place until after the American presidential election, and any move to reduce them will hinge on Beijing's compliance with the terms of a phase-one trade accord, people familiar with the matter said.

As part of that deal, China has promised to provide more protection for American companies' intellectual property, and to stop requiring US firms to share their technology as a cost of doing business in China.

Setting aside global agreements on matters other than trade, Trump's own deal with Mexico and Canada covers far more trade than the agreement signed with China.

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"What's fascinating is it takes a while before each country figures out what it really will do, what's in its interests and how they are going to pursue the future under that deal", he said.

The White House provided few details ahead of the signing ceremony to be held at midday at the White House, although administration officials said the pact obligated China to increase its imports of manufacturing, agriculture, services, and energy products by $200 billion.

"Together, we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic Justice and security for American workers farmers and families", the president added. The two leaders are meeting again in Washington on Wednesday to sign the deal.

Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer, in a speech on the Senate floor, said Trump's "phase-one" trade deal with China is an extreme disappointment. The more than year-long trade conflict resulted in multiple rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs on billions worth of goods.

Mr Trump, who has been touting the Phase 1 deal as a pillar of his 2020 re-election campaign said he would agree to remove the remaining tariffs once the two sides had negotiated a "Phase 2" agreement. The arrangement means that China is supposed to buy $40 billion in USA farm exports.

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"The tariffs will stay in place until there is a phase two".

Because of the initial agreement, Mr. Trump chose to wave off tariffs that would have hit almost $160 billion in Chinese goods - including electronics and other popular items - on December 15.

The administration says China has pledged to boost its purchases of USA goods and services over the next two years by $200 billion over 2017 levels. But the fate of the remaining duties has been unclear, with economists saying they are likely to continue to be a drag on both economies. "His strongest card in November is the USA economy". The "phase one" agreement loosens some US tariffs against China and secures new purchases of American-made items for Beijing.

The deal also restores a twice-yearly dialogue process that previous administrations conducted regularly but that Trump scrapped.

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