Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

China, U.S. Make Breakthrough on Tech Tariffs, U.S. Says

 / Updated 

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

For the first time since 1996, China and the U.S. have reached an agreement on trade tariffs for information technology products like some medical devices, the U.S. trade representative said Tuesday.

The breakthrough was announced at a news briefing as President Barack Obama is attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Summit in Beijing. Obama was quoted in an interview with the Chinese news agency Xinhua on Monday as saying one of his goals was to push China on the importance of "free and fair" trade.

U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman called the deal "encouraging news for the U.S.-China relationship," noting that it would be "the first major tariff-cutting agreement in the [World Trade Organization] in 17 years."

Froman said he hoped the agreement would also lead to progress in negotiations in Switzerland on a protocol called the Information Technology Agreement, which is intended to eliminate duties on some technology products. The eventual effect, U.S. officials said, could be to significantly lower costs to consumers.

Another marquee trade goal for Obama — the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact, an 11-country agreement that doesn't include China — remained uncompleted, but "we narrowed many of the gaps," Froman said.

IN-DEPTH

SOCIAL

— M. Alex Johnson and Kristin Donnelly

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.