Trump to sign 'phase one' of China trade deal in mid-January

Washington and Beijing finalized the deal this month after more than a year of a tense trade war between the world's two largest economies.
Image: President Donald Trump greets China's President Xi Jinping during the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019.
President Donald Trump greets China's President Xi Jinping during the G20 Summit in Osaka on June 29, 2019.Brendan Smialowski / AFP - Getty Images

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By Dartunorro Clark

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he will sign the first phase of a trade deal with China in a White House ceremony in mid-January.

"I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15," Trump tweeted. "The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!"

Washington and Beijing finalized the deal this month after more than a year of a tense and escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies that roiled the global markets — a standoff prompted by Trump's concerns about fair trade practices, currency manipulation and intellectual property theft, among other things.

The 86-page agreement includes a commitment from China to buy $200 billion in U.S. goods and at least $40 billion in agricultural products. The U.S. will also begin to remove some of the tariffs it has levied on Chinese goods.

Under the deal, the U.S. will continue to levy a 25 percent tariff on about $250 billion of imported Chinese goods, but tariffs on another $120 billion of imports would be reduced to 7.5 percent, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative has said.

The agreement will also pause a 15 percent tariff on $156 billion in Chinese imports, primarily consumer goods such as toys, clothes and electronics, which had been scheduled to take effect earlier this month.