U.S. and China agree to initial trade deal

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U.S. and China agree to initial trade deal

The U.S. and China have agreed to an initial trade deal that will result in a reduction of tariffs and purchases of U.S. farm goods.

The announcement - confirmed by both sides - marks a significant de-escalation in the protracted trade war that has had a huge impact on U.S. fruit exports to a key market.

“We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China,” President Trump said in a tweet. “They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more.”


Chinese vice-minister for commerce Wang Shouwen said at a news briefing in Beijing late on Friday that both sides had reached a phase one deal that would include the rollback of existing tariffs in phases.

Wang said the U.S. had agreed to withdraw planned tariffs and that China would consider doing the same.

Calling the agreement an “amazing deal for all”, Trump said the 25% tariffs would remain and the previous 15% tariffs would be halved to 7.5%.

The new round of tariffs that had been due to come in on Dec. 15 have now been canceled, he added.

Trump said negotiations on a phase two deal would begin “immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 election”.

The remarks following U.S. media reports yesterday that an agreement “in principle” had been reached that would see the US roll back some of the tariffs on US$360bn of Chinese goods in exchange for Chinese commitments to buy US agricultural products and other concessions.

Beijing said the agreement included nine chapters covering intellectual property, technology transfers, agricultural products, dispute settlement and other topics.

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