China, US sign phase 1 trade deal; tariffs to stay for now
The United States and China yesterday signed the first phase
of a trade deal, which includes intellectual property (IP)
protection and enforcement, ending forced technology
transfer, dramatic expansion of US agriculture, removing
barriers to US financial services, ending currency
manipulation, rebalancing US-China trade ties and effective
The agreement was signed by President Donald Trump and
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. Trump described the deal as
‘historic’ and "a momentous step...to a future of fair and
reciprocal trade," concluding more than a year of tough
The two countries are "writing the wrongs of the past,"
Trump said, adding that he would soon visit China. This is a
transformative deal that will bring great benefits for the
two countries, Trump said, hoping that this will even lead
to a peaceful world.
Trump said China has made substantial and enforceable
commitment to protecting American ideas.
At the same time, he said, punitive tariffs on China would
remain in place till the time the second phase of the trade
deal is agreed.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, in his letter to Trump which
was read out at the signing ceremony in the White House,
said the phase one deal was good for China and the United
States and it needed to be earnestly implemented by both
sides. Xi also hoped Chinese companies will be treated
fairly by the US.
Liu said China and the US, the world's two largest economies
and two major players in international affairs with great
responsibilities, reached the phase one deal "with the big
picture in mind" and by "acknowledging and properly
managing" their differences.
China will work with the United States on the principle of
equality and mutual respect to ensure good implementation of
their phase-one economic and trade agreement, he said.
He added that the deal is not in conflict with the
legitimate rights and interests of any third party, and is
also in accordance with World Trade Organisation (WTO)
"There have been several setbacks in negotiations, but we
were not overwhelmed by difficulties," Liu added.