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U.S., China settle on phase one of trade agreementU.S., China settle on phase one of trade agreement
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By Holly Demaree-Saddler
WASHINGTON, D.C., U.S. — The United States and China reached an agreement on the text of a phase one trade deal that will roll back tariffs and open the Chinese market to U.S. agricultural imports again.
The United States and China have been in an ongoing trade dispute since China raised import tariffs by 25% on U.S. soybeans in July 2018 in retaliation for U.S. duties on Chinese goods. Both countries have continued to work on resolving the ongoing trade issues.
According to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR), phase one of the agreement requires structural reforms and other changes to China’s economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange. It also includes a commitment by China that it will make substantial additional purchases of U.S. goods and services in the coming years.
The United States will cut certain tariffs against China as well as the threat of new tariffs.
“We have agreed to a very large phase one deal with China,” said U.S. President Donald Trump. “They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of agricultural product, energy, and manufactured goods, plus much more.”
China will import more U.S. wheat, rice and corn after the deal, Han Jun, vice-minister of agriculture and rural affairs, told Reuters on Dec. 13. Reuters also reported Ning Jizhe, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, saying China will increase U.S. imports of energy, agriculture, pharmaceutical products and financial services, but no details were given.
“President Trump has focused on concluding a phase one agreement that achieves meaningful, fully-enforceable structural changes and begins rebalancing the U.S.-China trade relationship,” said U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer. “This unprecedented agreement accomplishes those very significant goals and would not have been possible without the president’s strong leadership.”