Date: Fri, 3 January 2020
Author: Darlene Superville
Earlier this week on Tuesday, Donald Trump mentioned that he will sign the first phase of a trade deal with China at the White House next month and will be making travel plans to visit Beijing to initiate discussions on other sticking points in the US-China trade relationship.
Tweeted from his Florida home: "I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15. The ceremony will take place at the White House" and mentioned high-level Chinese government officials will be attending the signing.
In the first-step agreement, which is not as large as the comprehensive deal Trump had proposed in the beginning, the US removed its scheme to impose new tariffs on $US160 billion of Chinese imports commencing this month . If not removed, the new tariffs would likely to have led to an increase in prices for consumer goods, especially gifts that are purchased during the festive season.
The Trump administration complied to also cut existing import taxes on about $US112 billion in Chinese goods from 15 per cent to 7.5 per cent. In return, the US said China are agreeable to buy $US40 billion a year in farm products over two years, even though US agricultural exports to China have never exceeded $US26 billion a year. Beijing also agreed to end to its pressure on companies to hand over their technology, as a trade off for gaining access to the vast Chinese market.
China has also agreed to lift barriers to its markets for products like beef, poultry, seafood, pet food and animal feed, according to US officials. The initial agreement however left a number of major issues unresolved, specifically complaints that Beijing unfairly subsidises its own companies to equip them with a competitive power of advantage in world markets.
China has yet to confirm the dollar amount of US farm goods it has pledged to buy and no comprehensive paperwork on the agreement has been released.
Both parties reported, they have been anticipating for text of the agreement to be translated in both languages, Chinese and English.
The United States Trade Representative reported that the Phase 1 deal comprises of enhanced Chinese legal protections for patents, trademarks, copyrights and improved criminal and civil procedures to defy online infringement, pirated and counterfeit goods. US authorities reported that matters like industrial subsidies would be approached with, in a later deal. The intensifying tit-for-tat tariffs, started in July, 2018, has caused a stir in economic growth globally.
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