White House Strikes Limited Trade Deal With China

October 11, 2019 by Dan McCue

WASHINGTON – The U.S. has come to a “very substantial phase one deal” with China, President Donald Trump said Friday.

Though he offered scant details, the president declared that talks on a “phase two” trade deal “will start almost immediately.”

Trump said the actual drafting of the agreement would take “several weeks” to write and would likely be signed by both sides in November.

As he spoke at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, Chinese Vice Premier Liu stood at his side.

Both sides in the long-running talks, which resumed at the top level this week, had signaled optimism about coming to an agreement of some sort in the near future.

Officials said the deal involves China buying $40 billion to $50 billion worth of American agricultural products, along with agreeing to guidelines on how it manages its currency. 

The agreement would also include some provisions on intellectual property, including forced technology transfer.

Earlier in the day, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin had told reporters he and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer had had a “productive two days of discussions” with China’s Vice Premier and other officials, but declined to comment further.

After the president spoke, Mnuchin announced that a new round of tariffs slated to hit imports of Chinese goods next week will not go into effect.

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