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Trump signs ‘Phase One’ of China trade deal

Posted January. 17, 2020 08:42,   

Updated January. 17, 2020 08:42


U.S. President Donald Trump signed a partial trade agreement with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House on Wednesday (local time). This marks a ceasefire on the trade war between the two countries, which began 22 months ago when President Trump signed an executive order slapping 50-million-dollar tariffs on Chinese imports in March 2018.

According to the 94-page agreement, which was revealed on the day, China will purchase American goods and services worth a total 200 billion dollars over the next two years in various sectors including agriculture, manufacture, service, and energy. Under the agreement, the U.S. will lower the tariffs on Chinese products worth 120 billion dollars from the current 15% to 7.5%, while suspending additional tariffs on Chinese consumer goods worth 156 billion dollars. Washington’s current 25% tariffs on 250-billion-dollar Chinese imports, however, will be maintained until a phase-two agreement is reached.

In the signing ceremony, President Trump said the deal was “a momentous step” towards a more fair trading future. In a letter read by his Vice Premier, Chinese President Xi Jinping said the agreement between the two countries is good for the world.

While the agreement has helped alleviate the uncertainty of global economy to a certain degree, some experts point out the fact that other crucial issues remain unresolved such as China’s heavily subsidized state-run companies and America’s sanctions against Huawei. The conflicts between the two powerhouses will likely stay uneasy until they clinch the phase-two trade agreement.

Yong Park parky@donga.com · Wan-Jun Yun zeitung@donga.com