US and China announce “phase one” trade deal

By Helene Fung 

US President Donald Trump and Chinese officials announced the breakthrough in their trade war.

Mr Trump tweeted: “We have agreed to a very large phase one deal with China.” He also said that Chinese officials have “agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of agricultural product, energy and manufactured goods, plus much more.”

Mr Trump said that China wanted to start talks on the deal’s second phase right away, which he supported.

US announced it has agreed to suspend tariffs on $US160 billion (A$233 billion) Chinese goods, which were originally due to commence on December 15. The agreement is said to cover intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, currency, and foreign exchange.

In a major concession, Washington will half the 15 percent tariffs imposed on US$120 billion Chinese goods that were imposed September 1, and had a bigger impact on American shoppers than previous rounds. However, existing tariffs of 25 percent on US$250 billion of Chinese imports would stay in place, pending further negotiations on a second phase deal.

Chinese officials said in Beijing that the two countries have achieved major progress in their phase one trade negotiations, and agreed on the text of a deal. The Vice-Agricultural Minister said that China will import more US wheat and corn after the deal.

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