Jan 01, 2020 03:28 AM

Trump Sets Jan. 15 Phase One China Trade Deal Signing at White House

The Chinese and US national flags are seen during a promotional event in Beijing on June 30
The Chinese and US national flags are seen during a promotional event in Beijing on June 30

U.S. President Donald Trump said he will sign the phase-one trade deal with China Jan. 15 at the White House and plans to visit Beijing for further talks.

"The ceremony will take place at the White House," he said Tuesday on Twitter, adding that high-level representatives of China will be present. Trump pledged to go “at a later date” to Beijing where the second phase of trade talks will begin.

China and the United States announced an agreement on a limited trade deal Dec. 13, calling a truce to a nearly 18-month trade war that rattled the global economy.

As part of the agreement, the U.S. scrapped plans to impose new tariffs Dec. 15 on $156 billion of annual imports from China, including smartphones, toys and consumer electronics. The U.S. will also slash the 15% tariffs it imposed earlier on roughly $120 billion of Chinese goods to 7.5%, while maintaining 25% tariffs on about $250 billion of annual Chinese imports, according to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR).

In return, China agreed to increase purchases of American goods and services by $200 billion from 2017 levels over the next two years, according to a document released by the USTR. The new purchases will include U.S. food, agricultural goods, seafood, energy products and services.

According to Chinese officials, the two countries agreed to gradually reverse the rising trend of tariffs on Chinese products.

The text of the phase one accord consists of nine chapters including terms covering intellectual property, technology transfer, food and agricultural products, financial services, exchange rates and transparency, trade expansion, mutual assessment and dispute settlement, Chinese officials said. Analysts said the framework indicated broader-than-expected agreement after tough, months-long negotiations.

Officials of the two countries are working on finalizing the text of the accord. The next stage of negotiations will depend on the implementation of the first phase, China’s Vice Finance Minister Liao Min said at a press conference Dec. 13.

During a phone conversation Dec. 20, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping applauded the progress of the trade talks and pledged to sign a formal agreement “as soon as possible,” according to state media reports.

Contact reporter Han Wei (

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