US and China Said to Agree on 'Phase One' Deal in Trade Talks

By Ryan Gandolfo, December 13, 2019

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The US and China look set to finally end their 17-month trade war, with the two sides reportedly agreeing on a ‘phase one’ deal, South China Morning Post reports.

While the limited deal has been reported by US media outlets, we’ve yet to hear any confirmation by Beijing. President Donald Trump tweeted on Thursday, hinting that a deal was close to fruition.

Screengrab via @realDonaldTrump/Twitter

The US plans to postpone tariffs on around USD160 billion of Chinese goods that would have gone into effect this Sunday as well as reduce tariffs already in place, Myron Brilliant of the US Chamber of Commerce told CNBC, as cited by SCMP. China, in return, would increase purchases of US farm goods.

The additional tariffs scheduled for Sunday would have targeted Chinese consumer items such as smartphones and laptops. Currently, the US has tariffs on about USD375 billion of Chinese goods, more than three times the amount of duties China has placed on US products.

Negotiations between the two economic powerhouses have been less than stellar in recent months, which makes this latest report a positive sign. The trade war has impacted world affairs, with global growth slowing, while there have been decreasing profits and investments for companies around the world, according to The Guardian.

In October, Trump announced that the US and China had agreed to terms on a ‘phase one’ deal; however, the agreement fell through. 

On Thursday, Jennifer Hillman, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, tweeted, “This should NOT be described as a trade agreement. It is a purchase and sale agreement that does virtually nothing to address substantive concerns of US (+rest of the world) with China’s trade practices,” as cited by BBC.

Other issues the US has raised against Beijing include unfairly subsidizing Chinese companies and stealing intellectual property from American companies. So far, little common ground has been established between the two sides.

[Cover image via Pixabay]

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