Thursday, 27 February, 2020

Trump Signs 'Phase One' of Trade Deal with China

Trump To Sign 'Phase One' China Trade Deal, But Most Tariffs Remain In Place
Irene Mckinney | 17 January, 2020, 00:23

It's a figure that would have been unthinkable before President Donald Trump took office and took a far more aggressive approach to China and trade.

However, tariffs will remain in place on hundreds of billions of two-way trade until the second phase of trade agreement is completed.

Wednesday's agreement says China has 30 working days to put together an intellectual property protection action plan. That unusual feature suggests Trump's trade negotiators weren't certain whether the event would happen as scheduled.

"Quite a week of substantive accomplishments for the nation, for the president and for our global trade", said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., shortly before the vote on the U.S. -Mexico-Canada deal.

China agreed to purchase an additional $200 billion in USA goods over the next two years as part of the "phase one" trade deal.

After several rounds of talks, the U.S. and China initially reached "a historic and enforceable agreement" in December, averting a new round of tariff hikes.

"This deal. makes American farmers increasingly reliant on Chinese state-controlled purchases", she said in a statement distributed by the trade group Farmers for Free Trade.

Kudlow praised US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin for their work on the deal.

In addition to changing the rates at which certain goods are taxed, the new agreement includes chapters surrounding intellectual property and the forced transfer of technology.

Prior to the start of the trade war, China bought $130 billion in USA goods in 2017. "The licensing and subsidies will come in phase two".

"That's all anybody knows - officially", said Jennifer Hillman, a senior fellow for trade and global political economy for the Council on Foreign Relations.

Auto Industry Cautious About China's Sluggish Market At Start Of The Decade
The company plans to keep its product revitalization plans on track with 30 new vehicles coming during the next three years. The group gave no sales total in December, but based on other data, it would be around 2.2 million vehicles.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and President Donald Trump display the trade agreement signed between the United States and China.

That is a much more direct and much quicker resolution than would be available to the USA under the World Trade Organization's dispute resolution mechanisms. Share prices are mixed in moderate trading in Asia after the USA and China signed a preliminary trade agreement that investors hope will bring better relations between the two biggest economies.

The December 1 phase 1 deal lifted planned USA tariffs on Chinese cell phones, toys and laptops and halved the duty rate to 7.5 percent for other Chinese goods worth around $ 120 billion, including flat-screen TVs and Bluetooth headphones and footwear.

Under the agreement, the extra Chinese purchases will be made over the next two years, with agricultural products accounting for a large chunk.

President Trump confirmed "phase two" negotiations will start as soon as "phase one" kicks in and current tariffs will remain until that round is concluded. "If the president gets a phase two quickly, he'll consider releasing tariffs as part of phase two". It has nothing to do with the election or anything else.

That includes an additional $32 billion in American farm products and seafood, almost $78 billion in manufactured goods like aircraft, machinery and steel, and $52 billion in energy products.

The vice premier said he believes that the Chinese economy will have an even brighter future and China's development will create more investment and growth opportunities for other countries across the world, including the United States. The Trump administration paid out $28 billion in aid to farmers in the last two years. "So, they certainly have the capacity to buy $40 billion of products from the United States".

And Lovely raised a question about the wisdom on relying so heavily on the Chinese market.

Beijing is also expected to buy more meat, both to meet targets under the deal and to stabilize prices as an African swine fever outbreak decimates Chinese pig stocks.

China emerged Wednesday having agreed to the terms it initially offered early in trade talks, including loosening access to US financial and vehicle firms.

The label, which had no real practical impact, was removed earlier this week.

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