WASHINGTON – The United States will sign the initial stage of a trade deal with China early in the new year, President Donald Trump announced Tuesday.
Trump said that senior Chinese officials would be present at the ceremony.
He tweeted: “I will be signing out very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15.
“The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present.
“At a later date, I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two.”
Trump has announced the closing of the first phase of a new trade deal back in December following 18 months of trade wars and tit-for-tat tariff hikes.
According to the president, the deal would require China to boost its import of American goods.
China’s deputy commerce minister, Wang Shouwen, said the first phase of a new deal also dealt with technology transparency, intellectual property, trade expansion and mechanisms to settle disputes.
Trump and Xi Jinping have both agreed to gradually dismantle bilateral trade barriers that have built up during the trade war.
The initial deal, however, retains 25 percent import tariffs $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.
Relations between the world’s two largest economies have deteriorated since last year, when the US started a trade war with China owing to a skewed trade balance, intellectual property theft and forced transfer of technology.
Clashes between Washington and Beijing have not just been limited to the commercial sphere, but also in technology and global influence.
Trade tensions between them go beyond bilateral relations and have had global consequences.
The International Monetary Fund, in its latest forecasts in October, downgraded global growth projections for the year to 3 percent, 0.2 percent less than that in July, weighed down by doubts about a possible resolution of the trade dispute.