US to sign Phase One trade agreement with China Jan 15

Associated Press is reporting Thursday that the first phase of a U.S.-China trade agreement will be inked at the White House in mid-January.

The so-called “Phase One” agreement is smaller than the comprehensive deal Trump had hoped for and leaves many of the thorniest issues between the two countries for future talks. Few economists expect any resolution of “Phase Two” before the presidential election in 2020.

The details of the Phase One agreement have yet to be released fully by either the Trump Administration or China, but these general policies appear to be included, AP says:

China has agreed to boost its U.S. goods imports by $200 billion over two years, the U.S. Trade Representative said Dec. 13 when the deal was announced. That includes increased purchases of soybeans and other farm goods that would reach $40 billion a year.

China has also agreed to stop forcing U.S. companies to hand over technology and trade secrets as a condition for gaining access to China’s vast market, demands that had frustrated many U.S. businesses.

In return, the Trump administration dropped plans to impose tariffs on $160 billion of Chinese goods, including many consumer items such as smartphones, toys and clothes. The U.S. also cut tariffs on another $112 billion of Chinese goods from 15% to 7.5%.

More on the agreement on