'China, US agree on text of phase one trade deal'

Updated: 14 December, 2019 09:56 IST | Agencies | Beijing

China and the US have been locked in a longstanding trade war that has threatened to roil the global economy

Whether Beijing and Washington reach a trade deal or not, China is already speeding up efforts to break its reliance on a country that is both its most important economic partner and biggest adversary. Pic/AFP
Whether Beijing and Washington reach a trade deal or not, China is already speeding up efforts to break its reliance on a country that is both its most important economic partner and biggest adversary. Pic/AFP

Beijing: China and the US have agreed on the text of a phase one economic and trade agreement based on the principle of equality and mutual respect, official Chinese media reported on Friday.

China and the US have been locked in a longstanding trade war that has threatened to roil the global economy. The US has imposed tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods, having accused the country of unfair trade practices. Beijing hit back with duties on $110 billion of US goods, blaming the US for starting "the largest trade war in economic history". The IMF has warned that a full-blown trade war would weaken the global economy.

China and the US have agreed on the text of a phase one economic and trade agreement based on the principle of equality and mutual respect, official Chinese media reported, state-run Xinhua news agency reported on Friday. Expectations for a US-Chinese trade truce to end the 18-month long trade war between the top two economies rose after a senior Trump administration official said an announcement on Beijing would take place on Friday.

A "deal is close,'' said Myron Brilliant, the US Chamber of Commerce's head of international affairs, was quoted a saying by media reports from Washington. The US has agreed to suspend a planned tariff increase on $160 billion of Chinese imports due to take effect on Sunday and to reduce existing tariffs, Brilliant said. For its part, Beijing would buy more US farm products, increase American companies' access to the Chinese market and tighten protection for intellectual property rights.

"We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China. They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of agricultural product, energy, and manufactured goods, plus much more," US President Donald Trump announced in a series of tweets on Friday. Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen confirmed that a breakthrough in trade negotiations had been reached for a phase one deal.

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First Published: 14 December, 2019 09:45 IST

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