China Says 'Phase One' Trade Deal Reached as US Agrees to Progressively Rollback Tariffs

AFP

Beijing: China announced Friday a "phase one" trade deal with the United States that includes a progressive rollback of tariffs that have threatened to roil the global economy.

"The two countries have agreed on the text of a phase one trade and economic deal," vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen said at a news conference, adding that the two sides now have to sign the agreement.

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 USD 250 billion of Chinese goods, having accused the country of unfair trade practices. Beijing hit back with duties on USD 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.

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, who was briefed by both sides was quoted a saying by media reports from Washington. The US has agreed to suspend a planned tariff increase on USD 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 Americans companies' access to the Chinese market and tighten protection for intellectual property rights. US President Donald Trump had launched the trade war with China last year demanding Beijing to reduce massive trade deficit.

Trump is also demanding an intrusive verification mechanism to supervise Beijing's promise to protect intellectual property rights (IPR), technology transfer and more access to American goods to Chinese markets.

(With PTI inputs)