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Updated at 4:55 PM ET
President Trump on Friday announced what he calls “phase one” of a larger trade deal with China.
As part of the deal, the next round of tariffs on Chinese imports will no longer be imposed. The U.S. was scheduled to raise tariffs on about $250 billion worth of goods on October 15 from 25% to 30%.
The specifics of the deal are still being hammered out and will be put into paper in the next four weeks. The heads of U.S. and China are expected to meet in a few weeks in Chile.
“We’ll do a formal signing with President Xi and myself,” Trump said of the meeting in Chile, which is hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation meetings in November.
Leading up to the latest talks, the president had said he wanted to strike a comprehensive agreement which would presumably include more Chinese enforcement of intellectual property rights, an end to the forced transfer of U.S. technology, greater access to Chinese markets and limits on subsidies of China’s state owned businesses. The prospects for such a sweeping deal are considered dim.
While full details of the deal weren’t available, Trump said it encompasses agreements on intellectual property and financial services. He said it also includes a deal for the Chinese to up to $50 billion worth of agricultural goods from American farmers.
The economies of both the U.S. and China have slowed since the tit for tat tariffs began 18 months ago. In the U.S., manufacturing and agriculture are two sectors notably cited in the U.S. slowdown. Both sectors rely critically on trade.
GDP growth in the US slowed to 2% and is likely lower than that in the just ended third quarter. The administration has sought to compensate farmers for last export sales with a $28 billion aid package distributed by the Department of Agriculture.