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  • Chinese and U.S. flags flutter near The Bund, before U.S. trade delegation meet their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019.

    Chinese and U.S. flags flutter near The Bund, before U.S. trade delegation meet their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China July 30, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 15 December 2019

On Friday it was announced that a deal in principle had been reached after more than two and a half years of on-and-off negotiations between Washington and Beijing. 

The “phase one” of the long-sought United States-China trade deal is “totally done” despite the need for translation and revisions to its text, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said Sunday.

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“Ultimately, whether this agreement works is going to be determined by who’s making the decisions in China...if the hard-liners are making the decisions we’re going to get one outcome, if the reformers are making the decisions, which is what we hope, then we’re going to get another outcome,” Lighthizer told CBS.

On Friday it was announced that a deal in principle had been reached after more than two and a half years of on-and-off negotiations between Washington and Beijing. 

The agreement will reduce some U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for increased Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural, manufactured and energy products by some US$200 billion over the next two years, nearly double U.S. exports.

China suspended the planned additional tariffs on some U.S. products to be implemented Sunday, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council said, which ​​​​​​​covers the 10 and five percent additional tariffs, respectively, on the imported products.

Besides, the country will continue to suspend its additional tariffs on U.S.-made vehicles and auto parts.

China has also pledged in the agreement to better protect U.S. intellectual property, to curb the transfer of U.S. technology to Chinese firms, to open its financial services market to U.S. firms and to avoid manipulation of its currency.

“The Chinese side hopes that the two sides will work together on the basis of equality and mutual respect to properly address each other's core concerns and promote the stable development of Sino-U.S. economic and trade relations,” the commission added.

Reuters reported that U.S. negotiators have offered to reduce tariffs on about US$375 billion in Chinese goods by 50 percent across the board, two people familiar with the negotiations said, and suspend tariffs on US$160 billion in goods scheduled to go into effect on Sunday.

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