The escalation of tit-for-tat tariffs, which began in July 2018, has disrupted markets and slowed economic growth around the world.
United States President Donald Trump said Tuesday that phase one of the trade agreement with China would be signed at the White House on Jan. 15, although there are still considerable details to be clarified regarding the document.
Trump announced that he would sign the agreement with "senior representatives of China" and that he would later travel to Beijing to begin the negotiations for the next phase. According to the South China Morning Post, Vice Premier Liu He will lead the delegation that will visit Washington to sign the deal.
The agreement will likely 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, according to U.S. Trade representatives.
China also suspended the planned additional tariffs on some U.S. products to be implemented on Dec. 15, which covered the 10 and five percent additional tariffs, respectively, on the imported products.
However, no version of the text has been made public, and Chinese officials have yet to publicly commit to key points, such as increased imports of U.S. goods and services.
The U.S. Trade Representative said the first-phase agreement includes stronger Chinese legal protections for patents, trademarks, and copyrights, including improved criminal and civil procedures to combat online infringements and pirated and counterfeit products.
Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping said that “the first-phase economic and trade agreement reached between the U.S. and China is a good thing for the U.S., China, and the entire world,” but there was no mention of any detail in the limited trade deal or any further actions.
Meanwhile, China will lower tariffs on more than 850 products starting next year as Beijing looks to promote high-quality development of trade, the Customs Tariff Commission of the State Council announced on Dec. 23.