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Phase One Trade Deal to Double U.S. Exports to China Over Next Two Years

The “part one” Sino-U.S. trade agreement will practically double U.S. exports to China over the next two years and is “completely done” regardless of the need for translation and reviews to its text, U.S. Trade Consultant Robert Lighthizer stated Sunday.

The agreement, declared Friday after over two and a half years of on-and-off discussions between Trump and Xi, will reduce some U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports in exchange for increased Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural, manufactured and energy products by around $200 billion over the next two years.

China has further promised in the settlement to protect U.S. intellectual property better, to restrict the threatened transfer of American technology to Chinese companies, to open its financial services sector to U.S. firms, and to avoid manipulation of its currency.

Chinese purchases of agricultural products are anticipated to increase to $40 billion to $50 billion yearly over the next two years, Lighthizer said. The US exported around $24 billion in farm products to China in 2017, the last full year before the world’s two most significant economies tipped into a tariff war on each others’ products in July 2018.

The agreement suspended a threatened round of U.S. levies on a $160 billion list of Chinese imports that were slated to roll out Sunday. The U.S. further agreed to halve the tariff rate, to 7.5%, on a $120 billion list of Chinese goods along with Bluetooth headphones, smart speakers, and flat-panel TVs.

USTR and the U.S. Treasury stated reports that U.S. mediators had offered to cut the duties by half on all $360 billion worth of products struck by tariffs were “utterly false”.

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