US, China announce tariff rollback deal

Published : 22:38, Dec 13, 2019 | Updated : 22:40, Dec 13, 2019

US President Donald Trump and Chinese officials said Friday that they have agreed to a "phase one" trade deal that included cutting U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods. But they offered no specific details on the amount of U.S. agricultural goods Beijing had agreed to buy, a key sticking point of the lengthy deal negotiations.
Chinese officials from Commerce Ministry, National Development and Reform Commission, Foreign Affairs, Central Commission`s Office for Financial and Economic affairs and Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs attend a news conference on the state of trade negotiations with U.S. in Beijing, China December 13, 2019. REUTERS"We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China," Trump said on Twitter Friday morning.
Officials in China have "agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more," he said. The U.S. has agreed to suspend tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese goods due to go into effect on Dec. 15, Trump said, and cut existing tariffs to 7.5%.
The agreement covers intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, currency, and foreign exchange, the United States Trade Representative said in a statement Friday morning.
The United States will maintain 25% tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports, but cut tariffs in half to 7.5% on $120 billion in imports, the USTR said.
In a press conference Friday night in Beijing, Chinese officials said the two countries have achieved major progress in their phase one trade negotiations, and agreed on the text of a phase one deal.
China will import more U.S. wheat and corn after the deal, China's vice agricultural minister said.
The U.S. has been pushing for Beijing to commit to buy $50 billion in agricultural products in 2020, a figure that Chinese officials have previously balked at.
Asked specifically about the $50 billion figure, officials in Beijing said details on value will be disclosed later.
The deal will provide more protection for foreign companies in China, and Chinese companies in the United States, Chinese officials said.