Trump to Sign First Phase of China Trade Deal in January

President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up after arriving for Christmas Eve dinner at Mar-a-lago in Palm Beach, Fla., on Dec. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

WASHINGTON (CN) – President Donald Trump on Tuesday announced he plans to formally ink a first-step trade agreement with China in a ceremony at the White House next month.

Trump announced the agreement, which he has referred to as phase one of a larger deal, earlier this month. As part of the deal, China has agreed to purchase agricultural goods from the United States, while the U.S. agreed to hold off on tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese imports that were scheduled to snap in place on Dec. 15.

“I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. “The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!”

The agreement has been months in the making, first outlined in rough shapes in October before Trump’s announcement the deal had been reached in more concrete terms on Dec. 13. The U.S. will keep in place a 25% tariff on $250 billion in Chinese goods, while lowering to 7.5% an additional set of tariffs on $120 billion in imports.

According to a fact sheet from the office of the U.S. Trade Representative, as part of the agreement, China has agreed to curb its practice of requiring foreign companies to transfer technology to Chinese firms in order to access the country’s markets. The deal also addresses issues surrounding intellectual property.

China will also buy an additional $200 billion in goods from the U.S., according to the Trump administration fact sheet.

The deal also includes a dispute resolution system that “allows each party to take proportionate responsive actions that it deems appropriate.”

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