U.S., China sign “phase one” of trade deal
The U.S.-based Plastics Industry Association praises the signing as a "step in the right direction".
The U.S. and China have signed “phase one” of their trade deal, that will see more American machinery and farm products sold to Chinese customers and help U.S. companies operating in China by better protecting their intellectual property.
The deal was signed in Washington on Jan. 15 by U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, bringing to an end a nearly two-year trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
As quoted by U.S. media outlets, Trump said during a White House ceremony that the deal is “righting the wrongs of the past.” He promoted the signing as a way of delivering economic justice for American workers and said, “We mark a sea change in international trade” with the signing.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in a letter to Trump that was read by Liu He, said concluding the first phase of the trade deal was “good for China, the U.S. and for the whole world.”
In perhaps the biggest section of the deal, China pledged to buy an additional US$200 billion in goods and services over the next two years in manufactured goods, agriculture, energy, and services.
Two days before the signing, the Trump administration dropped its designation of China as a currency manipulator in anticipation of the agreement.
The provisions of the deal are subject to an enforcement mechanism that calls for several rounds of consultations.
News of the signing drew a quick and positive response from the U.S.-based Plastics Industry Association. “This agreement is a step in the right direction, and we hope it paves the way forward for a reduction, or elimination, in tariffs, an increase in market access, and a less adversarial relationship between the world’s two largest economies,” Tony Radoszewski, the Washington-based association’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “The plastics industry is an important driver of global growth and it relies on free, stable trade relationships in order to innovate and employ more workers. We look forward to further negotiations that level the playing field for U.S. plastics companies to compete in global trade.”