US and China reach phase one of trade deal

Wang Shouwen confirms agreement, which will go through legal procedures before being signed off

US and China have reached phase one of their trade agreement after 18 months of deliberation, cogitation and much irritation among traders.

On Thursday 12 December Donald Trump approved an agreement “in principle” that would see the US roll back some of the tariffs on $360bn (€323bn, £269bn) of Chinese goods in exchange for Chinese commitments to buy US agricultural products and other concessions.

According to the Wall Street Journal, China’s commerce vice minister Wang Shouwen agreed to phase one this afternoon, Friday 13 December.

The agreement covers agriculture, intellectual property protection, tech transfer, financial opening and currency.

The US has agreed to remove tariffs in stages, and eliminate new levies scheduled to take effect on Sunday. However, phase one needs to go through legal procedures in both countries before getting signed off.

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