“Partial” trade agreement reached with China

President Donald Trump announced on Oct. 11 the United States had reached a deal with China to put the brakes on a trade dispute between the two countries. The United States will delay additional tariffs on Chinese imports and, in exchange, China has agreed to what are thus far unspecified changes to intellectual property policies and currency guidelines. The country will also reportedly import between $40 billion to $50 billion worth of agricultural goods from the United States over an unspecified period of time.

This “Phase 1” trade deal with China is not yet written agreement, however, which will be drafted over the next several weeks.

President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He were scheduled to meet at the White House later in the day on Oct. 11 to discuss the “partial agreement.” Earlier in the week, Chinese trade representatives met with their U.S. counterparts in Washington, D.C. to lay the groundwork for a deal. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called the discussions “productive.”

“There are many questions that still need to be answered: What will these agreed to policy reforms look like? How will they be enforced? And over what time frame will the $50 billion of agricultural purchases—an amount that is double our peak annual farm exports to China—take place?,” said Roger Johnson, National Farmers Union (NFU) president. “Regardless of the answers to these questions, this deal should not be the end of our efforts to address China’s transgressions. Their unfair and manipulative trade practices are clearly still a problem that need to be fixed through substantive and meaningful reforms. Moving forward, the administration should work with our friends and allies to determine what those reforms should look like.”

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