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Do We Finally Have A Trade Deal With China?

While I'm skeptical that a firm agreement has been reached, a respite from new tariffs is a victory for everyone.

There have been announcements of a trade deal with China before. In the past, those deals never quite came to fruition so forgive me if I’m a bit skeptical, but I’ll report once again that the US and China have reached an agreement.

The difference this time may be that we are also hearing good news from the Chinese side of the table. Chinese officials briefed reporters while President Trump took to Twitter to chronicle the agreement. In his tweets, the president said that his tariffs on Chinese goods imported to the US would not go into effect as planned this weekend. However, the current 25 percent tariff on many Chinese goods will remain as well as a smaller 7.5 percent tariff on most other Chinese imports.

Chinese Vice Finance Minister Liao Min said that China will consider canceling retaliatory tariffs in return for the cancellation of Trump’s plan to increase taxes on Chinese goods per CNBC. Additionally, Vice Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs Han Jun said that China would increase purchases of US agricultural products. He did not specify an amount for the increase, however.

The agreement in principle would also reportedly include changes to rules on intellectual property, technology transfers, and financial services. No details were available on those aspects of the agreement.

No time has been set for signing the new agreement, which Donald Trump calls a “phase one” deal, but the delay of a new round of tariffs in the trade war is good for both sides. Whether a real deal is signed from the agreement in principle remains to be seen, but the respite from more tariffs is a victory for everyone, especially American consumers.

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