'Phase One' Of China-US Trade Deal 'almost Done': Robert Lighthizer

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The 'phase one' of the trade deal between the US and China is expected to double the exports to China over the span of the next two years and is 'totally done'.

Written By Aanchal Nigam | Mumbai | Updated On:

The 'phase one' of the trade deal between the United States and China is expected to double the exports to China over the span of the next two years and is 'totally done'. The US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said on December 15 that the first phase of the agreement is close to an end irrespective of the need for translation and revisions to its text. While speaking to an international media outlet, Lighthizer mentioned some 'scrubs' in the text of the deal but it is 'absolutely done'. 

After nearly two and a half year, a deal has been in the negotiations between Washington and Beijing. This agreement will reportedly reduce a part of US tariffs on Chinese goods in exchange for the increased purchases of the US agricultural, manufactured and energy products by some $200 billion over the span of two years. Beijing has even promised the protection of US intellectual property. This will curb the coerced transfer of American technology to the Chinese firms and open country's financial services market to American firms along with avoiding manipulation of currency. However, the date to officially sign the trade agreement has still not been decided. 

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Increase in Chinese purchases expected

The American agricultural products sales are expected to increase to $40 billion to $50 billion annually for the next two years through Chinese purchases. In 2017, US has exported nearly $24 billion farm products in China and even the last full year, before the greatest trade war in history began in July 2018. The president of the American Chamber of Commerce in Shangai, Ker Gibbs reportedly said that for an agreement between Washington and Beijing, the key areas shall be the enforcement mechanisms along with agricultural purchases. However, it has also been acknowledged that in case these purchases fail to happen the way they are planned by the officials, it would give rise to yet another 'credibility issue' which would make things backwards. 

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Several Chinese officials have told an international news agency that the wordings of the trade pact still remain a delicate issue in the current stage of negotiations. According to a Beijing source, the first stage of the agreement is a 'phased achievement'. However, it still does not mean that trade disputes between both the economies will be 'settled once and for all'. The deal has suspended another round of threatening US tariffs on a $160 billion list of Chinese imports that were expected to be on effect since December 15. 

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(With agency inputs)

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