China trade deal swaps tariff rollbacks for farm, energy purchases

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In a press conference minutes earlier, however, China's State Council said it expected all USA tariffs on Chinese products to be phased out in stages.

In a press conference in Beijing, Chinese officials said the two countries have achieved major progress in their phase one trade negotiations, and agreed on the text of a deal.

In addition to existing tariffs, Trump had threatened to impose a 15% levy Sunday on around US$160 billion of Chinese exports, including popular United States consumer goods like electronics and clothing. He said the 25 percent tariff will remain, and added that negotiations on the Phase-Two deal will begin soon.

Thursday evening, a senior administration official said a policy announcement regarding China would take place on Friday.

At home, political clouds gathered as the U.S. House of Representatives committee approved charges of abuse of power and obstruction against President Donald Trump, making it nearly certain he will become the third American president in history to be impeached.

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President Trump will not impose new tariffs on an additional $160 billion of Chinese imports that were scheduled to take effect this weekend, after tentatively signing off Thursday on a so-called phase-one trade agreement with Beijing, according to an administration official close to the process.

"Yesterday's landslide election victory for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also paves the way for a bilateral free trade agreement between the USA and United Kingdom which will provide even more opportunities for American small businesses", Ortiz continued.

A statement from the US Trade Representative said the deal required China to make structural reforms and changes to intellectual property, technology transfer and financial services.

"There are huge structural inequities, structural and unfair imbalances, with China's trade relationships with the U.S.", Schumer said.

A statement issued by USTR Friday did not mention the December 15 tariffs, but said that the United States would leave in place 25% tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

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The agreement gives Trump a diplomatic win ahead of the fast-approaching 2020 presidential election and relieves trade tensions that have ramped up in fits and starts since Washington imposed the first round of punitive tariffs in July 2018.

President Trump confirmed Friday that what he called a "very large Phase One Deal with China" had been made.

The US recently signed into law a bill that would sanction Chinese and Hong Kong officials deemed responsible for the suppression of freedoms in Hong Kong. Without progress, the U.S. has threatened to impose tariffs on more than $150bn worth of Chinese exports on 15 December.

"They want it and so do we!" the US President wrote on Twitter.

"We've heard this song and dance from China before", Schumer said.

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A Beijing-based U.S. business community official also told Reuters he viewed what was being described more as a "final offer" that has been approved by Trump but not yet affirmed by Beijing.

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