USA and China Reach Phase 1 Deal


The deal, according to a press release published by the USTR on december 13, "requires structural reforms and other changes to China's economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange".

Lighthizer conceded that how beneficial the agreement turns out to be will depend a lot on China and who in the government is making the final decisions. However, he also adds that the overall deal is "totally done" and it's definite progress in several years. But the deal requires structural reforms and other changes to China's economic and trade regime.

USTR and the U.S. Treasury said reports that U.S. negotiators had offered to cut the tariff rate by half on all $360 billion worth of goods hit by tariffs were "utterly false".

That's why he initiated his trade limitation campaign in 2017 that saw a couple-hundred-billion Chinese exports restricted with the tariffs. China has accepted billions of dollars in agricultural purchases from the United States, while President Donald Trump swore not to pursue a new set of tariffs set for Sunday. Such commitments are not going to come overnight and Trump's heavy-handed approach will likely see him wave the tariff stick at China at any given time.

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Keep in mind, the second year we will nearly double exports of goods to China, if this agreement is in place.

China maintains that the China-U.S. trade imbalance is mostly the result of differences between the economic structures and development stages of the two countries.

Stocks climbed Monday on Wall Street, placing the major indexes on track to follow up a milestone-setting week with more record highs. Apple has been perhaps the most high-profile of the affected companies, considering the massive scope of its operations in China and Apple's strong ties to Beijing.

The value of US agricultural exports to China was about $24 billion in 2017, and Lighthizer said Beijing would buy an additional $16 billion-$26 billion annually for the next two years.

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After the announcement of "phase one", the Asian market opened with a success. Retail sales growth rose to a five-month high of 8% from October's 7.2%. However, the capital gains were somewhat curbed due to further uncertainties in the talks.

USA shares had struck a cautious note on Friday, paring initial gains to end barely higher as tired investors awaited signs of a concrete deal.

"There is no reason to negatively view the phase-one deal".

But whether Sino-US trade will expand significantly in other areas depends on how long the two sides can maintain the ceasefire, he said.

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Although Apple has been developing contingency strategies to move manufacturing to other markets, like India and Vietnam, CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly lobbied Trump to either exempt Apple products from new tariffs or to reach a deal, like today's, that would put an end to the escalation.