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U.S., China Reach Deal on First Phase of Trade Agreement - Washington Report

President Trump announced last Friday that the U.S. has reached a deal with China on the first phase of a comprehensive trade agreement. There are still parts of the deal that need to be finalized, projected to take three to five weeks to complete.

The White House has said China has agreed to import between $40 and $50 billion in U.S. agricultural commodities and will make structural changes related to market access for U.S. agricultural products currently banned. China also agreed to address sanitary and phytosanitary measures, biotechnology restrictions and will streamline biotechnology approval processes. China will also make concessions on intellectual property protections and financial services concerns.

In exchange, the U.S. has agreed not to follow through with tariffs originally scheduled to take effect this past Tuesday. That tariff increase was planned to be an increase to 30 percent from 25 percent on around $250 billion in Chinese goods. No commitment was made regarding the impending tariff increases scheduled for December 15. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the U.S. will also evaluate whether to rescind its decision in August to designate China a “currency manipulator.”

The agreement would not be subject to Congressional approval. Both countries are drafting the final agreement text and a potential signing could take place with President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Santiago, Chile on November 16-17.