US President Donald Trump has announced a partial agreement with China in the ongoing more than a year of trade war.
The “phase one” of a broader agreement includes intellectual property, financial services and agricultural products, among other things, Trump said Friday at a meeting with Chinese Vice Prime Minister Liu He at the White House.
This brings relaxation to the trade war, which has slowed economic growth in both countries and slowed down the global economy. The two largest economies in the world have gradually covered each other with ever new punitive tariffs.
The announcement of a partial deal comes as a surprise: Trump has repeatedly stressed that its priority is a comprehensive trade agreement. Commenting on the idea of a partial deal, Trump said Monday at the White House, “I think that’s not what we like at all, he tends to get ‘a big deal.'” Trump had repeatedly stressed, in his view China is more interested in an agreement than the US “They want to make a deal, but do I want that?” He tweeted on Thursday.
Senior officials from both countries had held a new round of talks in Washington since Thursday to defuse the conflict. Trump spread optimism. “Good things” would happen during the trade talks in Washington, he had written on Twitter on Friday, before the outcome of the talks became clear.
The expectations of the talks had been muted. New US sanctions angered China. The US government imposed visa restrictions on Chinese government and Communist Party officials and blacklisted 28 Chinese government and trade organizations to restrict exports to them. These measures were justified by the fact that China suppresses the Muslim minority of the Uighurs.
For some time now, imports from China to the USA amounting to around USD 250 billion have been punished with 25% punitive tariffs. They were originally intended to be increased to 30 percent from 1 October. In mid-September, Trump announced a move to October 15.
The trigger for the trade dispute was originally Trump’s anger at China exporting far more to the US than vice versa. Trump insisted on eliminating market barriers, criticizing copyright infringement and forced technology transfer to Chinese companies operating in China, as well as government subsidies. Later, the US president also called for structural changes in China.