China, U.S. Reach Tentative “Phase One” Trade Agreement

President Trump signed off on the “Phase One” trade deal on Thursday afternoon. The agreement between the worlds’ two largest economies averts the December 15th introduction of a new wave of U.S. tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese goods. Bloomberg News reports the agreement was reached on Thursday afternoon and presented to the president shortly afterward. The deal does include a promise from China to buy more agricultural products. Officials also talked about possible reductions in existing duties on a number of Chinese products. The terms have been agreed on, but the legal text hasn’t been finalized yet. A White House spokesman declined a request for comment. In addition to a significant increase in Chinese agricultural purchases, officials also say the phase-one pact would include commitments from China to do more to stop intellectual property theft, something the administration has been pushing for. The phase one deal also includes commitments from both countries to no longer manipulate their currencies. Negotiators had been working on the phase one deal for months after the president announced the countries had reached an agreement.