Trump Signs 'Unbelievable' China Trade Deal

President says the deal delivers economic justice
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 15, 2020 1:10 PM CST
Trump Signs 'Unbelievable' China Trade Deal
Vice President Mike Pence speaks as President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, listen in the East Room of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020, in Washington, before they sign a trade agreement.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

President Trump signed a trade agreement Wednesday with China that is expected to boost exports from US farmers and manufacturers and is aimed at lowering tensions between the economic powers, the AP reports. Trump said during a White House ceremony that the deal is “righting the wrongs of the past." He promoted the signing as a way of delivering economic justice for American workers and said, "We mark a sea change in international trade" with the signing. Chinese leader Xi Jinping, in a letter to Trump that was read by Beijing's chief negotiator, said concluding the first phase of the trade deal was "good for China, the US and for the whole world." Trump said before the signing that the “unbelievable deal” would benefit both countries and "lead to even a more stable peace throughout the world.''

But the “Phase 1” trade agreement would do little to force China to make the major economic changes such as reducing unfair subsidies for its own companies that the Trump administration sought when it started the trade war by imposing tariffs on Chinese imports in July 2018. The White House ceremony gave Trump a chance to cite progress on a top economic priority on the same day that the House prepared to vote to send articles of impeachment to the Senate for a trial. “Our efforts have yielded a transformative deal that will bring benefits to both countries,'' Trump said. He added: ”Keeping these two giant and powerful nations together in harmony is so important for the world" and said "the world is watching today.” (More on the deal, including the thornier issues expected to come up in future negotiations, here.)

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