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China says 'phase one' trade deal reached with US

China announced on Friday a "phase one" trade deal with the United States that includes a progressive rollback of tariffs and the protection of intellectual property rights, but the two sides have yet to sign the agreement.
China announced on Friday a "phase one" trade deal with the United States that includes a progressive rollback of tariffs and the protection of intellectual property rights, but the two sides have yet to sign the agreement. Damir Sagolj, REUTERS

The announcement came a day after President Donald Trump tweeted that the world's two biggest economies were very close to a "BIG DEAL" in their protracted trade dispute.  

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Chinese vice commerce minister Wang Shouwen told reporters Washington agreed to a "phasing out" of tariffs on Chinese goods, without offering details.

Vice finance minister Liao Min said China would not introduce tariffs on US products that had been planned as retaliation for fresh US duties on Chinese products on Sunday.

He did not offer details on whether China would roll back existing tariffs on US goods.

Wang said the agreement includes strengthening the protection of intellectual property rights, expanding market access and safeguarding the rights of foreign companies in China -- issues at the heart of US complaints about Beijing's restrictive economic policies.

US media reports said China would spend $50 billion on US farm goods -- a major Trump request -- but Chinese officials did not provide any figures at a press briefing in Beijing.

"The two countries have agreed on the text of a phase one trade and economic deal," Wang said at the news conference.

"Both parties agree that in the next step, they will complete the necessary procedures for legal review and translation as soon as possible, and negotiate the specific arrangements for the formal signing of the agreement.

"After the signing of the agreement, it is hoped that both sides will abide by the agreement, work hard to implement the relevant contents of the first phase of the agreement."

(AFP)

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