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US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline

US, China reach limited trade deal ahead of tariff deadline
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The U.S. and China on Thursday reached a partial trade agreement that includes scrapping tariffs set to go into effect on Sunday, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Further specifics of the limited deal were not immediately clear, and it must still be signed by President TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' MORE and leaders in Beijing.

A statement from the White House was expected at some point Thursday evening, according to an official. The White House declined to comment.

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The agreement, which was first reported by Bloomberg News, comes just days before tariffs on roughly $160 billion on Chinese goods — including cellphones, video games and certain toys — were set to increase.

Trump originally delayed those tariffs in August, saying the tariffs would go into effect Dec. 15.

The president huddled Thursday afternoon to discuss the situation with China with some of his top trade advisers, including Larry KudlowLarry KudlowMORE, Peter Navarro, Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinHillicon Valley: Treasury sanctions Russian group accused of targeting critical facilities | Appeals court rules Uber, Lyft must comply with labor laws | Biden: Countries that target US elections will 'pay a price' Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight Treasury sanctions Russian group accused of targeting US critical facilities with destructive malware MORE and U.S. Trade Representative Robert LighthizerRobert (Bob) Emmet LighthizerWhiskey, workers and friends caught in the trade dispute crossfire GOP senator warns quick vote on new NAFTA would be 'huge mistake' Pelosi casts doubt on USMCA deal in 2019 MORE.

The deal does not appear to address structural changes to Beijing’s economy that Trump’s White House has pushed for since the president first imposed tariffs more than a year ago, meaning the United States and China will continue negotiations in search of a broader agreement.

But even an initial deal with China would deliver a win for Trump on one of his marquee issues and would come just two days after Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Health Care: Following debate, Biden hammers Trump on coronavirus | Study: Universal mask-wearing could save 130,000 lives | Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight On The Money: Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight | Landlords, housing industry sue CDC to overturn eviction ban Finger-pointing picks up in COVID-19 relief fight MORE (D-Calif.) said the House would take up the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), another priority for the president.

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Earlier on Thursday, Trump teased the possibility of some kind of pact with China, tweeting, “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!”

Trump first told reporters on Oct. 11 that the U.S. and China had come to terms “in principle” on a phase one deal that addressed agricultural purchases and some intellectual property issues. He indicated at the time that the agreement would be finalized and signed in a matter of weeks.

But talks dragged on and the president increasingly indicated a formal agreement could wait until well into 2020.

“I have no deadline," Trump said at a NATO leaders’ meeting in London last week. "In some ways, I think it’s better to wait until after the election."