China: Top trade official traveling to Washington for 'phase one' trade deal signing

China: Top trade official traveling to Washington for 'phase one' trade deal signing
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China’s top trade official will travel to the U.S. to sign “phase one” of a new trade deal between Washington and Beijing.

China’s Commerce Ministry confirmed Thursday that Vice Premier Liu He will lead a delegation of 10 officials next week, according to reports

The U.S. and China announced in December that they had struck an initial deal on a broader agreement, leading to a postponement of planned tariff increases in their ongoing trade war. Billions of dollars in earlier punitive duties remained in place on both sides.

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Under the first phase of the trade deal, Beijing agreed to purchase more U.S. farm goods, respond to complaints about its industrial policies and address concerns over intellectual property theft, Trump administration officials have said. However, no text of the deal has been made public and China has yet to publicly commit to key points of the arrangement.

Conciliatory steps by both sides, including the tariff postponements and Beijing’s resumption of soybean and pork purchases, have soothed jittery financial markets, which for months were roiled by the uncertainty fueled by the trade war.

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Trump-Biden debate clash The Memo: Debate or debacle? Democrats rip Trump for not condemning white supremacists, Proud Boys at debate MORE has praised the first phase of the trade deal, calling it “amazing” for all parties.

“We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China. They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more,” he tweeted last month, adding that he would travel to Beijing at a later date to begin discussions on a second phase that would include additional topics.

Next week’s signing ceremony in Washington hands Trump a victory on one of his central campaign promises to revise America’s trade relationships. It comes as he faces an impending impeachment trial in the Senate and scrutiny from lawmakers over his decision to approve a strike killing Iran’s top general.