China on Thursday welcomed the signing of the first phase of a trade deal with the U.S. but said the two sides’ “core concerns” must be addressed in future negotiations.
The “phase one” agreement signed Wednesday shows Beijing and Washington “can find appropriate and effective solutions to relevant issues through dialogue,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said at a press conference Thursday.
“It is imperative that both parties work together, uphold the principles of equality and mutual respect, strictly abide by the agreement, address each other’s core concerns, and work hard to implement the phase one agreement.”
The first phase of the trade deal includes a commitment from China to boost purchases of U.S. goods and services by $200 billion over the next two years, including $77.7 billion for manufactured goods and $32 billion for agricultural products. It also halves 15 percent tariffs on $120 billion of Chinese imports, but leave 25 percent tariffs on an additional $250 billion of imports in place.
The agreement halted a planned rise in the tariff rate in October and a new round of tariffs in December. However, it did not include vows from China to drop its tariffs.
Geng did not expand on what he meant by “core concerns,” but Beijing is known to want tariffs on most of its exports to be rolled back further. The White House has maintained that some penalties must remain in place to ensure that China abides by any deal.
President TrumpDonald TrumpGrant Woods, longtime friend of McCain and former Arizona AG, dies at 67 Super PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump Glasgow summit raises stakes for Biden deal MORE has said he plans to fly to Beijing to begin negotiations on a second phase to the agreement but has said he may wait until after the 2020 election to try and complete the deal.