China, US officials: 'Phase one' trade deal could slide into next year

China, US officials: 'Phase one' trade deal could slide into next year
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Chinese and U.S. officials say a “phase one” of the trade deal between the countries could slide into next year, Reuters reported Monday.

Chinese and U.S. officials, lawmakers and trade experts also said the delay in agreeing on a phase one deal and the upcoming 2020 presidential election could push the second phase of the agreement until after the election.

Officials from Beijing told Reuters they don’t expect to discuss a phase two of the deal before November 2020, partly because they want to see if President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren: Dershowitz presentation 'nonsensical,' 'could not follow it' Bolton told Barr he was concerned Trump did favors for autocrats: report Dershowitz: Bolton allegations would not constitute impeachable offense MORE wins.


“It’s Trump who wants to sign these deals, not us. We can wait,” one official told Reuters. 

Trump has pushed for a phase one deal as soon as possible, with a plan to tout the successful deal during his reelection campaign, a Trump official told Reuters. The president also said last month he anticipates jumping into phase two discussions right after phase one is finished.

“As soon as we finish phase one we’re going to start negotiating phase two,” another administration official told Reuters. “As far as timing around when a phase two deal could be completed, that’s not something I can speculate on.”

The U.S. trade war with China has lasted about 16 months, affecting in particular U.S. farmers and creating a drag on the global economy. 

Phase one of the deal is expected to include Chinese commitments to buying U.S. agricultural products and a U.S. agreement to reduce tariffs on Chinese products. The countries have had trouble negotiating reportedly because China is calling for more reductions in tariffs. 

Officials have planned for phase two to address China’s economic espionage, cyber attacks and forced technology transfer and dumping of low-priced goods with expensive government subsidies.

Rep. Jim CostaJames (Jim) Manuel CostaGroup of House Democrats reportedly attended the White House ball China, US officials: 'Phase one' trade deal could slide into next year Fresno congressman calls for Senate to take up gun legislation after deadly mass shooting at football party MORE (D-Calif.) told Reuters that phase one includes “the easy stuff” compared to phase two.

The Hill reached out to the U.S. Trade Representative for comment.