Trump finalizing trade deal with China
Agreement set to be signed
WASHINGTON — After three years of tweets and tariffs, President Trump has arrived at his China moment.
The expected signing Wednesday of a “phase one” deal includes Chinese commitments to respect American intellectual property, not manipulate its currency, and a U.S. expectation for $200 billion in new purchases that should help reduce a yawning trade deficit and repair some of the damage suffered by farmers.
“We think it was a good negotiation, we think it will make a real difference,” U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters Monday. “A skeptic would say ‘we’ll see’ and that’s probably a wise position to take. But our expectation is that they keep their obligations and in any event, they’re enforceable.”
For its part, Beijing is pointing to progress.
A foreign investment law that took effect Jan. 1 bans administrative agencies from forcing technology transfers. And while the U.S. labeled China as a “currency manipulator” in August at the height of trade war, the People’s Bank of China has long relinquished direct intervention.
“China has made steady strides in reform and opening-up over the past year,” Cui Tiankai, China’s ambassador to the U.S., said last week.
THE NEGOTIATOR: China’s Vice Premier Liu He, left, speaks with President Trump during a trade meeting in Washington, D.C., in April. Trump now says the two countries are poised to sign a trade deal that will benefit both countries.