China wel­comes par­tial deal in trade war it blames on US

Chicago Tribune (Sunday) - - NATION & WORLD -

BEI­JING — China ex­pressed cau­tious op­ti­mism Satur­day about a first-step trade agree­ment that di­als down a trade war it blames the U.S. for start­ing.

Chi­nese ex­perts and news me­dia joined gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials in say­ing the deal would re­duce un­cer­tainty for com­pa­nies, at least in the short term. They re­mained cau­tious, say­ing both sides will have to show a will­ing­ness to com­pro­mise to re­solve the more fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ences be­tween them.

“It at least sta­bi­lizes the sit­u­a­tion and lays a foun­da­tion for the next round of trade talks or can­cel­ing ad­di­tional tar­iffs in the fu­ture,” said Tu Xin­quan, a pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of In­ter­na­tional Busi­ness and Eco­nomics in Bei­jing.

The coun­tries an­nounced a “Phase 1” agree­ment Fri­day un­der which the U.S. will re­duce tar­iffs and China will buy more U.S. farm prod­ucts. Chi­nese of­fi­cials said the ninechap­ter text, which in­cludes in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty, tech­nol­ogy trans­fer, fi­nan­cial services and dis­pute set­tle­ment, has to un­dergo le­gal and trans­la­tion re­view be­fore it can be signed.

Of­fi­cials said the U.S. would be­gin phas­ing out tar­iffs on Chi­nese im­ports. The deal was an­nounced two days be­fore higher tar­iffs were set to kick in. China would make sim­i­lar tar­iff cuts, the of­fi­cials said.

China por­trayed the deal as in line with the open­ing up of its econ­omy and the deep­en­ing of its eco­nomic re­forms. In­creased im­ports of high-qual­ity prod­ucts from the United States and else­where will “meet the grow­ing needs of the peo­ple for a bet­ter life,” said Wang Shouwen, a deputy com­merce min­is­ter and trade ne­go­tia­tor.

GAIZKA IROZ/GETTY-AFP

makes his way through a flooded neigh­bor­hood Satur­day af­ter heavy rains the day be­fore in south­west­ern France. One per­son died and five oth­ers were in­jured as the floods threat­ened the Pyre­nees-At­lan­tiques re­gion. About 70,000 homes lost power.

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