China welcomes partial deal in trade war it blames on US
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.
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.