President Donald Trump announced on Friday that the United States and China have agreed in principle to “phase one” of a trade deal between the two countries.
Trump revealed some of the specifics of the agreement during an Oval Office meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and trade talk delegations from the U.S. and China.
“We’ve come to a very substantial phase one deal,” Trump said, adding that the terms will be put into writing over the next three to five weeks.
“We’ve come to a deal on intellectual property, financial services, a tremendous deal for the farmers, a purchase of from $40 to 50 billion worth of agricultural products.
“To show you how big that is, that would be two and a half, three times what China had purchased at its highest point thus far.”
Trump noted that China is currently purchasing about $8 billion in agricultural products, down from a recent peak of around $16 billion.
China cut its purchases in agricultural goods from the U.S. in response to the ongoing tariff war between the countries.
“So I’d suggest the farmers have to go and immediately buy more land and get bigger tractors,” Trump joked.
Liu told the president, “We have made substantial progress in many fields. We are happy about it.”
Asked by a reporter if he was concerned about tariffs potentially going away, given his oft-stated support of them, Trump replied he was not.
“I think that we’re going to have a deal that’s a great deal that’s beyond tariffs,” the president said. “This is a deal that’s a very important deal for China, very important deal for the world, very important deal for the United States.”
“I think that world peace, you know there was a lot of friction between the United States and China, and now it’s a lovefest,” he added. “That’s a good thing. But that’s good for China and it’s good for us, but it’s good for the world.”
Trump suggested the agreement could get signed in November when both he and President Xi Jinping will be attending the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Chile.
The president had tweeted earlier on Friday that the talks were going well.
Good things are happening at China Trade Talk Meeting. Warmer feelings than in recent past, more like the Old Days. I will be meeting with the Vice Premier today. All would like to see something significant happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 11, 2019
CNBC reported that the Dow Jones Industrial Average soared over 300 points, closing up 1.2 percent, on the news about the improving trade relations between the counties with the two largest economies in the world.
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