Inching Toward A Deal: What’s Next in the US-China Trade Negotiations

The US and China surprised me with their announcement of a small, “phase one” trade deal last week. I had thought any kind of deal would be a long shot, so I view this development as good news. Here’s a summary of the deal and what could happen next.

What’s in the deal?

  • China will step up purchases of US farm goods. Trump indicated that the purchases would amount to $40 -$50 billion.
  • Some agreement on certain intellectual property issues.
  • China made concessions on financial services to give US financial firms more access to China's market.
  • There was an agreement on currency issues. Treasury Secretary Mnuchin indicated he is considering lifting China’s designation as a “currency manipulator” if phase one is completed.
  • The US delayed tariffs scheduled to go into effect on October 22. The US may still impose these if a deal is not finalized.
  • The US did not change scheduled tariff hikes on December 15. However, the US may suspend them if more progress is made.
  • No existing tariffs were rolled back.