ND leaders react as President Trump signs trade deal with China

Robert Lighthizer

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has previously said some aspects of the deal won't be made public. | Marco Ugarte AP

The deal also includes a commitment by China to increase its buying of us agricultural products to $40 billion to 50 billion in each of the next two years.

US Speaker of the House of Representative Nancy Pelosi said Trump's China strategy had "inflicted deep, long-term damage to American agriculture and rattled our economy in exchange for more of the promises that Beijing has been breaking for years", in a statement.

The "phase one" deal is also a boon for Donald Trump as he faces an impeachment trial and a tough re-election fight this year, with the United States president hailing the agreement as "momentous".

The US president thanked Chinese leader Xi Jinping and said he would visit China in "the not-too-distant future".

But he said he would use the process to enforce the agreement "to the letter".

"Our negotiations were tough, honest, open, and respectful, leading us to this really incredible breakthrough", Trump said. But President Trump and other critics blamed that pact for encouraging US companies to move their manufacturing plants south of the border to take advantage of low-wage Mexican laborers. While Washington will on January 30 cut in half the 15% tariffs on $120 billion in Chinese imports imposed in September, its other duties on $250 billion in goods remain untouched, and the rollback can be reversed if the US finds that Beijing is not holding up its end of the bargain.

"Third, there appear to be no commitments to curtail the illegal dumping of Chinese products into our markets, which puts American firms out of business and workers out of a job", he continued.

"It is imperative that both parties work together, uphold the principles of equality and mutual respect, strictly abide by the agreement, address each other's core concerns, and work hard to implement the Phase 1 agreement", Geng said. "China front also serves the administration's interests at this point".

"Over the past two years, the two sides encountered some difficulties in the economic and trade fields". The more than year-long trade conflict resulted in multiple rounds of tit-for-tat tariffs on billions worth of goods. Washington dropped plans for additional punitive tariffs on Chinese goods in the fight over Beijing's technology ambitions and trade surplus that threatens to depress global economic growth.

"This deal will help to limit market access barriers for American internet companies and better protect innovative USA intellectual property".

However, on an estimated $250bn worth of Chinese goods, the USA will maintain up to 25 percent tariffs.

The official said China has not made any specific commitments to cut tariffs it has imposed on U.S. goods in retaliation.

The deal includes China committing to buy $200 billion worth of additional USA goods and services over the next two years, including $40-50 billion of agricultural goods each year. Punitive tariffs are expected to remain on nearly two-thirds of US imports from China - $360 billion in goods - until at least the November presidential election. Oil prices rose, helped by expectations of more Chinese purchases of United States oil and gas.

"This is the largest store in the world", said President Donald Trump.

Going forward, a senior United States administration official told reporters that Washington would be "actively monitoring" data sources from both countries to ensure that China is fulfilling its promise. "But it was stopped by the phase one agreement before causing any deadly consequences for either side".

"What we don't know until we read the text is which one is it", said Hillman, who was the former general counsel at the US International Trade Commission and has served on the World Trade Organization's highest court.

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