U.S. and China sign ‘Phase 1’ trade deal; ATA says deal is ‘good for our industry’

President Donald Trump, right, participates in a signing ceremony of an agreement between the United States and China with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He with Wednesday, Jan. 15, in the East Room of the White House. (Official White House Photo by D. Myles Cullen)

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump and China’s chief negotiator, Liu He, signed the “Phase 1″ deal between the U.S. and China before a group of corporate executives and press at the White House today. The pact eases some sanctions on China.
In return, Beijing has agreed to step up its purchases of U.S. farm products and other goods. The initial agreement is a key step toward de-escalating an 18-month long trade conflict between the world’s largest economies.
Both nations will have to deal with some of the more contentious trade issues as they move ahead with negotiations. Punitive tariffs will remain on Chinese goods as talks continue.
The American Trucking Associations applauded leaders in the U.S. and China for coming together on a deal to encourage trade between the two countries.
“The signing of this agreement with China is good for our industry, which is significantly impacted by trade,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. “It will give a boost to U.S. manufacturers and exporters of American goods and provide certainty to the supply chain — all of which will positively impact the trucking industry. It is our hope that leaders in both China and the United States will build on this promising first step and move forward to forge a broader agreement promoting fair and equitable trade between our two countries.”
The White House Fact Sheet regarding the deal states that as a part of the new agreement, China has pledged to increase imports of American goods and services by at least $200 billion. China’s increase in U.S. imports will take place over the next two years, and the trajectory is expected to continue even after 2021.
China will be making purchases of U.S. manufactured goods, agriculture, energy, and services under this deal. China has agreed to purchase between $40 and $50 billion in American agricultural goods each year for two years.
The Associated Press reported that the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 29,000 points for the first time and the S&P 500 index hit its second record high in three days Wednesday. The milestones came on a day when the market traded in a narrow range as investors weighed the latest batch of corporate earnings reports and the widely anticipated signing of the initial trade deal.

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