May 31, 2020

What’s in phase one of the US-China trade deal?

Since the two sides reached the trade breakthrough in December, they have been further reviewing and translating the document. On Sunday, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin announced that Beijing’s commitments had not changed during the translation and said the official text is set to be available on the day of the signing.

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It was announced earlier that China has agreed to boost purchases of American products to the total of US$200 billion over the next two years. The increases in imports will span four industries, according to sources cited by South China Morning Post and Politico.

Manufactured goods are expected to see the highest increase, with China reportedly pledging to buy $75 billion worth of the products. The purchases could include autos, auto parts, aircraft, agricultural machinery, medical devices and semiconductors, Reuters said, putting the figure even higher at $80 billion.

Additionally, Beijing will purchase $50 billion worth of energy, $40 billion in agriculture and between $35 and $40 billion in services, according to the reports.

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The accord also covers such areas as intellectual property protection, technology transfer, currency, and market access to key sectors in the Chinese economy.

For its part, China has been very cautious with public comments on the matter and is yet to confirm its purchase commitments. Last week, Beijing said that it was not going to increase its annual import quotas for corn, wheat, or rice, raising some concerns that it would therefore be difficult to fulfil its pledges on farm goods.

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