US and China to sign phase one trade deal Jan. 15

President Trump said he will sign the so-called “phase one” trade deal recently reached between the U.S. and China at the White House on Jan. 15.

He added in a Dec. 31 tweet that he will be traveling to Beijing “at a later date” to begin “Phase Two” of trade negotiations with China.

The president and U.S. trade officials Robert Lighthizer, Steven Mnuchin, Peter Navarro and Larry Kudlow finalized the phase one deal at the White House on Dec. 12.

Details of the trade deal remain limited, but Trump agreed to halt the imposition of another round of tariffs on an estimated $160 billion in Chinese imports that was scheduled for Dec. 15. The Chinese government agreed to boost imports of U.S. agricultural products.

The trade war, which began when the U.S. imposed tariffs on Chinese imports in February 2018 based on findings of the Section 301 investigation on China’s acts, policies and practices related to technology transfer, intellectual property and innovation, has resulted in negative financial impacts for shippers of both countries.

Source: SONAR Freight Market Dashboard

According to Tariffs Hurt the Heartland, American consumers collectively paid an additional $42 billion between February 2018 and October 2019 as a result of the trade war. Chinese tariffs on American exports have totaled $12 billion since February 2018 and have primarily focused on agricultural exports.

For now, the United States will maintain 25% tariffs on about $250 billion of Chinese imports, along with 7.5% tariffs on another $120 billion of Chinese imports.

The Washington Post reported on Jan. 2 that the phase one trade deal also leaves in place China’s lucrative subsidies for key domestic industries, such as steel and shipbuilding.