President Trump announces the United States has reached the first phase of a trade deal with China as bilateral tension between Washington and Beijing continues to thaw.
The president made the announcement via twitter on Friday saying, “They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more.”
President Trump continued by saying the 25% tariffs targeting various Chinese products will remain in place, but the previously scheduled tariffs set to take effect this weekend will not be enacted.
The president continued, “We will begin negotiations on the Phase Two Deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election. This is an amazing deal for all.”
President Trump’s announcement comes just one day after he announced Washington and Beijing were, “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!”
Meanwhile, China echoed this assertion on Thursday when the commerce ministry announced it remains in close communication with the United States amid bilateral negotiations.
The announcement comes just weeks after a signing was previously expected to take place at the APEC summit in Chile before it was canceled over widespread civil unrest across the nation.
It remained unclear if the United States and China would finalize the first portion of a bilateral trade deal given the heightened tension surrounding China’s treatment of its minority Muslim population, and civil unrest in Hong Kong.
The House passed the Uighur Act of 2019 in a 407 to 1 vote, although it still would need to pass through the upper chamber before it arrives on the president’s desk for a signature.
If signed into law, the bill would justify sanctions against a Chinese official and condemnation of China’s treatment of more than one million Muslims, which are currently held in “camps” in Xinjiang.
American lawmakers have called these holding centers concentration camps, while China has suggested they “re-education” centers aimed at combatting terrorism.
Tension between Washington and Beijing has also mounted after President Trump signed bipartisan legislation into law which supports the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong.
China announced retaliation over the law earlier this month, saying it will no longer allow U.S. military ships and aircraft to visit Hong Kong.
Beijing announced it would also sanction various American-based NGO’s while suggesting the United States has “some [degree of] responsibility for the chaos in Hong Kong.”
President Trump signed the Human Rights and Democracy Act into law last week, mandating a special review annually to evaluate the special trading status Hong Kong currently has under American law.
The law also provides justification for sanctions targeting anyone who seeks to undermine the widespread pro-democracy demonstrations, and also prohibits the United States from exporting tear gas, pepper spray, water cannons, and other materials to Hong Kong.