President Trump has locked in a date for the signing of the phase one trade deal with China, and he's got his eye on phase two.
In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump said the "very large and comprehensive" phase one trade deal with China will be signed on Jan. 15, with "high level representatives of China" set to attend. Previous reports suggested Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, China's top trade negotiator, would visit Washington to sign the deal.
Under the phase one deal, the U.S. agreed to call off new tariffs that were scheduled to go into effect on Dec. 15 and reduce others, while China agreed to buy more agricultural goods, CNBC reports. It was officially announced on Dec. 13.
Trump also said Tuesday that at a "later date," he'll be headed to Beijing for negotiations of phase two of the deal.
I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15. The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2019
Earlier this month, Trump said that "I like the idea of waiting until after the [2020 presidential] election for the China deal," but he added that "they want to make a deal now." It's unclear when Trump's visit to Beijing might take place, but Axios' Dan Primack observes that there's much left to accomplish in phase two seeing as phase one "is Trump trying to save face — as it seems to basically be an agriculture purchase agreement that does little to address the core issues that the president supposedly cares about."
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