U.S. Signs Off on China Trade Deal to Avert December Tariffs

U.S. President Donald Trump signed off on a phase-one trade deal with China, averting the Dec. 15 introduction of a new wave of U.S. tariffs on about $160 billion of consumer goods from the Asian nation, Bloomberg News reported. The deal presented to Trump by trade advisers yesterday included a promise by the Chinese to buy more U.S. agricultural goods, according to the people. Officials also discussed possible reductions of existing duties on Chinese products, they said. The terms have been agreed but the legal text has not yet been finalized, the people said. A White House spokesperson declined to comment. While there was no official confirmation from the government in Beijing today, an announcement is expected in Washington, D.C. One possible option is for U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer to sign the agreement with Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai. The U.S. has added a 25 percent duty on about $250 billion of Chinese products and a 15 percent levy on another $110 billion of its imports over the course of a roughly 20-month trade war. Discussions now are focused on reducing those rates by as much as half, as part of the interim agreement Trump announced almost nine weeks ago. Read more.