President Donald Trump said Thursday a new location for signing the “phase one” U.S.-China trade deal will be announced soon after the initial gathering in Chile was canceled due to protests.
“China and the USA are working on selecting a new site for signing of Phase One of Trade Agreement, about 60% of total deal, after APEC in Chile was canceled do to unrelated circumstances,” Trump tweeted on Thursday. “The new location will be announced soon. President Xi and President Trump will do signing!”
Chilean President Sebastian Pinera announced Wednesday he’s calling off the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Santiago in mid-November due to nationwide protests sparked by a proposed hike in public transport fares. Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping were expected to meet at the summit to discuss a possible “phase one” deal that the two countries are close to finalizing.
Trump said in his tweet that the “phase one” trade deal represents the majority of a long-term agreement. His comment came after a Bloomberg News reported Thursday that China is doubtful about reaching a comprehensive trade deal with the U.S. due to Trump’s “impulsive nature.”
Earlier this month, Trump said the U.S. has come to a “very substantial phase one deal” with China, adding phase two will start “almost immediately” after the first phase is signed.
Trump had said the agreement would address issues such as intellectual property and financial services and include a pledge for China to buy $40 billion to $50 billion in American agricultural products. The limited deal also includes a pause in tariff escalation as the U.S. ditched a planned tariff hike on $250 billion in Chinese goods set to take effect Oct. 15.
However, many experts had said the “phase one” deal represents a much smaller portion of what Trump originally set out to pursue.
“Phase 1 components were mixed,” Donald Straszheim, head of Evercore ISI’s China research, said in a note last week. “With no Oct 10-11 meeting documentation, no outsider knows what was agreed. … We expect the agreement to be more general than specific.”