Trump says he had a ‘very good talk with President Xi’ about China trade deal

GP: Donald Trump and Xi Jinping Osaka 190629
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with President Donald Trump before a bilateral meeting during the G20 Summit on June 29, 2019 in Osaka, Japan. China News Service | Getty Images

President Donald Trump said on Friday he had a “very good talk” with Chinese leader Xi Jinping about the trade deal, indicating more progress has been made after they reached the initial agreement.

The president said in a tweet that China has started “large scale” purchases of U.S. agricultural products, and a formal deal signing in being arranged. Trump added he also talked to Xi about North Korea and Hong Kong.

The talk between the two leaders came after the countries announced last week they have agreed on the text of a so-called “phase one” trade deal. The agreement includes some tariff relief, increased agricultural buying and certain structural changes to intellectual property and technology issues.

Details on the initial agreement have not been released, however. China did not specify how much U.S. farm goods it will buy, while the U.S. said China pledged to buy a total of $40 billion in farm goods over a two-year period.

As part of the limited deal, the U.S. said it will maintain 25% tariffs on approximately $250 billion of Chinese imports while reducing tariffs on $120 billion in products to 7.5%. Some analysts said the rollback was smaller than expected.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that trade negotiators would sign the deal in early January. Trump has said the U.S. would begin negotiations on the next phase of the trade deal “immediately,” rather than waiting until after the 2020 election.

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