Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - China confirms negotiator to sign trade deal in US

China confirms negotiator to sign trade deal in US

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping leaving a business leaders event at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. (File photo: AFP)

China confirms negotiator to sign trade deal in US

China on Thursday said Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington next week to sign the “phase one” deal with the US that has lowered trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies.

The signing will cap a nearly two-year spat that threatened to throttle the global economy as the two countries exchanged tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of two-way trade.

Liu, China’s top negotiator in the trade conflict, will be in the US capital from Monday to Wednesday to sign the deal, the commerce ministry said.

US President Donald Trump announced last week that the two countries would sign the mini agreement – the first part of a wider pact between the two – on January 15, but Beijing had yet to confirm the trip.

“At the invitation of the US, Liu He will be leading a delegation to Washington from January 13 to January 15 to sign the phase one deal,” commerce ministry spokesman Gao Feng said at a weekly news briefing.

“Both parties are in close communication regarding the detailed arrangement of the signing,” Gao said, without providing more details.

US and Chinese officials have said the agreement includes protections for intellectual property, food and farm goods, financial services and foreign exchange, and a provision for dispute resolution.

Trump also cancelled plans to impose tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese merchandise in mid-December – including hot consumer items such as mobile phones – but punishing tariffs remain on about $250 billion worth of goods, including machinery and many electronic items.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said China committed to a minimum of $200 billion in increased purchases over the next two years from US manufacturers, farmers, energy producers and service providers.

But Gao refused to confirm the figure at Thursday’s news conference.

Trump said last week that he would travel to Beijing for negotiations on the next part of the wider deal “at a later date”, but Gao said he had “no further information on phase two” of the negotiations.

Observers say the trade war, which has also had ramifications for other economies globally, may have ushered in a long-term de-coupling of trade relations between the two economic powerhouses.

The truce also partially removes a thorn in the side of Chinese President Xi Jinping, who has to deal with a slowing economy and pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

MOST VIEWED

  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a