President Donald Trump said Friday that the U.S. and China have reached a limited trade deal, marking the first tangible achievement in the 18-month trade war between the world’s two largest economies.
Speaking in the Oval Office during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, the president said negotiators had reached a “substantial phase one” agreement, though details remained to be written down. As part of the partial agreement, the White House agreed not to proceed with plans to increase tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese goods next week to 30% from 25%.
The partial accord, involving major Chinese purchases of U.S. farm products and U.S. tariff concessions, is intended to pave the way for a more complete bargain between Washington and Beijing. Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping could meet to finalize such an agreement in Chile at an Asian-Pacific leaders summit in mid-November.
“Both presidents have to own this thing,” said Craig Allen, president of the U.S.-China Business council.
News of a potential deal, which capped two days of talks in Washington, had cheered Wall Street earlier on Friday. Even before the president spoke, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up more than 480 points or 1.8% amid hints that a partial accord was imminent. But the lack of specificity in Trump’s announcement, and his comment that the partial deal could still take weeks to iron out, cooled some of that optimism. And the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up nearly 320 points on the day.
“This deal temporarily puts off any further escalation of tensions but does not resolve any of the major underlying sources of