US-China Phase 1 trade deal likely to be signed next week: report

A White House Trade advisor told a news channel that Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He will be in Washington next week to sign the Phase 1 trade deal

The US-China Phase 1 trade deal can get signed as early as next week, said the White House's trade advisor on Monday. However, he also said that a final confirmation will come from President Donald Trump or the U.S. Trade Representative.

Earlier in the day, the Chinese media also reported that China's top negotiator, Vice-Premier Liu He, will be in Washington this week along with a delegation to sign the Phase 1 trade deal. The U.S. and China had been long working on a trade deal which was finally reached this month. Naturally, the signing is now the next major step that will finally see both countries doing away with tariffs on billions of dollars of imports.

Signing likely next week

US China flag
US China flags Reuters

Post the confirmation that both the countries have reached the Phase 1 of the trade deal, President Donald Trump had said that the deal could be signed as early as in January. So much so that he even said that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have a signing ceremony for the trade deal. This gave investors' sentiments a boost that saw stocks rallying.

On Monday, South China Morning Post sighting a source reported that the deal is likely to get signed as early as next week, with Beijing having accepted an invitation from Washington. Later in the day, White House trade advisor Peter Navarro in an interview to Fox News spoke on similar lines saying that Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He will be visiting Washington next week to sign the trade deal.

However, neither the White House nor Beijing confirmed the news. "We'll probably have a signing on that within the next week or so - we're just waiting for the translation," Navarro told Fox News.

What does the deal contain?

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A lot of speculation is being made on the Phase 1 trade deal on goods that will feature in the list of tariff waivers. However, nothing has been confirmed by either of the two countries. Navarro said that the details of the deal will be made public at the earliest once it is signed.

A large number of both U.S. and Chinese companies have been suffering for almost two years now owing to the tariff war. Although talks were initiated earlier, a solution in the form of Phase 1 trade deal could be achieved only this month. The 83-page agreement is likely to contain a lot of details on intellectual property and "forced technology transfer from foreign companies", which was one of the key factors that started the tariff war.