trump xiREUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

  • President Donald Trump confirmed Friday that the US has agreed to lower tariffs against China as part of an interim trade agreement.
  • China had announced moments earlier that the two sides had reached the text of a so-called phase one deal. 
  • As part of the agreement, Trump said the US would lower the tariff rate on China to 7.5% from 25% and cancel plans to hit virtually all imports from that country on Sunday. 
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump confirmed Friday that the US has agreed to lower tariffs against China as part of an interim trade agreement and that further escalations would be suspended. 

China announced moments earlier that the two sides had reached the text of a so-called phase one deal, which could pave the way for a broader pact to defuse a 19-month trade dispute between the largest economies. 

“We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more.”

Trump said the US would lower the tariff rate on $120 billion worth of Chinese products to 7.5% from 15% as part of the agreement and cancel plans to target virtually all imports from that country Sunday. A 25% tariff will remain on separate tranches of Chinese goods, which were valued at around $250 billion last year.

At a news conference in Beijing, Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said the US would remove some of those tariffs in gradual phases. 

China is expected to make changes to the way it manages its economy in return, according to a statement from the Office of the US Trade Representative, including through unspecified intellectual property protections and steps to open its financial services sector.  

The phase-one deal still faces a series of logistical hurdles including translations and legal reviews. It would then need to be signed by both Trump and President Xi Jinping.

Trump said the US would “immediately” begin attempts to reach a more comprehensive economic detente with China, which advisers have said would require at least two more rounds of negotiations. 

“We will begin negotiations on the Phase Two Deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election,” Trump said. “This is an amazing deal for all. Thank you!”

This story is developing. Please check back for updates. 

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