Trump touts US-China phase one trade deal as 'landmark agreement'

Trump: Phase one is a historic trade deal with China

President Trump says the U.S. and China are taking a

President Trump signed a partial trade deal with China on Wednesday, touting the pact – which will ease nearly two years of tensions between the economic powerhouses — as the "biggest" in history. 

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"This really is a landmark agreement," Trump said at the White House.

The deal, part of what is expected to be a broader pact, includes, among other aspects, a commitment from Beijing to purchase $200 billion of U.S. goods over the next two years in exchange for an agreement from the U.S. to suspend planned tariffs on Chinese products. (The U.S. will maintain levies on about $375 billion worth of merchandise).

US, CHINA SIGN HISTORIC PHASE ONE TRADE DEAL

"These tariffs will stay in place until there is a phase two," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told FOX Business' Lou Dobbs. "If the president gets a phase two quickly, he'll consider releasing tariffs as part of phase two. If not, there won't be any tariff relief. It has nothing to do with the election or anything else. There's no secret agreement."

US-CHINA PHASE ONE TRADE DEAL: WHAT BEIJING HAS AGREED TO BUY

The purchases include up to $50 billion of U.S. agriculture goods, according to Trump and Mnuchin, $40 billion of which has been confirmed by Chinese sources. China will also buy $40 billion in services, $50 billion in energy and $75 billion to $80 billion worth of manufacturing.

Trump said he expects to conclude the tit-for-tat trade war, which has rattled global financial markets, in a phase two deal. Negotiations will begin "immediately," he said.

"We now have a big investment in each other and getting along with each other," he said. "We’ll probably be able to conclude it with phase two."

Trump, whose 2016 presidential campaign hinged on leveling out the trade disparities between the U.S. and some of its allies, said in 2018 when the trade war began that he was imposing tariffs because of intellectual property theft by China. At the time, the trade deficit was about $370 billion, which Trump alleged resulted in the loss of 2 million American jobs.

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"We have a tremendous intellectual property theft situation going on, which likewise [costs us] hundreds of billions of dollars, and that’s on a yearly basis," Trump said at the time.

FOX Business' Jonathan Garber contributed to this report.

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