China pledges to import more US goods if Trump scraps new tariffs

China pledges to import more US goods if Trump scraps new tariffs as world’s two largest economies agree trade pact

The US and China moved a step closer to resolving their 18-month trade war after signing a preliminary ‘phase one’ agreement.

China pledged to import £151billion more goods from the US than it did in 2017, and will strengthen its intellectual property rules to make it easier to prosecute companies which steal ideas.

In turn, the US has agreed to scrap a wave of tariffs it was due to impose last month on Chinese-made goods such as mobile phones, toys and laptops.

President Trump shakes hands with China’s vice premier Liu He after signing a U.S. China trade agreement in the White House

It will halve the tariff rate to 7.5 per cent on around £91billion of other Chinese goods such as televisions, bluetooth headphones and shoes. 

But the vast majority of tariffs, including 25 per cent charges on an array of Chinese industrial goods and components worth around £190billion, will remain in place until a phase two deal is reached.

Talks on this next stage are set to resume in February.

US President Donald Trump hailed the agreement as ‘momentous’ during a speech in which he covered subjects ranging from fireworks on Mount Rushmore to why items bearing his signature keep turning up on eBay.

He added: ‘Together we are righting the wrongs of the past.’

China’s vice-premier Liu He struck a more sombre tone, echoing a warning from the World Economic Forum earlier in the day as he said China and the US must work more closely together to tackle the world’s problems.

Germany’s economy grew just 0.6 per cent last year – its slowest rate for six years – which it blamed on global trade tensions, export weakness and a downturn in the automotive industry.


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