After months of escalating tariff actions and negotiations, on December 13, the U.S. and China announced that there was a final agreement on a “phase one” trade deal between the countries. The U.S. Trade Representative has released a fact sheet on the agreement. The deal addresses several of the White House’s priorities as they relate to China, including intellectual property protection reform and bolstering U.S. agricultural exports.
The agreement came about right before 15 percent tariffs on an additional $160 billion worth of consumer goods from China went into effect on December 15, averting them being imposed. The September round of 15 percent tariffs on $120 billion worth of imports have been reduced to 7.5 percent, and the prior 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports are persisting at that level for the time being. Any reduction in the outstanding tariffs will come as a result of progress in the continued negotiations between the U.S and China