The progress made toward getting “phase one” of a Chinese trade deal established has encountered a setback as the planned venue for signing the agreement is no longer available. President Trump had indicated an intention to have the deal signed with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile next month. That summit has since been canceled due to unrest in the area. “China and the USA are working on selecting a new site for signing of Phase One of Trade Agreement,” President Trump said via Twitter.
While officials from both countries have not given much detail regarding the particulars of the “phase one” deal that was partially negotiated, there is optimism that the trade relationship is on the road to improvement. President Donald Trump expressed his enthusiasm that negotiations with China were moving in the right direction, telling reporters last week, “they’re going to be buying much more farm products than anybody thought possible.”
After a phone call between representatives of both countries, the U.S. Trade Representative’s office noted that negotiations would be ongoing. “They made headway on specific issues and the two sides are close to finalizing some sections of the agreement. Discussions will go on continuously at the deputy level, and the principals will have another call in the near future,” a statement said.
If the initial Chinese trade deal comes to fruition, the country will reportedly be purchasing at least $20 billion worth of American agricultural products over the next year, with the potential for increasing sales as negotiations continue to progress. Earlier in the month, China announced that it would purchase between $40 billion and $50 billion of American agricultural goods if the U.S. would suspend the tariff increase that was initially scheduled for October 15. The tenuous trade relationship between the U.S. and China has been causing significant disruption to global market conditions for nearly 16 months.