WASHINGTON—The so-called phase one trade deal between Washington and Beijing has been “absolutely completed,” a top White House adviser said on Dec. 16, adding that U.S. exports to China will double under the agreement.
“They’re … going to double our exports to China,” National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow told Fox News.
Under the trade agreement announced last week, Washington will reduce some tariffs on Chinese imports in exchange for an about $200 billion increase in Chinese purchases of agricultural, manufactured, and energy products over the next two years.
While U.S. officials have hailed the deal, Chinese officials have been more cautious, emphasizing that the trade dispute hasn’t been completely settled.
“Make no mistake about it: the deal is done, the deal is completed,” Kudlow later told reporters at the White House. “The deal is absolutely completed.”
Asked if officials still planned to sign the deal the first week of January, Kudlow said, “That’s the hope.” Translations were still being worked out but he did not expect any changes to the final phase one agreement, he added.
On Dec. 15, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said a date for senior U.S. and Chinese officials to sign the accord hasn’t yet been determined.
Kudlow told reporters at the White House on Dec. 16 that the second phase of talks would start “pretty soon,” but offered no specific date.
“Phase Two and its outcome will depend in some way on the success of Phase One. The two are going to be linked,” he said.
U.S. President Donald Trump has said negotiations on a phase two trade deal between the two economic giants would start immediately.
Beijing has “committed to increase their purchases of manufactured goods, agricultural goods, energy products, and services by at least $200 billion over the course of the next two years,” a senior administration official told reporters on a conference call on Dec. 13.
That means China will boost its imports from the United States by at least $100 billion, on average, in 2020 and 2021; U.S. farm products will account for roughly half of that increase.
“In the agriculture area, we’re looking at China making commitments to make purchases in each of the next two years of an average of $40 billion to $50 billion,” the official confirmed.
In 2018, U.S. goods and services exports to China were $179.3 billion, according to the USTR.
By Makini Brice and Susan Heavey. Epoch Times reporter Emel Akan contributed to this report.