President Donald Trump announced Monday that negotiations for his “phase one” trade agreement with China are ahead of schedule.
“We are looking probably to be ahead of schedule to sign a very big portion of the China deal, and we’ll call it phase one but it’s a very big portion,” Trump said. “That would take care of the farmers. It would take care of some of the other things. It will also take care of a lot of the banking needs.”
Last Friday, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin spoke with Chinese Vice-Premier Liu He over the phone and both made separate statements about the progress they made during the conversation. The USTR office said in a statement that both sides “made headway on specific issues” and were “close to finalizing some sections of the agreement,” according to Politico.
As part of the agreement, Beijing will purchase between $40 and $50 billion in U.S. agricultural products, while the U.S. ceases the originally scheduled Oct. 15 tariff increase. The tariff increases scheduled for Dec. 15 could still go into effect.
“So we're about, I would say, a little bit ahead of schedule, maybe a lot ahead of schedule,” President Trump said regarding the current trade deal. “Probably we'll sign it.”