Whatever these goals turn out to be, some feedback is already happening. As the US-China Business Council reports, both sides halted tariff escalations after the two countries signed the Phase One trade agreement in 2020. In addition, China introduced a “robust system of tariff exemptions,” with the United States also introducing some exceptions. This has contributed to a recovery in bilateral trade. By 2020, US merchandise exports to China grew by about 18 percent, more than offsetting the tariff-driven decline of more than 11 percent in 2019. With that, China has maintained its position as the third-largest market for US merchandise exports.