Washington Update

January 31st, 2020
By Chynna Hawes
Phase One implementation still unclear

Several questions remain about the implementation of the Phase One trade agreement due to come into force on February 14. With little information from US or Chinese officials as to whether tariffs on various goods will be rolled back, there are doubts over the prospects of purchase commitments being met, and questions about the timeframe. Prospects for “phase two” negotiations are also unclear. In conversations with the US-China Business Council,...

January 24th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Phase One still sinking in

This week, President Trump touted the administration’s recently concluded trade deals, the Phase One trade agreement with China and the US-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He also signaled US readiness to renew talks on reforming the World Trade Organization (WTO), which no longer has a functioning dispute settlement mechanism largely due to actions of the United States. Despite support for...

January 10th, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

Chinese delegation confirmed to be in DC next week for “phase one” deal signing

The Chinese government has confirmed that Vice Premier Liu He and a vice-ministerial delegation of Chinese officials will travel to Washington next week from January 13 to 15 to sign the “phase one” trade deal with the United States. The delegation will arrive on Monday, January 13, meet with academics and think tanks on Tuesday, and participate in what is expected to be a large signing ceremony at the...

January 3rd, 2020
By Chynna Hawes

“Phase one” deal around the corner

The United States and China are expected to finalize a preliminary “phase one” trade deal this month. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump said he plans to sign a “large and comprehensive phase one trade deal with China on January 15” at the White House. High-level Chinese representatives will also attend, according to Trump, and will likely include China’s Vice Premier and chief trade negotiator Liu He. It is unknown who on the China side will sign...

December 20th, 2019
By Anna Ashton

United States and China plan to sign “phase one” deal in early 2020, details still taking shape

The United States and China hope to sign a phase one trade deal in the first week of January. US-China Business Council (USCBC) contacts in the administration have indicated the deal will be signed at the vice premier-level in Washington, DC, and come into effect 30 days later. Administration officials have issued conflicting statements as to whether it will be President Trump and President...

December 13th, 2019
By Chynna Hawes

Partial trade agreement expected today

The United States and China have reached an interim “Phase One” trade agreement. The Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR), President Trump, and China’s Ministry of Commerce have confirmed the initial agreement includes improved intellectual property rights (IPR) protections, as well as commitments on technology transfer, agriculture purchases and structural reforms, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange, in...

December 6th, 2019
By Chynna Hawes

Negotiations still ongoing, both sides navigate non-trade issues

Negotiations for a “phase one” agreement with China continue, amid posturing from President Trump on the urgency of reaching a deal by the planned December 15 tariff escalation and  pressure from Congress to address human rights and democracy issues in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. Deputies on both sides continue to engage daily. Though the principals have not engaged for more than a week, they remain hopeful for an agreement...

November 22nd, 2019
By Chynna Hawes

Deal this year on shaky ground 

Progress toward an interim trade deal between the United States and China remained uncertain this week. While a few goodwill gestures were seen this week—including a grand farewell for Bei Bei, a giant panda and favorite of the DC National Zoo who returned to China as part of the panda breeding program—uncertainty continues to mount. The target closing date for an agreement has now shifted to December 15, when the next round of US tariffs are set to be...

November 15th, 2019
By Chynna Hawes

“Phase one” deal: no breakthroughs this week, closing date still uncertain

Even though the week began with President Trump affirming he had not yet decided to roll back tariffs, and indeed would substantially raise tariffs on December 15 if a deal is not reached, negotiations continued throughout the week at the deputy-level via teleconference. Principals are expected to speak today, according to the US Department of Agriculture undersecretary for trade. US officials remain fairly...

November 8th, 2019
By Chynna Hawes

US-China reportedly reach agreement on tariff rollback, but signing date still up in the air

This week, the United States and China continued to negotiate where and when a “phase one” deal can be signed by Presidents Trump and Xi. Officials have reiterated that the negotiating teams have been making progress on the text of the agreement and remain optimistic. A commitment to roll back tariffs will likely be included in the deal. Though it is unlikely a deal can be signed this month as...