Money & The Economy

‘Big Progress Being Made’ In China Trade Negotiations

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President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he had a “very good call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding progress on a comprehensive trade deal.

A deal could bring an end to what has been a back-and-forth trade war that has lasted for months.

After campaigning on a platform to end China’s “unfair” trade practices with the U.S., Trump has gone on to tax billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods. The U.S. slapped the communist country with a 25 percent punitive tariff on $50 billion worth of their imports in June. The president upped the ante in September, imposing a 10 percent levy on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods.

Trump threatened to go even further, announcing his administration was ready to hike the tariff rate to 25 percent.

However, during a G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina in early December, Trump and Xi reached an agreement, with the Chinese president submitting to a number of concessions in return for Trump agreeing to postpone the tariff hike.

Xi agreed to purchase more agricultural products from U.S. farmers, along with a pledge to buy more industrial and energy products. The Chinese leader also agreed to label the opioid fentanyl as a controlled substance — making any person who sells fentanyl to the U.S. subject to stricter penalties under Chinese law — and pledged to adhere to a number of cybersecurity and property theft concessions.

In return, Trump is postponing the tariff hike for 90 days, giving U.S. and Chinese negotiators time to reach a permanent deal.

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