President Donald Trump announced Saturday that he had a “very good call” with Chinese President Xi Jinping regarding progress on a comprehensive trade deal.
Just had a long and very good call with President Xi of China. Deal is moving along very well. If made, it will be very comprehensive, covering all subjects, areas and points of dispute. Big progress being made!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2018
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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