Oct 11, 2019 - Economy

Trump says U.S. and China reach partial trade agreement

This illustration shows George Washington and Mao Zedong as they appear on currency

Illustration: Axios Visuals

President Trump said the U.S. and China reached a partial trade deal on Friday that included an agreement from the U.S. to suspend a planned 30% tariff spike on Oct. 15, while China will buy $40-50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods.

Why it matters: The ceasefire comes as the U.S. economy is showing signs of weakness as a result of the trade war — threatening the economic gains Trump has counted on to carry him to re-election in 2020.

Where it stands: Trump described the partial trade agreement — which could be signed by both countries in November — as a "phase 1" deal in the Oval Office on Friday, according to multiple reports.

  • The stock market rallied earlier in the day on news of the ceasefire, but gains faded slightly after news of the partial deal.
  • There's no final decision on whether or not the Trump administration will move forward with imposing the previously announced tariffs on Dec. 15.
  • Trump said the talks "made very good progress on technology transfer" and said the U.S. and China reached "an agreement on intellectual property."

The bottom line: Tariffs imposed by Trump on China's imports have cost the U.S. $26.3 billion, and the battle over China's trade surplus and technology ambitions has disrupted global trade. Economists warn that a final settlement might take years.

Go deeper: The cost of Trump's tariffs

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that China is anticipated to buy $40-50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods, not million.

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