Oct 11, 2019

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

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.

Go deeper

Trump's promises on "phase 1" deal with China fall flat

President Trump and China's President Xi Jinping, Nov. 2017. Photo: Nicolas Asfouri/Getty Images

It's been a week since President Trump touted his "phase 1" partial trade agreement with China as the greatest-ever deal for U.S. farmers — but China isn't endorsing his promises.

Where it stands: China has not confirmed Trump's claim that it will buy $40 billion–$50 billion worth of U.S. agricultural goods, and it says a final deal would require the U.S. to cancel all existing and future tariffs, CNBC reports. No final decision has been reached to determine if the U.S. will push tariff increases scheduled for Dec. 15.

Go deeperArrowOct 17, 2019

It may be time to get bullish about the U.S-China trade war

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

All is calm on the trade war front, and investors are starting to believe that things may just get better.

What's happening: Goldman Sachs research analysts said in a note Sunday evening that they now believe "tariffs on imports from China have likely peaked" and are shifting their view, thanks to "recent developments and apparent progress in US-China negotiations."

Go deeperArrowNov 4, 2019

WSJ: Tariff revenue spiked to a record $7 billion in September

A truck passes by China shipping containers at the Port of Los Angeles. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. amassed $7 billion in import tariffs in September, a 9% jump from figures in August and a 59% year-over-year increase due to new taxes on consumer goods, figures compiled by the Commerce Department show, per the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: President Trump has falsely said China is paying for the tariffs. Business executives and economists generally recognize the revenue as a growing burden on American importers and U.S. customers.

Go deeperArrowNov 6, 2019