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China, U.S. Reach Phase-One Trade Agreement: Report

President Donald Trump meets with China’s President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, June 29, 2019. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)

Following months of back-and-forth, U.S. and Chinese negotiators have again reached an agreement on a phase-one trade deal, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

The legal text of the deal is still being ironed out and will then await President Trump’s approval. Those briefed on the plans claim an announcement could come by the end of the day.

Earlier Thursday, Trump tweeted in anticipation of the deal, which would likely delay American tariffs slated to begin Sunday. “Getting VERY close to a BIG DEAL with China. They want it, and so do we!” Trump said, as U.S. markets rose.

In October, both sides reached a deal in principle, with Trump saying a deal for billions in Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products was in place and would take several weeks to write, but would likely be signed by both sides in November.

The deal later stalled after Beijing called for additional negotiations to iron out a number of outstanding details, including the status of potential tariff hikes scheduled for December 15. The White House scrapped hikes set for October 15 as part of the initial deal, but tariffs from September were not rolled back and the December hikes remained scheduled.

After Chile scrapped plans to host the APEC and COP25 international summits in November, during which the U.S. and China planned to meet, the White House said the trade deal should be finalized “within the same time frame.”

Update 4:30 p.m.:  Trump has reportedly signed off on the deal, which delays the December 15 tariffs.

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