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China Wants Additional Round of Talks before Signing ‘Phase One’ Deal Touted by Trump

Passengers traveling during the Spring Festival travel rush ahead of Chinese Lunar New Year wait to board trains at the Hangzhou East Railway Station in Zhejiang Province, China, January 30, 2019. (Stringer/Reuters)

China’s trade representatives are calling for an additional round of talks before signing on to the “phase one” deal that President Trump touted last week, Bloomberg reported Monday.

Beijing is calling 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.

Over the weekend, Chinese state media warned that Trump’s celebration of a phase one deal was premature.

“While the negotiations do appear to have produced a fundamental understanding on the key issues and the broader benefits of friendly relations, the Champagne should probably be kept on ice, at least until the two presidents put pen to paper,” the China Daily said on Sunday.

While the location and timing of future talks remain unclear, “another round of in-person negotiations is ‘likely,’” according to CNBC’s Kayla Tausche.

The provisions of the purported deal include $40 to $50 billion in Chinese purchases of American agricultural products, with further agreements on protections of American intellectual property. The stock market rallied in response to the news, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining over 300 points and Apple reaching an all-time high.

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