While much of the media’s attention was focused on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and her decision to send the articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump to the Senate for trial, there was an even more historical event taking place in Washington on Wednesday.
Appearing alongside Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House, President Trump signed “Phase One” of a trade deal with China on Wednesday after nearly two years of negotiations with the country, USA Today reported.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than this”
According to Fox Business, the 94-page pact is the first of as many as three parts of a deal to end the United States’ ongoing trade war with China.
In truth, however, the “Phase One” deal is substantial enough to stand alone as a monumental achievement for the nation — and President Trump.
“Together, we are righting the wrongs of the past,” Trump said of the deal. “It doesn’t get any bigger than this.”
The deal will provide a boost to the U.S. economy and move the U.S. closer to balanced trade with China. For its part, China has agreed to purchase at least an additional $200 billion worth of U.S. goods and services over the next two years as part of the deal, according to a fact sheet provided by the White House.
Roughly half of that will be made up of U.S. agricultural products.
“One of the greatest trade deals ever made”
But perhaps even more important than those economy-boosting purchases are the significant concessions China made in the agreement, including promising to open a market to U.S. businesses without forced technology transfers, to ensure better protections for intellectual property, and to end Chinese currency devaluation and manipulation.
In exchange for those concessions from China, Trump has agreed to refrain from imposing any further tariffs on Chinese imports into the U.S., though the tariffs that are already in place will remain so for the foreseeable future, USA Today reported.
Should the U.S. and China reach a “Phase Two” agreement, a substantial portion of the existing tariffs would most likely be relaxed.
According to the president, negotiations on “Phase Two” are set to begin as soon as possible, if not immediately.
“One of the greatest trade deals ever made!” Trump tweeted on Monday. “Also good for China and our long term relationship. [$250 billion] will be coming back to our Country, and we are now in a great position for a Phase Two start. There has never been anything like this in U.S. history!”