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Mnuchin praises ‘historic’ 1st phase trade deal with China

Doha, Dec 15 (IANS) US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin applauded the “historic” first stage of the trade agreement with China to mitigate the trade conflict between the two economic giants since last year.

“We finally have completed what I consider to be a historic phase one trade agreement,” Mnuchin said while addressing the Doha Forum on Saturday.

Mnuchin’s remarks came a day after both countries announced they had reached an agreement to settle the trade dispute that has had profound global consequences, reports Efe news.

The latest global growth forecasts lowered projections of expansion to 3 per cent this year, 0.2 less than in July, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) figures published in October.

“Let me just say this deals with intellectual property this deals with technology transfer it deals with structure agricultural issues, financial services are opening up currency, understandings as well as a commitment to purchase US agriculture and US goods,” Mnuchin added.

The senior US official revealed that phase one of the deal is expected to be fully implemented in January 2020, with the negotiations over a second phase to begin after.

“The deal with China is about creating a more reciprocal trading relationship. For a very long period of time the US was open to China, China was not open to the US.

“There were very strong restrictions and for the first and second largest economy in the world, there should be more reciprocal trading back and forth and that’s what we’ve been working on, and I think both these agreements will not only be good for the US, but will be very good for global growth,” he added.

Following the announcement on Friday, President Donald Trump said in a series of tweets: “We have agreed to a very large Phase One Deal with China.

“They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of Agricultural Product, Energy, and Manufactured Goods, plus much more.

“The 25 per cent Tariffs will remain as is, with 7.5 per cent put on much of the remainder the Penalty Tariffs set for December 15th will not be charged because of the fact that we made the deal.

“We will begin negotiations on the Phase Two Deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election. This is an amazing deal for all. Thank you.”




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