China’s Vice Premier Liu to sign U.S. trade deal in Washington next week

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BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s Vice Premier Liu He, head of the country’s negotiation team in Sino-U.S. trade talks, will sign a “Phase 1” deal in Washington next week, the commerce ministry said on Thursday.

Liu will visit Washington on Jan. 13-15, said Gao Feng, spokesman at the commerce ministry.

Negotiating teams from both sides remain in close communication on the particular arrangements of the signing, Gao told reporters at a regular briefing.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Dec. 31 that the Phase 1 deal with China would be signed on Jan. 15 at the White House. Trump also said he would sign the deal with “high-level representatives of China”, and that he would later travel to Beijing to begin talks on the next phase.

The Phase 1 deal reached last month is expected to cut tariffs and boost Chinese purchases of U.S. farm, energy and manufactured goods while addressing some disputes over intellectual property.

But no version of the text has been made public, and Chinese officials have yet to publicly commit to key points such as increasing imports of U.S. goods and services by $200 billion over two years.

The United States launched a trade war against Beijing a year and half ago over allegations of unfair trade practices, such as theft of U.S. intellectual property and subsidies that unfairly benefit Chinese state-owned companies.

Reporting by Gabriel Crossley, writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Gerry Doyle

Reuters

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