President Donald Trump said Tuesday he’ll sign the initial trade agreement struck with China on January 15 in Washington.
He wrote in a tweet he’d be joined by “high-level representatives” from China at the White House. He also said he’d travel later to Beijing to begin a new phase of trade negotiations.
“I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15,” Trump tweeted Tuesday while on vacation at his Florida estate. “The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!”
It’s expected that China’s lead negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, will travel to Washington for the signing.
As President, Trump has traveled to Beijing once before for an elaborate state visit hosted by President Xi Jinping. He did not specify when he would visit the Chinese capital for the next round of trade talks.
The visit would likely come under scrutiny as protests continue to grip Hong Kong and China’s human rights record comes under fire for its continued detention of Muslims.
Trump has tread carefully on those issues as the trade talks progressed, but a visit to China would put them into sharper focus.
As he prepares to mount his reelection bid, Trump has hailed the China deal as a boon for American workers and farmers. Its signing will bring to a conclusion the long and sometimes-bumpy trade negotiations between the US and China that resulted in the deal struck two months ago.
Both sides say the package includes increased purchases of American farm goods by China in exchange for some easing of US tariffs. It also includes some provisions on intellectual property and currency.
But no text of the deal has been released since its completion was announced earlier this month.
The two sides were working to translate the document, which US officials said was going through a technical review before final sign-off.
The deal has eased – for now – the ongoing trade war between the world’s two largest economies and its completion boosted markets as the year ended.
However, it stops short of the massive trade deal with sweeping changes to China’s economic model that Trump has advocated and tariffs will remain on some goods as the two sides begin the next stage of talks.