Trump signs phase 1 trade deal with China and announces planned trip to Beijing

President TrumpDonald John TrumpSchumer again calls on witnesses to testify in impeachment proceedings. Tulsi Gabbard: Impeachment has “significantly increased” the likelihood of Trump being re-elected, and GOP re-conqueror Susan Collins says she is “open” to bringing in witness impeachment proceedings against the Senate MORE on Tuesday that he announced on January 15, 2020 will sign a first trade agreement between the United States and China at a ceremony in the White House.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will not attend the ceremony, but will be represented by senior officials from Beijing, Trump said.

The president added that he plans to travel to Beijing “at a later date” to begin talks about a second trade agreement with China that addresses broader structural issues that are not included in phase 1.

I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One trade agreement with China on January 15th. The ceremony will take place in the White House. High-ranking representatives from China will be present. I will go to Beijing later, where the talks will start in phase two!

– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump), December 31, 2019

The first phase signing ceremony would end months of uncertainty about the timing of the limited US-China agreement.

Trump first told reporters on October 11 that the US and China had “in principle” entered into a phase 1 agreement that dealt with agricultural purchases and some intellectual property issues. At the time, he indicated that the agreement would be completed and signed in a few weeks.

However, plans for a signing ceremony in Chile in November failed, and the deal was pending until the two sides announced earlier this month that they had reached a pact to lower tariffs and increase Chinese purchases of U.S. agricultural products ,

The signing ceremony also offers Trump the opportunity to announce a signature performance after trying to negotiate a trade agreement with China for more than a year.

An easing of trade tensions with China would be welcome news for companies and investors, which could help keep markets and the economy strong before the 2020 election.

Trade was also a top issue for Trump outside of China. Earlier this month, with strong support from both parties, the House passed a bill to implement the President’s trade agreement with Canada and Mexico.