WASHINGTON—President Trump and Vice Premier Liu He of the People’s Republic of China Wednesday signed into agreement Phase One of the U.S.-China Economic and Trade Agreement (ETA). The agreement is the result of two years of trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing, and represents a significant step towards normalizing the U.S.-China trade relationship. Heritage Policy Analyst Riley Walters released the following response upon the signing:
“Any deal a U.S. president signs must improve and protect the economic well-being of Americans. This agreement – the most comprehensive our countries have signed since China’s entry into the World Trade Organization in 2001 – is quite successful in doing so.
“American companies’ access to China’s market, protection of their intellectual property rights, and ability to do business free from Chinese government coercion has rightly been a consistent concern of the Trump administration. The Phase One deal seeks to address these concerns by implementing procedures to protect Americans’ intellectual property and stopping the forced transfer of trade secrets to Chinese entities. It also opens up new opportunities for U.S. farm and agriculture exporters by removing non-tariff barriers into China’s market. Making sure China lives up to these promises will be critical.
“Ultimately, the Phase One deal, while not perfect, is a fundamental re-shaping of the U.S.-China economic relationship, and the administration should now turn to swiftly achieving a Phase Two deal and removal of all tariffs levied the last two years. The trade war has led to Americans paying roughly $43 billion in new taxes and has decreased American access to Chinese markets. We hope for a speedy resolution so these taxes can be lifted.”