United States and China Reach Phase One Trade Agreement

On December 13, 2019, the United States and China reached a Phase One Trade agreement. The agreement has not been released publicly and is subject to translation and final editing before it is signed by President Trump, which is expected to be mid-January.

“The California citrus industry appreciates the Administration’s efforts to resolve the longstanding trade disputes between the United States and China. This historic deal provides additional safeguards for United States companies doing business with China,” states California Citrus Mutual President Casey Creamer. “This is a positive step forward in the negotiations which China and we look forward to additional progress in Phase Two.”

The Phase One agreement promises the purchase of $40-50 billion in US agriculture products per year for the next four years. While the commodities that are included in the purchase agreement may never be publicly released due to fear of market distortion, there is an expectation that crops with export history will be a part of additional purchases.

At this time, it does not appear that the removal of retaliatory tariffs is a part of the Phase One agreement. However, there are reports by the Chinese media that importers may be granted waivers. There is guarded optimism that the Phase One deal will allow the California citrus industry to resume traditional exports to China.

Read the full announcement from Ambassador Robert Lighthizer here.

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