China says US trade deal ‘addresses concerns’

 U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, hold up signed agreements of phase 1 of a trade deal between the U.S. and China, in the East Room at the White House, on January 15, 2020, in Washington, DC. Phase 1 is expected to cut tariffs and promote Chinese purchases of U.S. farm, and manufactured goods while addressing disputes over intellectual property. Mark Wilson/Getty Images/AFP

BEIJING, China (AFP) — A trade deal signed Wednesday between Washington and Beijing has “considerably addressed the concerns” of both sides, said Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, as the world’s two biggest economies marked a truce in the lingering trade impasse.

Liu, who led negotiations for Beijing, added in a briefing with Chinese media that the freshly-inked “phase one” deal bears both economic and political significance, reported the official Xinhua news agency.

The US and China signed the partial trade deal in Washington, with China agreeing to buy $200 billion more in US goods over two years.

Washington promised to slash in half 15 percent tariffs on $120 billion of consumer products, with officials saying the reduction will take effect in 30 days, when the deal enters into force.

The perennial US trade deficit with China has been a major source of anger for President Donald Trump, who has slapped tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars worth of Chinese goods, triggering tit-for-tat responses from Beijing.

On Wednesday, Liu said that China will also further deepen its domestic reforms, and open up more to the outside world.

With China’s full-year growth forecast due to be announced on Friday, Liu added that the country’s gross domestic product is expected to come in above 6 percent for the full year of 2019 — which would hit Beijing’s target to keep annual growth between 6.0 and 6.5 percent.

An AFP poll of economists at 14 institutions predicted that the world’s second-largest economy is set to clock 6.1 percent GDP growth for the full year.

January data also indicated a better-than-expected economic outlook, Liu said.

© Agence France-Presse