Trump signs off on tentative China trade deal agreement

US president Trump has signed off on an initial trade agreement with China that would avoid imminent US tariffs and reduce the rates of existing duties in exchange for a Chinese promise to purchase American farm goods.

Trump's trade team briefed the president on the agreement during a mid-afternoon meeting at the White House. Trump had already announced the broad contours of the "phase one" deal in October, and the two sides have been haggling over specifics since then. The "phase one" deal does not address the major structural changes to China's economy that Trump has sought.

The terms of the agreement include a delay in new tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese-made consumer electronics and toys scheduled to go into effect December 15, as well as a reduction by half of some existing US tariffs, said a person familiar with the deal.

In exchange, China has promised to purchase US agricultural products. China has made similar pledges in past negotiations, but has mostly failed to follow through on large purchases.

The progress with China comes days after Trump reached a deal with congressional Democrats on his revised trading pact with Mexico and Canada, fulfilling two big priorities he campaigned on in 2016.

As reported by CNN, the breakthrough with Beijing comes weeks after intense negotiations between the world's two economic superpowers resumed in October.

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