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Trump Says He Will Sign Phase One China Trade Agreement at the White House on Jan. 15

The president said he'd sign a `very large and comprehensive' phase-one deal segment of the long-awaited trade deal.
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President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he would sign phase one of the long-awaited U.S. trade agreement at the White House on Jan. 15.

Trump made the announcement via Twitter on the last trading day of 2019. 

"I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15. The ceremony will take place at the White House," he wrote. "High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!"

All three major indexes were trading lower amid the news of the signing plan. The accord was reached earlier this month after more than a year of negotiations and tit-for-tat tariffs.

The South China Morning Post had reported Monday that Vice Premier Liu He would visit Washington this week to sign the agreement between the world's two largest economies. 

The first part of the agreement calls for China to purchase $200 billion of U.S. products over the next two years and protect against intellectual property theft and technology transfer.

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In return, Washington has agreed to reduce its tariffs on Chinese goods, but will still levy duties against $380 billion of those products.

The U.S. has imposed tariffs on $360 billion of China made goods over the past 18 months. 

The trade war has rattled nerves on Wall Street, with stocks soaring or tumbling depending upon the news of the moment. 

In early December, Trump said he was open to waiting until after the 2020 elections to reach a trade deal with China.

Numerous companies described in their quarterly reports how the trade war has affected their business. 

Last month, economists at the United Nations said that the tit-for-tat tariffs levied between the two sides slashed U.S. imports of Chinese products in the first six months of the year by more than a quarter, or $35 billion.

The report also said that most of the cost of higher U.S. tariffs on China has been passed down to U.S. consumers and firms.