WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump signed a trade agreement with China Wednesday morning committing China to purchase hundreds of billions of dollars in American goods and services.
“Far beyond this deal, it’s going to lead to even more world peace. We now have a big investment in each other,” Trump said.
The deal marks phase one in a two-part negotiation.
The U.S. scaled back tariffs on Chinese imports and says it may remove all tariffs in phase two.
“It’s going to be so special to our manufacturers, farmers, our bankers, our service people,” Trump said.
“The doubling of United States agricultural exports to China’s a huge deal,” Sonny Perdue, the Secretary of Agriculture, said.
Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue praised the deal, which promised $80 billion in agricultural sales to China over the next two years.
“I’m expecting we’ll get those markets back up fine and quickly,” Perdue said.
The deal also commits China to buy $75 billion in American energy products and more than $210 billion in financial services.
The president says there’s also what he calls an enforcement provision worked into the deal if the Chinese government devalues its currency.
However, some Democrats in the House say the deal only provides modest relief to a situation the president created.
“This is a real serious problem the President created for California agriculture,” Representative John Garamendi, D-California, said.
Congressman John Garamendi also criticized the deal not doing enough to address intellectual property theft and ignoring environmental and human rights abuses.
“This deal, if it is one, really doesn’t even get us back to where we were before Trump started a trade war,” Garamendi said.
Trump says negotiations for phase two of the deal will start immediately.