The United States and China signed a much anticipated “phase one” trade deal on Jan. 15, making an important breakthrough in the nearly 2-year-old trade war.President Donald Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the accord at a White House ceremony.
“Together we are righting the wrongs of the past and delivering a future of economic justice and security for American workers farmers and families,” Trump said. “This is a very important and remarkable occasion.”
“Our negotiations were tough, honest, open, and respectful, leading us to this really incredible breakthrough. Most people thought this thing will never happen. It should have happened 25 years ago, by the way.”
Vice President Mike Pence praised Trump’s leadership and the trade deal.
“There’s an ancient Chinese proverb that says: Men see only the present, but Heaven sees the future,” Pence said. “So let today be the beginning of a brighter future, more prosperous to the American people, the Chinese people, and the world.”
Trump offered rounds of praise to individual cabinet members and officials involved in negotiating the treaty, and to businessmen attending the ceremony at the White House, including executives of Mastercard, Honeywell, Boeing, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, AIG, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Ford.Trump also promised an end to punitive tariffs on China after the completion of the “phase two” deal, negotiations on which he said would begin as phase one kicks in.
Toward the end of the remarks, Trump said: “This is the biggest deal there is anywhere in the world, by far. And that’s good. We’re doing another big one next week [the USMCA comes up for a vote in the Senate]. But this is the biggest deal anybody has ever seen. And it can lead to being a deal that’s unprecedented, because China has 1.5 billion people, and ultimately, in phase two, we’re going to be opening up China to all of your [American] companies. So I hope you folks can handle it.”
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He (L) and President Donald Trump during the signing of phase one of a trade deal, surrounded by officials, in the East Room of the White House in Washington on Jan. 15, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)
Liu He began his remarks by thanking the president of the United States, and then said he would like to read a letter from Chinese leader Xi Jinping.
“Mr. President, as China and the United States sign a phase one trade agreement, I’ve asked Vice Premier Liu He to bring my warm greetings,” the letter states.