On December 13th, 2019, President Trump and China’s Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen confirmed an incoming “phase one” trade deal. Full details weren’t immediately available. The timing of the announcement—after months of negotiations—is interesting. A few days prior, the Financial Times reported “Beijing has ordered all government offices and public institutions to remove foreign computer equipment and software within three years, in a potential blow to the likes of HP, Dell and Microsoft.” Recent articles didn’t mention if this was addressed in today’s deal. If it wasn’t, that’s not a surprise.
It also wouldn’t be shocking if either party backed out of the newest trade agreement, since they’ve done that before. Robert Lighthizer even said it’s “wise to be skeptical of whether China would deliver on certain agreements.” If the deal goes through, that might be a big win for Trump. Especially since it comes on the heels of his new USMCA agreement. From PBS: “On Tuesday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Democrats had reached a compromise with the Trump administration…. Mexico ratified the deal back in June, but the revised agreement will now head back to the country’s legislature for votes. Canada is expected to ratify the deal in parallel with the U.S., but that process may extend into the new year due to American politics.”