China says in touch with U.S. on signing of Phase 1 trade deal


FILE PHOTO: Chinese staff members adjust U.S. and Chinese flags before the opening session of trade negotiations between U.S. and Chinese trade representatives at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing, China February 14, 2019. Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via REUTERS

BEIJING (Reuters) – China and the United States are in close communication over the signing of their Phase 1 trade deal, China’s commerce ministry said, which will see lower U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and higher purchases of U.S. farm, energy and manufactured goods.

U.S. officials say China agreed to increase purchases of U.S. products and services by at least $200 billion over the next two years. China has made no mention of hard targets but has said it will import more U.S. wheat, rice, corn, energy, pharmaceuticals and financial services.

Both the Chinese and U.S. trade teams are in close contact, Gao Feng, spokesman at the Chinese commerce ministry, told reporters at a regular briefing, adding that there is no specific information concerning the deal to disclose currently.

Reporting by Stella Qiu and Martin Pollard; Writing by Ryan Woo; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman

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