Washington and Beijing began formal negotiations towards a bilateral investment treaty (BIT) in June 2008. A year later, the highly sensitive talks were halted until July 2013. The US is interested in getting Chinese restrictions on foreign ownership in about 100 sectors — from soybean oil and automobiles to life insurance and other financial services — lifted for US companies which want to expand their market presence there. The Chinese government is interested in getting more security for highly-scrutinised Chinese investments in the US and its massive holdings of US sovereign debt ($1.3 trillion).
In late 2013, China agreed to initiate talks on a possible BIT with the European Union as well.
China’s trade delegation tentatively plans to travel to Washington for four days from January 13 for the signing of the phase one deal.
The agreement will not only increase Chinese purchases of US agricultural products but pave the way for long-term structural reforms.
The hard part of the trade dispute will cover long-standing issues relating to intellectual property violations and forced technology transfer by China, as well as subsidization of Chinese industries.
President Trump said that the ceremony would be held at the White House on January 15 and that he would go to Beijing to continue discussions about a Phase 2 deal.
Some farmers are skeptical with a tentative agreement easing trade restrictions with China, who’ve been pummeled by the trade war.
Neither side has released many specific details of the agreement, which the United States says is 86 pages.
The phase two agreement is to be digitally focused and could include a US-China bilateral trade agreement.
The United States has settled on final terms of a partial trade deal with China, several people familiar with the negotiations said.
Mexico is willing to allow panels with US and Mexican judges to resolve labor disputes at specific factories but rejected requests to allow international inspectors to enter Mexican factories.
The US and China are moving closer to agreeing on the amount of tariffs that would be rolled back.