Phase one trade deal at best an interim agreement with China - but a win for Trump

President Donald Trump (right) and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He participate in a signing ceremony of a China trade agreement, on Jan 15, 2020.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

WASHINGTON - The contrast could not have been greater: The House voting to send articles of impeachment to the Senate, and their target, US President Donald Trump, holding an ebullient event at the White House to sign a United States-China phase one agreement packed, it appears, with concessions by China.

China agreed to buy about US$200 billion (S$269 billion) worth of US goods over a two-year period, including almost doubling agricultural purchases to US$40 billion. Much of the deal is for the benefit of farmers, but China also made concessions on intellectual property, access to financial services, and forced technology transfers.

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