If the U.S. and China can come to an agreement on the initial phase of a deal to dial back the trade war that has been raging between them for more than a year, American businesses may see some tariffs taken off the table.
According to reports, both sides are considering the tariff rollback to see the phase one deal progress, which could soften the multi-million dollar blow to apparel and footwear companies that have had to fork out additional funds to cover the punitive duties.
“If there’s a deal, [removing] tariffs will be part of it,” The Wall Street Journal reported a senior administration official as saying late Monday.
The partial agreement between the two sides is expected to include concessions on intellectual property—which has played a large part in kindling the trade war—plus an agreement on China’s part to more than double its American agriculture purchases and give U.S. companies greater access to Chinese industries.
So far, however, there have been several claims of progress made in the trade negotiations, but little said beyond that. What’s more, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping were expected to sign the phase one agreement at a summit in Chile this month, which has since been cancelled in light of national protests ravaging the country.
In remarks before Marine One’s departure Sunday, President Trump maintained his brevity on the status of a deal, but made clear that the summit cancellation would not interfere with signing an agreement.
“First, I want to get the deal,” he said. “And if we get the deal, the meeting place will come very easily. It’ll be someplace in the U.S.”