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Decisions being made on China-U.S. trade agreement narvikk / Getty Images

Second China trade deal hinges on phase-one success, Kudlow says

Trump would like to start negotiation on phase two right away but might not finish until after the November election.

By Max Reyes and Jonathan Ferro

One of President Donald Trump’s top economic advisers played down the prospects of the administration concluding further phases of a trade deal with China, saying any future negotiations would depend on how an initial accord -- due to be signed next week -- is implemented.

“Phase two’s going to depend a lot on how phase one goes,” Larry Kudlow said in an interview on Bloomberg Television Friday. If the first stage is implemented with “minimal” disputes, “that will make it easier to get to phase two and beyond,” he said, adding that Trump is “in no rush” to reach another agreement.

Trump told reporters Thursday he wants to start negotiations on phase two “right away,” but might not finish those until after the U.S. presidential election in November.

Under the accord, announced Dec. 13, Trump agreed to suspend plans for new tariffs on Chinese imports and reduced some existing levies, while Beijing agreed to increase agricultural purchases. The precise terms of the agreement have not been revealed.

U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has said he expects the 86-page document will be publicly released after it is signed. The two countries are planning a signing ceremony on Jan. 15 at which Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will represent the Asian nation.

To contact the reporters on this story:
Max Reyes in New York at mreyes125@bloomberg.net;
Jonathan Ferro in London at jferro10@bloomberg.net
To contact the editors responsible for this story:
Margaret Collins at mcollins45@bloomberg.net
Ana Monteiro
© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.
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