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US and China strike deal to ease growing trade tensions

The US and China agreed to the first phase of a broader trade agreement that will see the US reduce tariffs, and at least temporarily calm fears of an escalating trade war between the world’s two largest economies.

The deal announced hinges on China increasing purchases of American farm goods such as soybeans and pork, and making new commitments on intellectual property, forced technology transfer and currency.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, President Donald Trump said he expects China’s agriculture buying to hit $50bn (€45bn) annually “pretty soon”.

The US will also suspend new import taxes covering $160bn of products such as smartphones and toys, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told reporters.

China committed to increase imports of US goods and services by no less than $200bn more than the 2017 level over the next two years, he said.

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