- The Washington Times - Friday, December 13, 2019

Chinese officials said Friday they’ve agreed to an initial trade with the U.S. that will remove tariffs “phase by phase.”

Details of a signing ceremony are still being worked out, the officials said in a news conference.

Chinese officials addressed the deal right as the House Judiciary Committee voted to forward articles of impeachment against President Trump to the full chamber.

Beijing said the text of the deal includes nine chapters covering things like intellectual property rights and financial services. It will also include purchases of U.S. farm products, a key priority for Mr. Trump.

Stocks spiked upon the news Friday, after early confusion about the deal. Mr. Trump objected to a Wall Street Journal report about the deal and how it portrayed the tariff situation.

“Fake News. They should find a better leaker!” he tweeted.

Mr. Trump had been facing a Sunday deadline to decide whether to levy nearly $160 billion worth of Chinese laptops, toys and other popular items.

Some Capitol Hill hawks said they were skeptical about what the administration achieved with the deal, saying tariffs remain his main form of leverage.

Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer said he thinks Mr. Trump got played by a Chinese government that promises big things and then walks them back.

“There are huge structural inequities, structural and unfair imbalances, with China’s trade relationships with the U.S.” the New York Democrat said. “At first, President Trump seemed like the only president who would dare tackle this challenge. But now, according to reports, he has sold out for a temporary and unreliable promise from China to purchase some soybeans. We’ve heard this song and dance from China before.”

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