U.S. President Donald Trump said Tuesday he will sign a partial trade deal with China at the White House on Jan. 15 and visit Beijing at a later date to start another round of trade talks.
"I will be signing our very large and comprehensive Phase One Trade Deal with China on January 15. The ceremony will take place at the White House. High level representatives of China will be present. At a later date I will be going to Beijing where talks will begin on Phase Two!" Trump tweeted.
The announcement comes after the two countries finalized a partial trade deal in mid-December, with Washington agreeing to alleviate existing punitive tariff rates imposed on some Chinese goods in return for Beijing's commitment to a substantial boost in farm purchases.
The agreement is seen as a reprieve amid the prolonged tit-for-tat trade war between the world's two largest economies.
The phase-one deal also requires China to address U.S. concerns in the areas of intellectual property protection, forced technology transfer, financial services and the use of currency manipulation as a way to boost exports.
Under the deal, the United States will refrain from imposing 15 percent levies on Chinese items worth $160 billion, a move originally planned for Dec. 15. China will also forgo its plan to invoke retaliatory tariffs the same day.
The Trump administration has so far imposed punitive tariffs of up to 25 percent on around $370 billion of Chinese goods, more than half the amount China sold to the United States in 2018, citing concerns over intellectual property theft and forced technology transfer by Chinese companies.
But the United States said on Dec. 13 that it will halve its current 15 percent tariff rates imposed on $120 billion of Chinese items, opting for the first time to roll back tariffs introduced since the battle of retaliatory levies started in July last year.
Washington will still maintain a rate of 25 percent for existing tariffs on approximately $250 billion of Chinese imports.
Trump said the 25 percent tariffs will be used for "future negotiations" as the United States pursues a comprehensive deal to rectify what it sees as China's unfair economic practices, such as industrial subsidies.
Trump is apparently eager to claim a major trade victory to boost his prospects of re-election, while concerns have been growing over the potential impacts of the spiraling tariff war on the two countries.
The planned December tariff increase was feared as a potential drag on U.S. consumption, especially around the holiday shopping season, as many consumer goods including laptop computers, cellphones, toys and video game consoles would have been affected.