Trump Administration Announces Trade Agreement With China to Reduce Deficit

Posted May 19, 2018 2:54 p.m. EDT

WASHINGTON — The White House said Saturday that it had reached an agreement with China to increase the exports of U.S. goods and services in order to reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries, a matter that has drawn the ire of President Donald Trump.

“To meet the growing consumption needs of the Chinese people and the need for high-quality economic development, China will significantly increase purchases of United States goods and services,” a statement from the White House said. “This will help support growth and employment in the United States.”

The administration has taken a hard line against China since Trump took office, and the United States has made a series of moves focused on trade, including implementing sweeping tariffs, to address what has been called a threat to U.S. national security.

In recent weeks, both countries have shown a willingness to compromise in order to reduce trade tensions, and Chinese officials came to Washington this past week for a series of talks with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and others.

How exactly the trade imbalance — the deficit with China reached $375.2 billion last year — will be reduced remains to be seen. The Trump administration said Saturday that the two countries had agreed to increase agriculture and energy exports, but noted that U.S. officials would at some point go to China to work out the details of the agreement.