China – U.S. Phase 1 Deal – Means What?

Feb 09 19:02 2020 Print This Article

Originally published in the Journal of Commerce in January 2020

As has been widely publicized, China and the U.S. signed the so-called Phase 1 deal on January 15, 2020. The agreement runs 90+ pages, the text of which can be found here: Phase 1 Deal.pdf.  The supporting U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) issued Fact Sheets run another 30+ pages and can be found here – Phase 1 Fact Sheets – and are worth a quick look for the links they provide. What does this agreement really cover?

First, there is nothing said about the tariffs imposed by either the U.S. or China. White House briefers on the 15th did say the tariff on the goods on List 4A would be reduced soon. True to their word, on January 16, 2020, a pre-publication version of the proposed Federal Register notice was published and can be found here: List 4A tariff modified.pdf.  It commits to reduce those tariffs from 15% to 7.5% beginning on February 14, 2020.  When it came to the tariffs China has imposed, the answer given by White House briefers was, given the commitments made by China, those tariffs will have to come down,  but no one was prepared to guess when.

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Canada-US Blog

This blog is about Canada-United States cross border legal issues. Some of the authors are practicing lawyers and some are law students. This is a forum for discussion that presents an opportunity for law students to contribute and become known to potential employers in this dynamic area of the law.

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