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Trump agrees to trade deal with China

The agreement spares popular gadgets like Apple's iPhone from tariffs.

President Donald Trump visited a Mac Pro manufacturing facility in Austin in November. 
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Donald Trump on Friday said the US has agreed to a "Phase One" trade deal with China and will cancel new tariffs on Chinese goods that were due to take effect on Sunday. The deal, which was reported earlier by The Wall Street Journal, spares some popular devices, like Apple's iPhone and Mac Pro, from tariffs that were expected to impact roughly $160 billion in imports from China. 

The deal requires changes to "China's economic and trade regime in the areas of intellectual property, technology transfer, agriculture, financial services, and currency and foreign exchange," according to the Office of the US Trade Representative. It also keeps in place 25% tariffs on roughly $250 billion of Chinese imports, along with 7.5% tariffs on roughly $120 billion of Chinese imports, said the USTR.

The US and China have been entangled in a trade war for more than a year, and Trump has used tariffs -- which are taxes that importers in the US must pay to customs when imported goods arrive from China -- as a tool to put pressure on the Chinese government. 

In September, a 15% tariff on about $125 billion worth of goods went into effect. An additional 15% tariff on products like cellphones, laptop and tablet computers and toys was set to take effect this weekend unless the US and China reached a deal. The new round of tariffs likely wouldn't have impacted holiday shopping, but consumers may have started to see price hikes when retailers restocked devices in 2020. 

In a tweet Friday, Trump said negotiations on "Phase Two" of the deal would begin immediately, instead of waiting until after the 2020 election. 

The White House and the Chinese embassy didn't respond to requests for additional comment.

Originally published Dec. 13, 5:52 a.m. PT.
Updates, 6:20 a.m.: Adds more background. And 8:52 a.m.: Adds details from announcement of the trade deal.

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