Trump and China: What’s next for the Trump administration
Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to a long-awaited trade deal, ending a contentious two-year effort to establish a free-trade zone in the South China Sea.
But Trump has yet to sign the agreement.
Trump’s top adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and White House chief of staff Reince Priebus have said the agreement will take effect on Friday.
The announcement was expected Friday.
It marks a major shift in US policy towards China, which had been pushing for the United States to move beyond trade agreements that have been stalled in Congress.
The Trump administration is also expected to announce the creation of a new regional bureau, the National Security Council, to better coordinate US foreign policy.
Trump and Xi have agreed on a framework for trade and investment relations that includes a free trade zone in South China, a commitment to a “one China” policy, and a commitment not to interfere in each other’s domestic affairs, Trump told a news conference.
“They’ve done a lot of work,” Trump said.
“I’m very happy to have signed the deal and I hope that we’ll get something done with respect to the South and the East China Sea.”
In an interview on CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper, the president said he is “hopeful” the deal will “work well” for both sides.
Trump and Xi met for nearly three hours before the announcement.
The new deal is the culmination of months of work by the Trump White House, led by senior adviser Jared Kushner and his son- in-law and senior adviser, Reince, Priebus.
After months of talks, the White House announced in July that the US and China had agreed to open a free zone in disputed waters.
In September, Trump and other world leaders agreed to the creation in the Paracel Islands of a $500 billion regional security zone, which would protect maritime freedoms.
But the Obama administration, which signed off on the deal, was widely criticized for its failure to protect those freedoms and its failure, for instance, to secure China’s ratification of the agreement before it went into effect.
This deal will benefit US and Chinese citizens by creating a new region with a $2 trillion dollar value, said Jared Kushner.
This is a great day for the American people and for the people of the world, he said.
On Wednesday, Trump said that “we’re going to have a better relationship with China and China is going to get a better deal.”
“This is an historic deal,” he said, calling it a “historic victory” for the US.
China has long argued that the United Kingdom, France and other nations, which do not belong to the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), are not members of the new regional security network.
However, China also says that the new agreement will benefit its own citizens, as it will give them greater access to the Chinese market and a chance to purchase U.S. products.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the deal is expected to benefit US businesses by creating millions of new jobs and boosting exports, and will allow China to sell more U.K. products to other nations.
At a White House press briefing on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that the Trump-Xi deal “will give us more certainty about our relationship with our partners around the world.”
“It will give us the certainty that we need to create jobs and more jobs and be able to continue to invest in our economy,” Sanders said.