The "Phase 1" trade deal between the United States and China, signed with much fanfare at the White House on Wednesday, is being met with qualified praise by most trade experts who see good news in any reduction of tensions between the world's two largest economies.
The deal also leaves many major challenges to be addressed in a "Phase 2" negotiation that experts believe will be far more difficult to complete successfully.
The Phase 1 agreement gives the U.S. some assurances that China will reform some of its practices related to the treatment of intellectual property, open its markets to U.S. financial services firms, and purchase more U.S.-made goods and services, particularly in the area of agriculture
However, it leaves tariffs in place on a large majority of goods traded between the two countries, and doesn't address major points of concern, including Chinese industrial policy that subsidizes domestic companies to make them more competitive internationally. It also doesn't specifically touch on theft of proprietary business information that the U.S. claims is abetted by Beijing.
The two countries have been engaged in a trade war for nearly two years, with tariffs in place that have grown to cover hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of goods. Both sides have experienced considerable economic pain as a result, making any move to reduce the tension welcome to most trade experts and representatives of the business community.
Source : VOA