US is about to sign trade deal with China on January 15

US is about to sign trade deal with China on January 15

The US will sign the first phase of a pending trade deal with China probably on January 15, President Donald Trump said.

Beijing's trade envoy Vice Premier Liu He is scheduled to visit the US next week to sign the interim agreement's "Phase One", marking a pause in the nearly two-year trade war between the two sides.

"We're signing, as you know, a very big deal among many other things with China … probably on January 15," Trump told reporters at a White House event here.

Liu will lead a delegation to the US from Monday through Wednesday, Chinese Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said on Thursday.

The "Phase One" of the trade deal, Trump said, is "a big percentage of the deal".

"Some would say half. Some would say a little less or a little more than half, but it's a tremendous percentage. It's pretty much all for the farmers, also bankers," he said responding to a question.

"We also have regulations for a lot of different things... that people are going to be very surprised to see. But it's a big chunk of it, and we'll start right away negotiating Phase 2," Trump said.

However, he said negotiations for the second phase "will take a little time".

"I think, I might want to wait to finish it until after the election because by doing that I think we can actually make a little bit better deal, maybe a lot better deal,” Trump said.

The US had postponed planned tariff hikes following the announcement of the deal's "Phase One" in October.

However, earlier punitive duties imposed by China and the US on billions of dollars of each other's goods stayed in place, affecting global trade.