Washington — The US and China reached a partial trade deal Friday that would suspend a US tariff escalation set for next week and increase Chinese imports of US agricultural products.
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The agreement came after President Donald Trump met with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the White House. Trump said it was a "substantial phase-one deal" that would boost agricultural trade by $40 billion-$50 billion. He said China promised to make changes to currency management and intellectual property, including forced technology transfer.
The US had planned Tuesday to increase tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese imports to 30%, from 25%.
The year-old trade conflict has had significant impacts across the commodity and shipping sectors, altering trade flows and exerting bearish pressure on the oil market amid concerns of global recession and weak demand.
Despite the apparent breakthrough, major areas of conflict remain between the two sides.
Trump's announcement came after oil markets closed, but signs of a potential deal and a comment by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin earlier in the day pushed crude higher.
Prompt NYMEX November WTI settled $1.15 higher at $54.70/b, while ICE December Brent settled $1.41 higher at $60.51/b.
Refined products were led higher by NYMEX November ULSD, which settled 3.68 cents higher at $1.9576/gal. November RBOB settled 1.55 cents higher at $1.6388/gal.
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