On Wednesday, January 15th, the United States and China signed a “phase one” agreement that promises to promote a more balanced trade relationship between the two countries. This agreement comes as the result of months of negotiations concerning tariffs and other trade issues.

The agreement includes a number of provisions, including commitments from China to increase its purchases of U.S. goods and services by $200 billion over the next two years. This includes an additional $32 billion in agricultural products, $50 billion in energy products, and $40 billion in services.

The United States, in turn, has agreed to reduce tariffs on some Chinese goods, although the majority of tariffs imposed by both sides during the trade war remain intact. The agreement also includes provisions related to intellectual property protection, technology transfer, and currency manipulation.

Many experts believe that this agreement represents a positive step towards resolving the ongoing trade tensions between the two countries. However, some remain skeptical, citing the fact that many of the most contentious issues have yet to be fully addressed. This includes concerns related to forced technology transfer, subsidies for state-owned enterprises, and enforcement mechanisms for intellectual property protections.

Despite these concerns, the signing of the phase one agreement represents a positive development in the ongoing trade relationship between the United States and China. Both sides have expressed optimism about future negotiations and the possibility of further progress in resolving trade issues. Only time will tell if those hopes are realized.