White House Oval Office Washington D.C. October 11 3:36 P.M. EDT
Well, thank you very much. We've had a lot of very big news and some very good news today. But I'd like to hold this for China. There's nothing bigger than what we're doing with China. I think it's important that these are the questions that are asked. And, as you know, we have the Vice Premier of China, one of the most respected men in all of China, and the world, for that matter. And we have great respect for him, a great friendship with him.
And we've come to a very substantial phase one deal, and I'll go through some of the points, and then I'll ask the Vice Premier to say a few words and any comments that he may have.
We have come to a deal, pretty much, subject to getting it written. It'll take probably three weeks, four weeks, or five weeks. As you know, we're going to be in Chile together for a big summit. And maybe it'll be then, or maybe it'll be sometime around then.
But we've come to a deal on intellectual property, financial services. A tremendous deal for the farmers. A purchase of - from 40 to 50 billion dollars' worth of agricultural products. To show you how big that is, that would be two and a half, three times what China had purchased at its highest point thus far. So, they were purchasing $16 or $17 billion at the highest point, and that'll be brought up to $40 billion to $50 billion. So I'd suggest the farmers have to go and immediately buy more land and get bigger tractors. They'll be available at John Deere and a lot of other great distributors.
But we're taking the purchase of agricultural products from $40 to $50 billion, meaning in that neighborhood - from 40 to 50, approximately, billion. And what they've been doing now, I believe, is about $8 billion, right? Eight - right now it's eight.
The other thing I will say is, over the last two weeks, a lot of purchases have started going back to our farmers. And you've been doing a lot of business with us, which we appreciate very much. But it really started a few weeks ago, but they intend to go up, ultimately, once the agreement is signed, from $40 to $50 billion. And, really, from - that was from a base of probably $16 billion, and right now it's $8 billion. And the $8 billion was lower than $8 billion. They got up to $8 billion because they've been purchasing quite a bit over the last couple of weeks.
So, we also have the agricultural structural issues. We have some incredible progress on the structure and structural issues. And, Bob, perhaps you could discuss that, please, on agriculture, and explain the importance of the structural issues that we've solved.
Well, I would say probably at least as important as the purchases is the fact that we've corrected a variety of SPS - what we call sanitary and phytosanitary issues. And we've corrected biotechnology issues. And it will be - it will be much easier now for American farmers to be able to ship to China. And we've made some corrections on our side to - that will help them on the Chinese side.
And that's been completed and pretty much done.
Another big issue that we've come to conclusion on is currency, foreign exchange. And, Steve, do you want to explain that, please?
Well, we've had very good discussions with Governor Yi, head of the People's Bank of China - their central bank. We've also had extensive discussions on financial services, opening up their markets to our financial services firms. So that we have pretty much almost a complete agreement on both those issues. And as you know, Mr. President, currency has been a very big concern of yours since the campaign. And we have an agreement around transparency into the foreign exchange markets and free markets. So we're very pleased with that.
We've also made very good progress on technology transfer, and we'll put some of technology transfer in phase one. Phase two will start negotiations almost immediately after we've concluded phase one and papered it. And I think phase one should happen pretty quickly.
So you have intellectual property. We have an agreement on intellectual property. Financial services - the banks and all of the financial services companies will be very, very happy with what we've been able to get. And I think China is going to be very happy because they'll be served very well by these great institutions being able to go into China. And it's going to be a tremendous thing for banks and for financial service companies.
Agricultural structural issues - tremendous for the farmers. As Steve said, that's almost as good as - which I disagree with him on that, but it's almost as good as going from $8 billion and then to $16 billion, which was their all-time high, to $40 to $50 billion. So we're going to be up to 40 to 50 billion dollars of agricultural purchases, which means the farmers are going to have to work a lot of overtime to produce that much. That's the largest order in the history of agriculture, by far, by two and a half times.
And technology transfer - we'll have some technology transfer in the agreement, but technology transfer will largely be done here and also in phase two. So we're going to start negotiating phase two after phase one is completed and signed. And then there may be a phase three or we may get it done in phase two. So you'll either have two phases or three phases.
So we're very happy with it. We have great respect for China, great respect for President Xi. And I want to just tell you that I watched the 70th anniversary in great detail, and it was an incredible event. And congratulations on the 70th, everyone. That was really something very amazing to watch.
Mr. Lighthizer has done a terrific job. All of my team, I think, has done a fantastic job. The Vice Premier, I want to just thank you very much for being here with your team. You're very tough negotiators. Congratulations.
But it's something that we both realized right from the beginning is very important - not only for China and not only for the U.S., but for the world. And every time there's a little bad news, the market would go down incredibly. Every time there was a little bit of good news, the market would go up incredibly. And yet, other news that was also very big, the market just didn't really care. They just seemed to care about the deal with USA and China, and that's okay with me.
So we've had a tremendous, really, negotiation, a very complex negotiation, but something that's going to be great for both countries.
And, Mr. Vice Premier, would you like to say something?
VICE PREMIER LIU:
(As interpreted.) First, on behalf of the Chinese government, we would like to extend our thanks to President Trump for your congratulatory message to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China.
We very much agree that to get the China-U.S. economic relationship right, it's something that is good for China, for the United States, and for the whole world, and we are making a lot of progress towards a positive direction.
Over the recent days, I have had very good communication with both Ambassador Lighthizer and Secretary Mnuchin. And, Mr. President, as you just mentioned, we have made substantial progress in many fields. We are happy about it. We'll continue to make efforts.
And thank you for this opportunity for me to speak up. And all my colleagues are happy about it.
Well, thank you very much. And it's a great honor. I think that the currency, foreign-exchange agreement that we made will be a tremendous - of tremendous benefit, both in terms of the magnitude of it and in terms of the simplicity of what we're able to do. It'll make a very complicated process much simpler. I think that, in itself, I just see as something that we both have been working for.
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