On January 15, 2020, President Trump and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He signed the much-anticipated “Phase One” trade agreement between the U.S. and China. Set to take effect no later than February 14, 2020, the “Economic and Trade Agreement Between the United States of America and the People’s Republic of China” (the “Agreement”) is the first formal accord concluded between the U.S. and China since the U.S. began imposing tariffs on Chinese imports in July 2018 and China responded in kind, triggering protracted negotiations buffeted by additional rounds of tariffs. In this respect, the Agreement signals a potential easing of trade tensions and renewed confidence in the bilateral economic relationship. The tariff landscape, however, will likely stay intact in the near-term future, and the Agreement may not ameliorate core U.S. concerns about China’s problematic intellectual property practices and China’s state-led economic development model. It remains to be seen how new obligations will be interpreted and enforced, and how the parties’ subsequent negotiations will evolve.

Our full analysis is posted here.

Photo of Victor Ban Victor Ban

Victor Ban is an associate in Covington’s Washington office who helps clients navigate complex disputes and international trade matters.

Photo of Minwoo Kim Minwoo Kim

As a member of the international arbitration and trade practices, Minwoo Kim counsels U.S. and global firms, industry associations, and foreign governments on complex international and cross-border legal issues.

Minwoo represents sovereign states and global firms in all stages of international treaty-based and…

As a member of the international arbitration and trade practices, Minwoo Kim counsels U.S. and global firms, industry associations, and foreign governments on complex international and cross-border legal issues.

Minwoo represents sovereign states and global firms in all stages of international treaty-based and commercial disputes. He also helps U.S. and global firms, industry associations, and foreign governments interpret and assess foreign regulatory practices under international trade agreements, including the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements, as well as preferential trade agreements.

Prior to joining the firm, Minwoo was a judicial intern for Hon. Rudolph Contreras, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, a legal intern at the Integrity Vice Presidency, the World Bank, and an intern at the National Assembly of Korea, the Foreign Affairs and Unification Committee. Minwoo also maintains an active pro bono practice.

Photo of Christopher Adams Christopher Adams

Christopher Adams advises clients on matters involving China and the region. A non-lawyer, Mr. Adams recently served as the Senior Coordinator for China Affairs at the Treasury Department. He coordinated China policy issues across the U.S. government, led negotiations with China on a…

Christopher Adams advises clients on matters involving China and the region. A non-lawyer, Mr. Adams recently served as the Senior Coordinator for China Affairs at the Treasury Department. He coordinated China policy issues across the U.S. government, led negotiations with China on a broad range of trade and investment issues, managed the highest level U.S.-China economic policy dialogues for the Obama and Trump administrations, and advised the Treasury Secretary and other cabinet officials.