“This deal should go a long way in reversing the downward spiral in bilateral trade relations and increasing certainty for U.S. businesses,” said Wendy Cutler, a former U.S. trade negotiator who is now vice president at the Asia Society Policy Institute.

But, she cautioned, “it’s unclear on how far the Phase 1 agreement goes in addressing the key structural issues that brought the U.S. to the negotiating table 17 months ago.″

Other analysts were harsher.

“With only limited concessions, China has been able to preserve its mercantilist economic system and continue its discriminatory industrial policies at the expense of China’s trading partners and the global economy,” said Scott Kennedy, a China specialist at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.