Sat | Nov 28, 2020

US, China trade war on hold...for now

Published:Saturday | June 29, 2019 | 9:53 AM
US President Donald Trump greets Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

OSAKA, Japan (AP) — United States (US) President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping have agreed to a cease-fire in the year-long trade war between the two nations.

The move averts – for now – an escalation feared by financial markets, businesses and farmers.

Trump announced today that the tariffs he has threatened to impose on billions of dollars worth of additional Chinese goods are on hold “for the time being.”

However, he says existing US tariffs would remain in place against Chinese imports while negotiations continue.

Speaking after a lengthy meeting with the Chinese leader amid the ongoing G20 summit in Japan, Trump said the US and China would restart stalled trade talks.

“We are going to work with China where we left off,” he said, declaring that relations with China are “right back on track”.

Eleven rounds of talks have so far failed to end the standoff between the US and China.

The US has imposed 25 per cent import taxes on $250 billion in Chinese products and has threatened to target another $300 billion — a move that would extend the tariffs to virtually everything China ships to the US.

In retaliation, China imposed tariffs on $110 billion in American goods, focusing on agricultural products in a direct and painful shot at Trump supporters in the US farm belt.

Today’s meeting between the two leaders was the centrepiece of four days of diplomacy in Asia for Trump, whose re-election chances have been put at risk by the trade war that has hurt American farmers and battered global markets.

Trump said the talks with Xi went “probably even better than expected.”

The Chinese President, for his part, recounted the era of “ping-pong diplomacy” that helped jump-start US-China relations two generations ago.

Since then, he said, “one basic fact remains unchanged: China and the United States both benefit from cooperation and lose in confrontation.”

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