China, US agree to roll back additional tariffs

  • China, US agree to roll back additional tariffs

China, US agree to roll back additional tariffs

The U.S. has placed tariffs on more than $360 billion of Chinese goods amid its more than year-long trade war with Beijing.

Gao Feng, the ministry's spokesperson, said that both sides agree phasing out the tariffs proportionally is "an important condition for reaching the agreement".

Squeezed by the trade war with the United States, China's economy has continued to slide.

"The question right now is what the two sides have actually agreed on - the market's focus has shifted to how the U.S. may react to China's tariff remarks tonight or in coming days", Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp Ltd (華僑銀行) economist Tommy Xie (謝東明) said. The Washington-based lender of last resort to indebted countries said its economists had already shown that the two countries' trade war had slowed global growth significantly this year.

"Nevertheless, we do expect a phase-one deal to be struck soon, which means that things are moving in the right direction", he said.

U.S. trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, is one of several officials who have argued that the duties on the $250bn of goods are a way of making sure China lives up to its commitments and should be in place for the long term.

On Thursday, China sentenced three nationals to maximum punishments for smuggling fentanyl to the USA, in one of its highest-profile moves yet against the illicit flow of opioids that Trump has made a bone of contention in broader trade talks between Washington and Beijing. Gao said he had no further information on the location or timing. But details have yet to be agreed on and earlier penalties stayed in place.

In terms of the content of the deal, differences still remain on the scale of American farm products China will purchase.

Washington and Beijing have been embroiled in a bruising trade battle for 18 months, with punitive tariffs slapped on two-way trade worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

The Oct. 12 agreement helped to ease financial market jitters, but the two sides have yet to report progress on major disagreements over technology and other irritants following 13 rounds of talks. The US did not issue any public response.

Mr. Trump and Xi were due to meet at this month's gathering of Asia-Pacific leaders in Chile but that event was canceled due to protests there.

That dampened hopes a face-to-face meeting might produce progress. A USA official said the fate of the December 15 tariffs is being considered as part of negotiations.

US locations for a Trump-Xi meeting that had been proposed by the White House, including Iowa and Alaska, have been ruled out, the person said.

"There are still hurdles to be overcome but it is encouraging that, contrary to last spring, Chinese negotiators are sending more positive signals, as well as their U.S. counterparts", said Raoul Leering, the head of global trade analysis at the investment bank ING. He added that rolling back earlier tariffs "goes against the grain" of the original October agreement.