Coverage: Trump and China’s leader call truce in tariff war
China and the United States agreed to a ceasefire in their bitter trade war on Saturday after high-stakes talks in Argentina between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, including no escalated tariffs on Jan. 1.
Roberta Rampton and Michael Martina of Reuters had the news:
Trump will leave tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at 10 percent at the beginning of the new year, agreeing to not raise them to 25 percent “at this time”, the White House said in a statement.
“China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries,” it said.
“China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately.”
The two leaders also agreed to immediately start talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture, the White House said.
Don Lee of the Los Angeles Times reported that the two countries remain far apart in a deal:
Although the two leaders ratcheted down the acrimonious tone that has characterized months of tit-for-tat tariffs between Washington and Beijing, what they did mostly was kick the can down the road in the deal they forged over a working dinner Saturday night.
That leaves the hard work ahead to aides — and the prospect of a lasting resolution on long-standing disputes as murky as ever.
What’s more, the nominal ceasefire in the trade war and its terms appeared ambiguous at best because there was no joint statement in English and Chinese.
Instead, the two governments gave sharply different renderings of what Trump and Xi agreed to at their dinner, which followed the Group of 20 summit in Argentina’s capital.
Donna Borak of CNN reported that there is no timetable for negotiations:
It’s unclear exactly when that clock would start, but it’s anticipated to jump-start a series of fast, intense negotiations between both countries to work out the details of a broad strokes agreement brokered by the two presidents over a two-and-a-half hour steak dinner.
“The hard work begins now,” said Myron Brilliant, executive vice president and head of international affairs for the US Chamber of Commerce, in a statement.
The statements issued by the two sides, while each positive, illuminated how far apart Washington and Beijing remain despite each country’s leader boasting about their strong personal relationship.
The starkest difference was the omission in China’s statement of any agreed upon timetable for negotiations.