The United States and China agreed on Saturday to restart trade talks.
In talks with the Chinese President Xi Jingping, US President Donald Trump offered concessions including no new tariffs and an easing of restrictions on tech company Huawei in order to reduce tensions with Beijing. As reported by Reuters, no deadline was set for progress on a deal, and the world’s two largest economies remain at odds over significant parts of an agreement. The last major round of talks collapsed in May.
Financial markets, which have been rattled by the nearly year-long trade war, are likely to welcome the truce. Washington and Beijing have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s imports, stoking fears of a wider global trade war. Those tariffs remain in place while negotiations resume.
“We’re right back on track,” Trump told reporters after an 80-minute meeting with Jinping at a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies in Osaka, Japan. “We’re holding back on tariffs and they’re going to buy farm products.”
Trump tweeted hours later that the meeting with Xi went far better than expected. “The quality of the transaction is far more important to me than speed,” he tweeted. “I am in no hurry, but things look very good!”
The US president had threatened to slap new levies on roughly $300b of additional Chinese goods, including popular consumer products such as toys, if the meeting in Japan proved unsuccessful. Such a move would have extended existing tariffs to almost all Chinese imports into the United States.
In a lengthy statement on the two-way talks, China’s foreign ministry quoted Xi as telling Trump he hoped the United States could treat Chinese companies fairly.
“China is sincere about continuing negotiations with the United States … but negotiations should be equal and show mutual respect,” the foreign ministry quoted Xi as saying.