Published: Mon, December 03, 2018
Finance | By Jaime Brady

Trump, Xi Agree On Tariff Cease-Fire, As Trade Talks Continue

Trump, Xi Agree On Tariff Cease-Fire, As Trade Talks Continue

The Sino-US trade war sparked warnings at the G20 of the cost to the global economy if it continued unabated.

"It's great the two sides took advantage of this opportunity to call a truce", Andy Rothman, an investment strategist at Matthews Asia who specializes in China, told AP.

It was Trump's second cancellation at the summit after he pulled out of a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, citing Russia's recent seizure of three Ukrainian vessels off Crimea, although the two did cross paths at a G20 dinner. "President Trump expressed his friendship and respect for Chairman Kim". "It's a very important meeting", Trump said earlier on Saturday.

The United States and China are locked in a dispute over their trade imbalance and Beijing's tech policies.

Washington has also accused Beijing of selling trade secrets and forcing American companies to hand over technology in exchange for access to Chinese markets.

Last week, the federal government released a wide-ranging report which found that climate change will cost the US economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, damaging everything from human health to infrastructure and agricultural production. "It was the weakest communique we've ever seen from the G20", he told AFP, contrasting the group's posture now in the Trump era to its sense of common objective when the leaders first met 10 years ago in the midst of a financial crisis.

China has targeted $110 billion worth of USA imports for tariffs.

"It is hoped the agreement reached on Saturday will be implemented by the two sides and Chinese and American working teams will meet the expectations of their leaders, normalising trade relations between the countries", it said. Trump has also threatened to put tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese imports.

Beyond the trade deficit that occupies much of Trump's attention, the US has a long list of grievances it wants to address with Beijing in any upcoming negotiations.

The United States, along with the European Union and Japan, has been seeking the reform of the WTO, established in 1995, to reflect developments in the global economy and ensure transparent and open worldwide trade.

Joining other forecasters, economists at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development last week downgraded their outlook for global economic growth next year to 3.5 percent from a previous 3.7 percent.

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Many in Europe have looked to Merkel as Trump has called into question traditional trans-Atlantic ties with his announcements of trade tariffs, repeated criticism of European contributions to NATO and other issues.

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"We'll be discussing trade and I think at some point we are going to end up doing something great for China and great for the United States", Trump said when a small pool of reporters was briefly allowed into the room.

The White House also said China "is open to approving the previously unapproved Qualcomm Inc NXP deal should it again be presented".

China nixed the proposed takeover earlier this year, citing antitrust concerns, after US and European regulators approved the deal.

Addressing the media, at Buenos Aires, after the talks, Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi acknowledged that China would import more from the USA and address Washington's concerns in the 90-day period.

Even as Trump appeared to soften his approach to China, he talked tough on a separate trade front.

At the table, Trump announced his plane would fly to Houston, in the state of Texas, after the return of Air Force One from Argentina, to transport Bush's casket to Washington. What's more likely, analysts say, is that they reach a truce, buying time for more substantive talks.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump have agreed to stop the imposition of additional trade tariffs and further open their countries' markets to one another.

China also agreed to start purchasing agricultural products from USA farmers immediately, the White House said. "It'll have an incredibly positive impact on farming, meaning agriculture, industrial products, computers, every type of product". In exchange, the US wants an immediate start to talks on Trump's biggest complaints about Chinese trade practices: intellectual property theft, non-tariff barriers and forced technology transfer.

Both countries agreed they will try to have this "transaction" completed within the next 90 days, but if this does not happen then the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent, it added.

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