Economy & Business

U.S., China Agree to Roll Back Additional Tariffs as Part of Impending Trade Deal

Staffers adjust U.S. and Chinese flags before the opening session of trade negotiations in Beijing, China, February 14, 2019. (Mark Schiefelbein/Pool via Reuters)

The U.S. and China have agreed to remove additional tariffs in phases once the leaders of the two countries sign a trade agreement, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce said on Thursday.

“In the past two weeks, top negotiators have had serious and constructive discussions on resolving issues of core concern,” said Ministry spokesman Gao Feng in a statement provided to Poitico. “Both sides agreed to remove the additional tariffs imposed in phases as progress is made on the agreement.”

China and the U.S. are currently locked in a trade war, with each nation imposing tariffs on imports from the other, and banning imports of certain goods altogether. American farmers have been hit particularly hard by China’s refusal to import U.S. agricultural goods; the Trump administration has provided roughly $30 billion in assistance to help offset the damage.

The proposed interim trade deal is expected to include a U.S. commitment to scrap $156 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports including mobile phones, laptops and toys set to go into effect on December 15. In return, China will commit to buying more U.S. agricultural products.

President Trump and Chinese premier Xi Jinping were scheduled to meet at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Chile from November 16-17, but the summit had to be cancelled due to social unrest and mass protests in Chile.

Due to the schedules of both leaders it is highly unlikely they will be able to meet within the next month.

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