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US-China declare three months trade war truce on new tariffs

Donald Trump to hold off on raising the tariff rate on US$200bn of Chinese imports for 90 days to allow talking to address US concerns on Chinese trade practices, the White House says.

The U.S. and China have agreed to a 90-day trade ceasefire in a bid to work out their trade differences. At a post-G20 summit meeting in Buenos Aires on 1 December, President Trump agreed not to boost tariffs on US$200bn of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on 1 January.

US-China declare three months trade war truce on new tariffs
Figure: Donald Trump, right, and Xi Jinping, left, along with members of their delegations. Courtesy: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

“It’s an incredible deal. What I will be doing is holding back on tariffs. China will be opening up, China will be getting rid of tariffs. China will be buying massive amounts of products from us,” said Trump.

The temporary agreement will give both nations time to iron out their differences. If not, the US$200bn planned tariffs will go into effect. Trump has already imposed tariffs on US$250bn on Chinese products since July. In response, China has retaliated by imposing duties on $110bn of US goods.

It’s an incredible deal. What I will be doing is holding back on tariffs. China will be opening up, China will be getting rid of tariffs. China will be buying massive amounts of products from us.

Donald Trump, President of the United States of America

The two presidents are agreed that the two sides can and must get bilateral relations right. Discussion on economic and trade issues was very positive and constructive. The two heads of state reached consensus to halt the mutual increase of new tariffs. The White House said in a statement.

US imports from China
Source: US Census Bureau.

The Chinese government also welcomed the outcome of the talks. It is great that the two sides took advantage of this opportunity to call for a break. The two sides appear to have had a major change of heart to move away from confrontation toward engagement. This changes the tone and direction of the bilateral conversation.

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