Finally, there is good news for the global trade industry as the United States and China agreed on Saturday to restart trade talks and Washington will not levy new tariffs on Chinese exports, China’s foreign ministry said, raising hopes for the world’s two largest economies to resolve their trade war.
In their nearly year-long dispute, the two countries have slapped tariffs on billions of dollars of each other’s imports, disrupting global supply lines, roiling markets and dragging on global economic growth.
“We’re right back on track and we’ll see what happens,” U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters after meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a summit of leaders of the Group of 20 (G20) major economies in Japan.
The 80-minute meeting with Xi was “excellent, as good as it was going to be,” Trump added.
In a lengthy statement on the talks, China’s foreign ministry said the United States would not add new tariffs on Chinese exports, and added that negotiators of both countries would discuss specific issues, but gave no details.
Xi told Trump he hoped the United States could treat Chinese companies fairly, it added. On the issues of sovereignty and respect, China must safeguard its core interests, Xi said.
Before the talks, Trump had threatened to extend existing tariffs to cover almost all imports from China into the United States if the meeting brought no progress on wide-ranging US demands for economic reforms.
The dispute, which includes a feud over Huawei Technologies Co had also fanned fears it could threaten global growth.
“Returning to negotiations is good news for the business community and breathes some much needed certainty into a slowly deteriorating relationship,” said Jacob Parker, a vice-president of China operations at the U.S.-China Business Council.
“Now comes the hard work of finding consensus on the most difficult issues in the relationship, but with a commitment from the top we’re hopeful this will put the two sides on a sustained path to resolution,” he said.