US to suspend scheduled tariffs after reaching deal with China

President Donald Trump says phase two talks with Beijing will start immediately

File photograph of China’s president Xi Jinping with US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

File photograph of China’s president Xi Jinping with US president Donald Trump. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/AFP

 

The US has agreed to phase out tariffs on Chinese goods, officials said at a press conference in Beijing .

The two countries have achieved major progress in their phase one trade negotiations, Beijing officials said, and agreed on the text of a phase one deal.

The deal will provide more protection for foreign companies in China, and Chinese companies in the US, Chinese officials said.

US sources said Thursday that Washington has set its terms for a trade deal with China, offering to suspend some tariffs on Chinese goods and cut others in exchange for Beijing’s buying more American farm goods, but Beijing had no comment during the day on Friday in Asia.

The silence had raised questions over whether the two sides can agree a truce in their trade war before a new round of tit-for-tat tariffs takes effect on Sunday. A source briefed on the status of bilateral negotiations said Thursday the United States would suspend tariffs on $160 billion in Chinese goods expected to go into effect on Sunday and roll back existing tariffs.

A trade deal will protect foreign firms’ interests in China while Chinese firms’ legal interests in dealing in the United States will be protected as well, vice minister for commerce Wang Shouwen said.

Mr Trump said phase two talks will get underway immediately.

“We have agreed to a very large phase one deal with China. They have agreed to many structural changes and massive purchases of agricultural product, energy, and manufactured goods, plus much more,” Mr Trump said on Twitter.

-Reuters