Beijing, US to Lift Tariffs as Talks Advance

Thursday, China and the United States have agreed to cancel in phases the tariffs imposed during their months-long trade dispute, the Chinese commerce ministry said.

The interim US-China trade deal is widely expected to include a U.S. pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for 15 December on about $156-B worth of Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptop computers and toys.

Tariff cancellation was an important condition for any agreement, ministry spokesman Gao Feng said, adding that both must simultaneously cancel some tariffs on each other’s goods to reach a “Phase 1” trade deal.

The proportion of tariffs canceled for both sides to reach a “Phase 1” deal must be the same, but the number to be canceled can be negotiated, he added, without elaborating.

“In the past 2 weeks, the lead negotiators from both sides have had serious and constructive discussions on resolving various core concerns appropriately,” Gao said.

“Both sides have agreed to cancel additional tariffs in different phases, as both sides make progress in their negotiations.

Another gesture to boost optimism: China’s state news agency Xinhua reported late Thursday that the Chinese customs and the Ministry of Agriculture are considering removing restrictions on US poultry imports.

Beijing’s signal that a “Phase 1” trade deal with the United States was close to being sealed helped Europe’s share markets hit a more than 4-year peak Thursday and bond yields shuffled higher.

A person familiar with China’s negotiating position said it was pressing Washington to “remove all tariffs as soon as possible.”

A deal may be signed this month by President Trump and Chinese President Xi at a yet-to-be determined location.

Since President Trump took office in Y 2017, his administration has been pressing China to curb massive subsidies to state-owned firms and end the forced transfer of American technology to Chinese firms as a price of doing business in China. His policies are working.

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