US And China Agree To Restart Trade Talks

The United States and China have agreed to resume trade negotiations, easing a protracted row that has fuelled a global economic slowdown.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached the agreement on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan.

Mr Trump said the talks had been “excellent”.

He had threatened to impose an additional $300bn (£236bn) in tariffs on Chinese imports.

However, after the meeting in Osaka, he confirmed that Washington would not be adding the additional tariffs and that he would continue to negotiate with Beijing “for the time being”.

The US president also announced that American companies could continue to sell to the Chinese technology firm Huawei, which Washington has banned because of security concerns.

This move appears to be a big concession to Beijing, says the BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, in Osaka.

How has the US-China trade dispute escalated?

US and China – the world’s two largest economies – have been fighting a damaging trade war over the past year.

Mr Trump accused China of stealing intellectual property and forcing US firms to share trade secrets in order to do business in China.

China, in turn, said the US’s demands for business reform were unreasonable.

The feud escalated in the months leading up to the summit, after talks between the two countries collapsed in May.

How will the current breakthrough change the situation?

The truce signals a pause in hostilities between the world’s largest economies, rather than a resolution of the year-long dispute which has caused market turbulence and dragged on global growth.

Speaking after his meeting with Mr Xi at the summit, the US president said negotiations were “back on track”.

“We had a very good meeting with President Xi of China, excellent, I would say excellent, as good as it was going to be,” Mr Trump told reporters. “We discussed a lot of things and we’re right back on track and we’ll see what happens.”

In a statement, China’s foreign ministry said negotiators from both sides would discuss the specific details but did not elaborate.

China’s official state news agency Xinhua also quoted Mr Xi as saying: “China and the US have highly integrated interests and extensive co-operation areas and they should not fall into so-called traps of conflict and confrontation.”

Has the Huawei dispute been resolved?

The clampdown on dealing with Huawei has been a high profile part of the wider trade conflict between the US and China.

Mr Trump’s decision to allow US companies to continue to sell to the Chinese technology firm is being seen as a substantial concession to the Chinese.

The US president is reversing a US ban imposed last month on Huawei buying US goods without a licence – including from Google, which is crucial to many of the Chinese firm’s products.

The ban had been expected to cost the firm $30bn (£24bn) in revenue this year, and sparked fears of a “technology cold war” between the two nations.

But American companies have also been stopped from buying from Huawei because Washington says its technology poses a national security risk.

So the latest US move does not bring a complete end to the dispute. Mr Trump said the Huawei situation would be dealt with “at the very end” of trade talks between the US and China.

Source: BBC

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