US, China agree to 90-day truce to hash out trade differences

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel during her meeting with President Macri

At their "highly successful" dinner meeting on the sidelines of the annual G-20 Summit in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires, Trump agreed to postpone for 90 days a scheduled increase in tariffs on United States dollars 200 billion in Chinese imports, while Xi agreed to purchase a very substantial amount of USA products so as to reduce the USD 375 billion trade deficit between the two countries.

"This was an unbelievable and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China", he said in a statement.

Trump told Xi at the start of their meeting he hoped they would achieve "something great" on trade for both countries.

The White House called the meeting "highly successful", saying the USA will leave existing tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods at 10 percent and refrain from raising that rate to 25 percent as planned on January 1. The U.S. President has been known to stonewall the completion of joint communiqués in global meetings by opposing the positions of other world leaders.

The United States (US) said on Saturday, December 1, that it agreed in a long-awaited summit with China to suspend new tariffs for 90 days as the two powers seek to end a trade war. "China will have to offer a little more than the minor concessions that South Korea, Mexico and Canada agreed to reach trade deals with the U.S.".

Trump and Xi agreed to "immediately" begin talks on Chinese industrial policies, including coercive licensing of USA technology, trade secret theft and non-tariff trade barriers. Both the China and USA have placed a 90 day timeframe on completing a deal.

There was an implicit contrast in some of the tributes offered at the Buenos Aires summit between Bush and the current White House occupant, Donald Trump, whose disruptive brand of diplomacy has stoked the deepest divisions in the G20's 10-year history.

The tariffs roiled financial markets and global supply chains.

President Donald Trump meets with China's President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Personal chemistry between President Trump and foreign leaders - in this case China's President Xi Jinping - and Mr Trump's appetite for deal-making matter more than painstaking negotiations at the level of senior officials.

He adds: "However, out of respect for the Bush Family and former President George H.W. Bush we will wait until after the funeral to have a press conference".

Xi replied referencing the men's "personal friendship" and that they must cooperate for "world peace and prosperity".

In the short-term, there is no deal just yet - only an agreement by both sides to freeze escalation as it stands today, buying time to work out a possible path.

All G-20 leaders called for reforming the World Trade Organization and the issue will be discussed during the group's next summit in Osaka, Japan, in June.

The US stance on trade and climate change already saw the G7 Summit and the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum end without routine statements.

In other business, the United States and China reached a 90-day ceasefire in a trade dispute that has rattled financial markets and threatened world economic growth.

Trump has imposed tariffs on US$250 billion in Chinese products. China retaliated with import taxes on soybeans- a major American agricultural export- and cars and liquified natural gas.

The closely watched encounter came shortly after the Group of 20 industrialized nations backed an overhaul of the global body that regulates worldwide trade disputes, marking a victory for Trump, a sharp critic of the organization.

G-20 leaders also agreed that the global trading system "is now falling short of its objectives" and agreed to take stock of proposed overhauls at next year's summit in Japan.

According to Wang, the two presidents reached important common understanding and the meeting certainly has "charted the course for China-US relations in some time to come".

"He was a terrific guy and he'll be missed".

Beyond entrenching their position, USA officials said they saw growing dissent, even if the communique still resulted in a 19 versus 1 declaration backing the Paris climate pact. "And I look very much forward to the dinner".

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