China announced on Thursday that it has agreed with the US for a “phased” lifting of their mutual punitive tariffs, as Beijing and Washington strive to finalize a partial deal on their trade dispute.
The two powers have been engaged since 2018 in a trade war with tariffs, the effects of which on the world economy and investor confidence are hard.
Chinese and Americans, however, have said they want to reach a preliminary agreement in November.
In the last two weeks, the chief negotiators of the two countries have been engaged in serious and constructive discussions, said Gao Feng, spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
They agreed on a phased and progressive cancellation of the additional tariffs, as progress towards a [final] agreement, he said during a press conference.
A necessary reciprocity
If confirmed by the United States, this tariff arrangement could be the latest sign of a relative warming of relations between Beijing and Washington.
If both parties reach a first preliminary agreement, they must cancel their additional duties, at the same rate and in the same proportions, said Gao Feng.
This is an important condition for reaching a [final] agreement, he Added.
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, head of China’s trade talks, spoke last week with his US counterpart Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a constructive appeal by both parties.
Initially, US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping were to sign a preliminary agreement in mid-November on the sidelines of a summit of Pacific Rim countries, APEC.
But this event was canceled due to the social crisis that is shaking this country. And Mr Trump said the two countries were choosing a new location for the signing.
An agreement, even partial, would reassure global markets and mark a pause in the bilateral trade war, launched in March 2018 by the White House host to put an end to commercial practices that he considers unfair.