China announces agreement with US to phase out additional tariffs

CHINA, BEIJING (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — China and the United States have agreed on a plan to phase out additional tariffs on goods, the Commerce Ministry said on Thursday, as negotiators sought a trade deal.

The two countries have been engaged in a fierce trade war for more than a year, imposing high tariffs on billions of dollars in goods.

However, there is growing hope that they are close to a mini-agreement within the framework of a broader agreement.

“In the past two weeks, the negotiation leaders from both sides have had serious and constructive discussions on the appropriate solution to the fundamental concerns of the two parties,” Gao Feng, a ministry spokesman, told a press conference.

If confirmed by the United States, it would be the latest positive sign of the negotiators’ efforts to reach a preliminary trade deal, although no details were given.

Gao added that if the two sides reach a phased agreement, the tariff cancellation will start “in the same amount and simultaneously.” “This is an important condition for reaching an agreement.”

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He made a telephone conversation with US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin last Friday, which the two men described as “constructive.”

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