China and US agree move to roll back tariffs
China and the United States have agreed to cancel in phases the tariffs imposed during their months-long trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said yesterday, without specifying a timetable.
An interim US-China trade deal is widely expected to include a US pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for December 15 on about $156bn (€141bn) of Chinese imports, including 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 one" trade deal.
"The trade war started with tariffs, and should end with the cancellation of tariffs," Mr Gao told a news briefing.
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He added that the proportion of tariffs cancelled for both sides to reach a "phase one" deal must be the same, but the number to be cancelled can be negotiated.
"In the past two weeks, the lead negotiators from both sides have had serious and constructive discussions on resolving various core concerns appropriately," Mr Gao said.
"Both sides have agreed to cancel additional tariffs in different phases, as both sides make progress in their negotiations."
He did not give a timeline. But optimism was boosted when China's state news agency Xinhua reported late yesterday that Chinese authorities are considering removing restrictions on US poultry imports.