Thursday 20 June 2019

US agrees to stall on Chinese trade war

President Donald Trump. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP
President Donald Trump. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

Lindsay Dunsmuir

The US trade war with China is "on hold" after the world's largest economies agreed to drop their tariff threats while they work on a wider trade agreement, according to US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

Mr Mnuchin and President Donald Trump's top economic adviser Larry Kudlow said the agreement reached by negotiators set up a framework for addressing trade imbalances in the future.

"We are putting the trade war on hold.

"Right now, we have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework," Mr Mnuchin said.

Beijing and Washington said they would keep talking about measures under which China would import more energy and agricultural commodities from the US to close the $335bn (€284bn) annual goods and services trade deficit with China.

During an initial round of talks this month, Washington demanded China reduce its trade surplus by $200bn.

However, Mr Kudlow said it was too soon to lock in the $200bn figure. "The details will be down the road. These things are not so precise," he said.

Beijing had agreed to take measures to substantially reduce the deficit and offered to make structural reforms, such as lowering tariffs and non-tariff barriers, that will allow the US to export goods worth billions of dollars more.

Irish Independent

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