By Jessica Domel
After eight months and millions of dollars in tariffs, the People’s Republic of China and the United States have agreed to put off additional tariffs on one another while talks to ease trade tensions continue.
“President (Donald) Trump and (Chinese) President Xi (Jinping) have agreed to immediately begin negotiations on structural charges with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture,” according to a statement from the White House released after Presidents Trump and Jinping met for dinner after the G-20 summit in Argentina.
The two-and-a-half-hour working dinner also resulted in promises China would begin immediately purchasing more agricultural goods from the United States.
“China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries,” the statement said.
Trump has agreed the U.S. will hold off on raising the 10 percent tariff on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 percent in return.
The tariffs were set to increase Jan. 1.
“Both parties agree that they will endeavor to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days,” the White House statement said. “If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent.”
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the two countries will work to cancel all tariff increases, intensify consultations and reach a concrete agreement on mutual benefit.
“Both sides believe the above-mentioned principled consensus is of great significance, not only effectively preventing the further expansion of economic and trade frictions, but also opening up new prospects for mutual cooperation and win-win,” a translated statement from Yi said. “It is not only conducive to the respective development of China and the United States and the well-being of the people, but also beneficial to the world.”
The agreement between the presidents begins a 90-day clock to reach a trade agreement.
In late May, the United States implemented a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion in Chinese exports to the U.S. in an attempt to force China to change its intellectual property policies.
According to the U.S. Trade Representative, the U.S. loses $50 billion annually due to China’s intellectual property practices.
Since then, China has implemented tariffs on $110 billion in U.S. exports. The U.S. has levied new tariffs on more than $250 billion in Chinese goods with threats of tariffs on another $267 billion.