'very strong signals' that China is ready for a trade deal

Dow dives as enthusiasm for Trump's trade truce fades

US President Donald Trump said today negotiations to defuse the high stakes trade conflict with China are "going very well".

In return, Washington said China would purchase "very substantial" amounts of USA agricultural, energy, industrial and other products.

Few details have been made public about what the two sides will negotiate, a lack of clarity that has unsettled stock markets. He added that the talks will also address areas such as intellectual property rights, technology cooperation, market access, and the trade imbalance.

"Teams from both sides are in contact and cooperating well, we are fully confident that we can reach an agreement in the coming 90 days", Gao said, without providing more specific details about what actions China will take.

Talks during the 90 day period during which President Donald Trump has agreed to suspend US tariff hikes will start by focusing on farm goods, energy and automobiles, said a Ministry of Commerce spokesman, Gao Feng.

In Argentina last weekend, Trump and Xi agreed to a truce that delayed the planned January 1 USA hike of tariffs to 25 percent from 10 percent on $200 billion of Chinese goods while they negotiate a trade deal.

The two sides have been communicating and cooperating smoothly, and China was confident in striking a deal with the USA within the next 90 days, Gao said.

The White House has said China had committed to start buying more American products and lifting tariff and non-tariff barriers immediately, while beginning talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers and intellectual property protection.

"China has been expanding imports over the years in order to meet the Chinese people's demand for better lives and high-quality development", he said, adding that after reaching preliminary consensus on trade issues of farm produce and energy during the previous consultations, the two sides will continue to hold consultation on these issues plus manufactured goods and service trade.

"Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina", Trump tweeted.

Gao's briefing came hours after the trade detente risked being rattled by the arrest in Canada of a top executive from Chinese telecom giant Huawei at the request of the United States.

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