China, US agree to roll back additional tariffs

China says it has agreed with US to cancel tariffs in phases

Chinese officials confirmed they were thrashing out the shape of a first-stage trade deal with the USA, which will force Beijing to end a moratorium on purchases of some U.S. agricultural goods such as soya beans in exchange for Washington applying lighter tariffs on Chinese imports.

"In the past two weeks, top negotiators had serious, constructive discussions and agreed to remove the additional tariffs in phases as progress is made on the agreement", spokesman Gao Feng said Thursday.

"This data offers concrete proof that tariffs are taxes paid by American businesses, farmers and consumers - not by China", Americans for Free Trade spokesperson Jonathan Gold said in the Tariffs Hurt the Heartland's analysis.

Global markets rose on signs of progress toward ending the U.S.

But Weinberg cautioned that a trade deal isn't over the finish line, noting that the Chinese Commerce Ministry conditions the removal of tariffs on first striking an agreement.

The two sides continue to negotiate over where and when a "phase one" deal would be signed. That weighs on trade worldwide and threatens to depress global economic growth that already is showing signs of slowing.

President Donald Trump agreed to postpone a planned tariff hike while lower-level officials hammered out details.

On Thursday, China sentenced three nationals to maximum punishments for smuggling fentanyl to the US, in one of its highest-profile moves yet against the illicit flow of opioids that Trump has made a bone of contention in broader trade talks between Washington and Beijing.

Washington and Beijing have been embroiled in a bruising trade battle for 18 months, with punitive tariffs slapped on two-way trade worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

There had been no indication whether Mr. Trump might agree, which raised the possibility of another breakdown in negotiations.

Dozens of venues have been suggested for a meeting, which had originally been set to take place on the sidelines of a now-cancelled mid-November summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Chile, a senior Trump administration official told Reuters on Wednesday. A USA official said the fate of the December 15 tariffs is being considered as part of negotiations. The White House declined to comment to Business Insider.

"There are still hurdles to be overcome but it is encouraging that, contrary to last spring, Chinese negotiators are sending more positive signals, as well as their United States counterparts", said Raoul Leering, the head of worldwide trade analysis at the investment bank ING.

"The spectacle of the Chinese propaganda press putting out information like that, they're just negotiating in public, trying to push us in a direction, but the president makes these decisions", he said. He added that rolling back earlier tariffs "goes against the grain" of the original October agreement.

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