We’ve been covering the Trump administration’s trade talks with China, and now both nations have reportedly agreed to halt the trade war, including the imposition of tariffs, until a deal has been reached.

The AFP reports:

Washington and Beijing have agreed to abandon any trade war and back off from imposing tariffs on each other, Chinese state media reported Sunday.

The announcement came after high-level talks in the US capital and followed months of tensions over what President Donald Trump has blasted as an unfair commercial relationship between the two economic giants.

Vice-Premier Liu He, who led Chinese negotiators in Washington said: “The two sides reached a consensus, will not fight a trade war, and will stop increasing tariffs on each other,” state-run news agency Xinhua reported Sunday.

Liu called the agreement a “necessity”, but added: “At the same time it must be realised that unfreezing the ice cannot be done in a day, solving the structural problems of the economic and trade relations between the two countries will take time.”

An earlier joint statement issued in Washington said Beijing would “significantly” increase its purchases of American goods, but offered few details.

On Fox News Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration won’t apply tariffs on Chinese imports while the trade talks are in progress.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the Trump administration won’t apply tariffs on Chinese imports to the U.S. while the two countries hammer out details of a deal to reduce the yawning U.S. merchandise trade deficit with China.

“We’re putting the trade war on hold,” Mr. Mnuchin said in an interview on Fox News Sunday, while the two countries “try to execute the framework” of a deal to reduce China’s $375 billion annual trade surplus with the U.S.

During bilateral trade talks held in Washington late last week, the U.S. had demanded China reduce its trade advantage by $200 billion or more. China came to the talks ready to step up purchases of U.S. goods, but refused to agree to a specific dollar amount.

The talks followed U.S. threats to apply tariffs on as much as $150 billion worth of Chinese imports. The procedural steps to apply tariffs on the first $50 billion tranche of Chinese imports would have been completed next week.

Watch the segment:

Appearing Sunday on Face the Nation, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said that the meetings have been “very positive” and that the administration is “making terrific progress.”

CBS News reports:

National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow says the White House has made a “lot of progress” toward avoiding a trade war with China as negotiations over trade between the two countries continue.

“We want China to open up markets, lower tariffs, lower non-tariff barriers, give us a chance. We also want China, however, to change their behavior with respect to technology transfers and also the theft of intellectual property rights. Now, are we going to get everything? I don’t know, but I will say this: We’re making terrific progress and I think the meetings here in Washington were very positive,” Kudlow told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

Watch the segment:

CBS News continues:

In April, the Trump administration threatened $150 billion in tariffs on Chinese imports, which China countered with a tariff threat of its own, targeting U.S. farmers in particular. Kudlow said President Trump “insisted” the trade deficit be lowered and details would be hashed out “down the road.”

“Our view is China must open up. They must become fair traders. They have not been. The rest of the world knows they have not been and China has got to stop the theft of intellectual property and the forced transfer of technology. Those are our family jewels and we can make deals on this. I believe we can make arrangements. That has not yet been completed. But the early going — I mean, tons of energy coming, tons of agriculture, tons more manufacturing,” Kudlow said.


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