The leaders of the world's largest economic powers on Saturday backed an overhaul of the global body that regulates worldwide trade disputes, ahead of high-stakes talks between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping aimed at defusing a trade war.
Under the agreement, Trump is shelving a plan to raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from 10 percent to 25 percent from the start of next year - but the hike will kick in if negotiators fail to reach a final deal within 90 days.
The meeting was the first face-to-face encounter between the leaders in more than a year, a period that saw the Trump administration impose tariffs on billions of dollars in Chinese imports in a bid to force Beijing to halt trade practices the US considers unfair. "The existing tariffs are still having a negative impact on the Chinese economy, they haven't gone away". The decision was announced shortly after the United States and China negotiated a 90-day cease-fire in the trade war opposing the two giants. Trump has also threatened to put tariffs on another $267 billion worth of Chinese imports. The US has its own import tariff on Chinese-made cars, totaling 27.5 percent.
The White House later corrected him to say that the 90 days actually began on Dec 1, Saturday.
The White House made clear that the 10 percent tariffs would still leap up to 25 percent if China doesn't meet USA demands in 90 days. "It is a great honor to work with President Xi to cooperate".
In his Twitter roundup of weekend doings, Trump talked of halting the arms race.
Wang added that China is willing to expand imports from the United States according to "the needs of the domestic market and the Chinese people" and that both parties are working to remove all tariffs, according to China Daily.
Dealing with the central issue of China's forced technology transfers and subsidies "will require time, communication and good-will - a rare trifecta these days", he said. In the past, the USA has acted as a counterweight to China's claims, Now inconsistency in Trump's stance has added to tensions in the region.
However "we remain skeptical of a substantial trade deal between the two economic giants".
But he urged caution going into the new year and pointed out that holding back on higher tariffs isn't the same as lifting the ones already in place.
At the same time, USA farmers have been hurt by reduced Chinese imports of soybeans and other products. Pledging to crack down Fentanyl is considered a low-hanging fruit in the Trump-Xi meeting, as China has previously pledged to work with the United States to stop opioid imports. While the United States and China have agreed to negotiate, China appears unlikely to fundamentally alter its policies, and it is unclear whether Trump will be satisfied with a deal that falls considerably short of his demands.
"I believe Trump took advice from his advisers because the Republican Party did not perform very well during the U.S. midterm elections in the agriculture-dependent states".
Mr Trump has been willing to declare victory with only modest concessions in the past, pointing to new trade deals with South Korea, Canada and Mexico, he added.