US, China will not impose additional tariffs after January 1: Chinese state media

The United States and China agreed on Saturday in a long-anticipated summit to hold off on new tariffs after January 1, Chinese state media said following a trade war that stretched for months.

The China Daily and Chinese international broadcaster CGTN both said that US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping agreed to halt tariffs "after January 1" - when Washington has been set to impose US$200 billion in new tariffs.

The White House did not immediately comment on the outcome of the dinner meeting on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires. But shortly after the dinner, Larry Kudlow, a top economic adviser of Trump, told reporters that Trump and Xi's meeting went "very well."

Headed into the dinner, Trump was flanked by members of his Cabinet, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Speaking to reporters, Trump described his relationship with Xi as "incredible," predicting a successful meeting for both trading partners, while hinting there would be further talks in the days ahead.

"The relationship is very special, the relationship I have with President Xi," Trump said. "And I think that is going to be very primary reason why we'll probably end up -- end up getting something that will be good for China and good for the United States."

Xi echoed Trump's remarks, saying that the meeting is "a manifestation of our personal friendship."

Xi told Trump that only through cooperation could the United States and China serve the interest of peace and prosperity.

The leaders finished their talks after about 2-1/2 hours and Trump departed for his scheduled flight back to Washington.

Neither side issued any immediate statements on the outcome

The editor of a major Chinese state-run newspaper also said that the talks went well.

"Based on information I received, talks between Xi and Trump went well and consensus was reached," Hu Xijin, the editor of the Global Times, published by the ruling Communist Party's official People's Daily, wrote on Twitter, without giving details.

The closely watched encounter came shortly after the Group of 20 industrialized nations backed an overhaul of the global body that regulates international trade disputes, marking a victory for Trump, a sharp critic of the organization.

The Xi-Trump meeting in Buenos Aires has bred hope that the escalating trade conflict can be at least temporarily put on hold pending more in-depth negotiations. Trump, who made US trade policy a central plank of his platform as a presidential candidate in 2016, wants to address specific gripes with China's trade practices, especially its alleged theft of US intellectual property.

Some experts still cast doubt over how much detailed agreement would be ironed out at the leaders' dinner, suggesting any agreement will likely set off a heavy to-do list for Cabinet officials to work out very quickly.

"I don't think it's our expectation that the two presidents are going to get into a lot of detail, and of course, they are going to have other issues to talk about beyond just trade," said Jeremie Waterman, president of the China Center for the US Chamber of Commerce. "Not every problem is going to be solved overnight."

This week alone the American president has both pledged to press ahead with a plan to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent, while also expressing optimism that he could strike a deal with Xi. The mixed signals from the White House, combined with Trump's mercurial personality, have rattled Wall Street and risk both jeopardizing the economies of the two countries, but also globally.

The dinner follows developments with other world leaders at the G20 summit. In a joint declaration, the group of 20 nations said that the current multilateral trading system is "falling short of its objectives and there is room for improvement," and supported reforms to the World Trade Organization.

The document also reaffirmed the need to continue to tackle climate change, while noting that the United States "reiterates its decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, and affirms its strong commitment to economic growth and energy access and security, utilizing all energy sources and technologies, while protecting the environment."


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