Ahead of renewed talks, U.S. and China prepare terms of trade deal

The long-running trade war between China and the US has seen them swap tariffs on goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars. AFP  Ina Fassbender

The US President said the United States had agreed to delay increasing tariffs on $250 billion worth of Chinese imports from October 1 to October 15.

"I'd rather get the whole deal done", Trump told reporters at the White House.

If the USA proceeds with its threat to impose tariffs on an additional $300billion (R4 trillion) worth of Chinese goods, it could lead to a global recession in as little as nine months - that is, according to the chief economist at Morgan Stanley, Chetan Ahya.

Lower-level U.S. and Chinese officials are expected to meet within days in Washington ahead of talks between top trade negotiators in early October.

Stock markets in Asia rose on the news in early Thursday trade, as the concessions came days ahead of a planned meeting aimed at defusing the escalating trade war between the world's two largest economies. "It's something we would consider I guess", he said. CNN quoted analyst Artur Baluszynski as saying, "Chinese tariffs that really matter are the ones on USA agricultural and manufacturing goods, produced mainly in states with strong support for Donald Trump". US stocks, highly sensitive to the ups and downs of the negotiations, rose in early trading before giving up most of the gains by late morning.

But US businesses in China are increasingly pessimistic about their prospects, with a report released Wednesday saying growing numbers of companies expect their revenues and investment in the local market to shrink. Neither side has specified a date for the meetings.

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The items on the two tariff exemption lists - posted on the ministry's website - will not be subject to additional duties imposed by China on U.S. goods "as countermeasures to U.S. Section 301 measures", the ministry said in its statement. The delay could signal a de-escalation of tensions ahead of trade negotiations that are slated to resume in Washington next month, although expectations are tempered, analysts said.

China has imposed several rounds of tariffs on United States imports in the ongoing tit-for-tat dispute between the two countries.

Other soybean purchases over the past year have been made nearly exclusively by state-owned Chinese firms which are exempted from the steep import tariffs.

Not even the dire warnings of former US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers, and US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell - that the US trade war is a "grave mistake" - have deterred President Donald Trump from his present course.

The statement said the commission will continue to work on the exclusion of additional tariffs on U.S. products, and the lists of the subsequent groups will be released in due course.

Trump said earlier in the week that the trade dispute has put significant economic pressure on China, with many companies shifting its production out of the country.

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