U.S. and Chinese negotiators have agreed to eliminate some tariffs “in phases” as talks continue to finalize a partial Phase One trade deal, a spokesman for China’s Commerce Ministry said Thursday at a press conference in Beijing.
Negotiations are not yet finished, said spokesman Gao Feng, who warned that the deal would not be agreed to if the tariff cuts are not proportional.
Both countries agreeing to tariff cuts are a necessary “precondition” for the success of Phase One, Gao said.
“On the tariffs, the Chinese position is clear and strong,” Gao said through a translator on a government-run broadcast. “This trade war will end if all the tariffs are removed.”
Gao did not give any details on the schedule for lifting tariffs or what duties would be addressed. He declined to comment on when Phase One would be finished or the manner and location in which it would be signed.
President Donald Trump, after meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and announcing the tentative Phase One deal, agreed last month to put on hold a plan to increase tariffs on $250 billion of Chinese goods by 5%.
Trump continues to insist that he and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in the U.S. to sign the pact, which the U.S. president says will result in substantial increases of U.S. ag exports to China.
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