President Trump agreed to restart trade negotiations with China on Saturday after meeting with the country’s leader, Xi Jinping, during a Group of 20 summit in Japan.
The Hill reports,
Trump said during a news conference Saturday afternoon that he would scale back restrictions on Chinese telecom giant Huawei and delay slapping new tariffs on Chinese goods as talks resume between the two countries.
“U.S. companies can sell their equipment to Huawei,” Trump said, explaining that the move was aimed at helping American tech companies that had complained about the ban. The company is on an “entity list” that essentially bars it from buying components from American firms without approval from the U.S. government.
Trump said China, in turn, had agreed to resume large purchases of American farm products and other goods from U.S. companies, though he did not offer further details.
The Trump administration will keep in place the 25 percent tariffs previously levied on roughly half of China’s annual exports to the U.S., according to The New York Times.
The major concessions came after the two economic giants had been locked in an escalating trade war for more than a month, hitting the other with sanctions on billions of dollars worth of goods. Talks came to a standstill in May in the lead-up to the G-20 in Japan.
The Trump administration had insisted that any trade deal with China must address intellectual property theft protections, enforcement mechanisms, tariffs and other barriers to commerce.
Trump struck a cautiously optimistic note late Friday on the prospects of reaching such an agreement with Xi.
“I actually think that we were very close and then we — something happened where it slipped a little bit and now we’re getting a little bit closer,” the president said as he sat down with Xi for a highly anticipated meeting at the G-20 summit.
All eyes had been on the outcome of the Trump-Xi sit-down, given the potential ripple effects for the world economy. Trump previously threatened to implement tariffs on another $300 billion in Chinese goods if the talks did not yield progress.