Trade war

White House plan hinges on talks to end cy­ber theft

Albany Times Union - Sunday - - FRONT PAGE - By Saleha Mohsin, Jen­nifer Ep­stein, Peter Martin and Nick Wad­hams Bloomberg

United States, China agree to halt tar­iffs while seek­ing talks on cy­ber theft.

Buenos Aires, Ar­gentina U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping agreed to keep their trade war from es­ca­lat­ing with a prom­ise to tem­po­rar­ily halt the im­po­si­tion of new tar­iffs as the world’s two largest economies ne­go­ti­ate a last­ing agree­ment.

The truce be­tween the U.S. and China emerged af­ter a din­ner Satur­day be­tween Trump and Xi on the side­lines of the Group of 20 sum­mit. The lead­ers agreed to stop the in­tro­duc­tion of new tar­iffs and in­ten­sify their trade talks, Chi­nese For­eign Min­is­ter Wang Yi told re­porters in Buenos Aires.

The White House called the meet­ing “highly suc­cess­ful,” say­ing the U.S. will leave ex­ist­ing tar­iffs on $200 bil­lion of Chi­nese goods at 10 per­cent and re­frain from rais­ing that rate to 25 per­cent as planned on Jan. 1. In ex­change, the U.S. wants an im­me­di­ate start to talks on Trump’s big­gest com­plaints about Chi­nese trade prac­tices: in­tel­lec­tual prop­erty theft, non-tar­iff bar­ri­ers and cy­ber theft.

Af­ter 90 days, if there’s no progress on struc­tural re­form, the U.S. will raise those tar­iffs to 25 per­cent, White House Press Sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders said. China also agreed to boost its pur­chases of agri­cul­tural and in­dus­trial goods to re­duce its trade im­bal­ance with the U.S., she said.

“This was an amaz­ing and pro­duc­tive meet­ing with un­lim­ited pos­si­bil­i­ties for both the United States and China,” Trump said. “It is my great honor to be work­ing with Pres­i­dent Xi.”

In­vestors have been eager for signs of a progress to­ward keep­ing an al­ready costly trade dis­pute from spi­ral­ing into a new and broader cold war.

White House eco­nomic ad­viser Larry Kud­low said that the meet­ing went

“very well” in a brief com­ment to re­porters as the Trump del­e­ga­tion left Buenos Aires for Wash­ing­ton.

The meet­ing ran longer than sched­uled, end­ing af­ter more than two hours. A per­son who wasn’t in the room but helped with the prepa­ra­tions said af­ter­ward that it was en­cour­ag­ing that the meet­ing went longer than sched­uled, adding that U.S. sig­nals to re­form the World Trade Or­ga­ni­za­tion may have stepped up the pres­sure on China.

The meet­ing was the first face-to-face en­counter be­tween the lead­ers in more than a year, a pe­riod that saw Trump im­pose tar­iffs on Chi­nese im­ports in a bid to force Bei­jing to halt trade prac­tices the U.S. con­sid­ers un­fair.

Trump had warned that a dis­ap­point­ing out­come could prompt more U.S. tar­iffs.

Pablo Martinez Mon­si­vais / As­so­ci­ated Press

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump meets with China’s Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping dur­ing their bi­lat­eral meet­ing at the G20 Sum­mit Satur­day in Buenos Aires, Ar­gentina.

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