U.S., Beijing announce 90-day truce in trade dispute
BUENOS AIRES — The United States and China reached a 90-day cease-fire in a trade dispute that has rattled financial markets and threatened world economic growth. The breakthrough came after a dinner meeting Saturday between President Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.
Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise tariffs Jan. 1 on $200 billion in Chinese goods. The Chinese agreed to buy a “not yet agreed upon, but very substantial amount of agricultural, energy, industrial” and other products from the United States to reduce America’s huge trade deficit with China, the White House said.
The truce, reached after a dinner of more than two hours, buys time for the two countries to work out their differences in a dispute over Beijing’s aggressive drive to supplant U.S. technological dominance.
“It’s an incredible deal,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One. “What I’ll be doing is holding back on tariffs. China will be opening up, China will be getting rid of tariffs. China will be buying massive amounts of products from us.”
In a long-sought concession to the U.S., China agreed to label fentanyl, the deadly synthetic opioid responsible for tens of thousands of American drug deaths annually, as a controlled substance. And Beijing agreed to reconsider a takeover by U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm that it had previously blocked. The White House announcement framed a victory for Trump and his unflinching negotiating tactics, securing a commitment from China to engage in talks on key U.S. economic priorities, with little obvious concession by the U.S. Notably, however, the White House appears to be reversing course on its previous threats to tie trade discussions to security concerns, like China’s attempted territorial expansion in the South China Sea.
The Trump-Xi meeting was the marquee event of Trump’s whirlwind two-day trip to Argentina for the G-20 summit after the president canceled a sit-down with Russian President Vladimir Putin over mounting tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
The United States and China are locked in a dispute over their trade imbalance and Beijing’s tech policies. Washington accuses China of deploying predatory tactics in its tech drive.
Paul Wiseman, Zeke Miller and Catherine Lucey are Associated Press writers.