The U.S. and China Are Easing Back on Trade War Tariffs as Talks Near

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Taken together, the measures pale in comparison to the oncoming hit from U.S. tariff increases still in the pipeline for October and December, the fruit of a rapid escalation in tensions between the two sides last month. At the same time, as evidence mounts in both nations of the economic damage that the trade war is doing, there’s more urgency for a deal.

Trump escalated the U.S.-China trade war in August when he announced an increase in levies on Chinese goods. That was in response to higher Chinese tariffs which were a reaction to a previous increase by the U.S.

China welcomes the postponement of U.S. tariffs as a goodwill gesture, Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng said at Thursday’s regular briefing. Mid-level teams will meet soon to prepare for higher level talks, he said, reiterating that both sides are communicating without giving a date for the meeting between the top negotiators.

Any further agricultural purchases are yet to be made and the volumes are still undecided, the people said. China had halted U.S. farm-product imports in August after negotiations deteriorated.

Earlier on Wednesday, China announced a range of U.S. goods would be exempted from 25% tariffs put in place last year, as the government seeks to ease the impact from the trade war. While that move may create some good will in Washington, China didn’t exempt agricultural goods produced in key Trump-supporting states.