30 December, 2018
CHINA and the United States have made plans for face-to-face consultations over trade in January, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday, as the world's two biggest economies advanced efforts to resolve a months-long trade war. China also announced that they will suspend implementing tariffs on USA -made Vehicles and auto parts for three months starting Jan.1.
The White House imposed a deadline of March 1 to reach a deal or move ahead with additional tariffs on Chinese goods, but President Trump has suggested in public comments that the date could be extended. China also announced the suspension from January 1 to March 31, 2019, of 25 percent of the taxes applied to 144 products of the U.S. automotive sector and advanced new agreements in the fields of agriculture and energy.
News of the talks was followed by a potential source of renewed strain: a Reuters report saying Trump might declare a national emergency next month that would ban USA companies from using telecommunications equipment made by Huawei and ZTE Corp.
Ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said at a press conference here that both countries were finalising the details of the meeting.
A US trade team will head to Beijing in the second week of 2019 to hold talks with Chinese officials.
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On Tuesday, another conciliatory sign came in the form of a so-called "negative" list, issued by China.
In addition to the list, Chinese lawmakers also drafted a foreign investment law which is now for public consultation. The draft law said China would reserve the right to retaliate against countries that discriminate against Chinese investment with "corresponding measures".
However, negotiations could be affected due to the diplomatic row that has erupted following the arrest of Huawei's Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou in Canada at the US' request for allegedly violating sanctions against Iran.
A person familiar with the matter told Reuters last week that talks were likely in early January.
It would be the latest step by the Trump administration to cut Huawei Technologies and ZTE Corp, two of China's biggest network equipment companies, out of the U.S. market.