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U.S.-China Trade War Ceasefire Called–At Least for Now

October 11, 2019, 9:11 PM UTC
Chinese Vice Premier Liu He Visits U.S. For Trade Talks
Liu He, China's vice premier, center, leaves the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative after a meeting today with Robert Lighthizer, U.S. trade representative, third left. The U.S. has promised not to escalate its tariffs on Chinese imports, while the two countries continue to negotiate to end their 15-month trade war. Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg via Getty Images
Andrew Harrer—Bloomberg via Getty Images

The United States is suspending a tariff hike on $250 billion in Chinese imports that was set to take effect Tuesday, and China has agreed to buy $40 billion to $50 billion in U.S. farm products as the world’s two biggest economies reached a ceasefire in their 15-month trade war.

The announcement follows negotiations this week in Washington, in which China was widely seen as willing to make peace as long as President Trump didn’t follow through with a planned escalation of tariffs on Chinese imports.

This is the second ceasefire the two countries have called in their protracted trade war, which has riled economies worldwide. A truce was declared in June, only to be upended with tit-for-tat tariffs and recriminations.

For now, the two countries are leaving the thornier issues—including U.S. allegations that China forces foreign countries to hand over trade secrets in return for access to the Chinese market—until later negotiations.

U.S. tariffs on $250 billion in Chinese imports were set to rise Tuesday from 25% to 30%. China previously hit back by targeting about $120 billion in U.S. goods, focusing on farm products.

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