Sino-U.S. trade talks have progressed. Beijing and Washington have agreed to lift tariffs on each other’s products.

The two countries have engaged in “constructive talks” over the past two weeks to settle trade negotiations and agreed to roll back tariffs in phases, said Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) spokesman Gao Feng on Thursday, Nov. 7.

The tariff reduction will be contingent on the content of Phase 1 of the agreement.

“If the two sides achieve a Phase 1 agreement, then based on the content of that agreement, tariffs already increased should be canceled at the same time and by the same rate,” stated Gao.

“Doing so will help stabilize the market expectations, and benefit the two countries and the world’s economies,” Gao said during a news briefing. “It will benefit both producers and consumers.” 

U.S. stock prices soared following the announcement that the two global economies have reached an agreement.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped to a record high, gaining nearly 200 points, or 0.72 percent during the first 30 minutes of trading while the Nasdaq and S&P 500 rose by 0.75 percent and 0.67 percent respectively.

Industrial bellwethers Caterpillar and Boeing also gained following the announcement of the breakthrough in the Sino-U.S. trade talks.

President Donald J. Trump tweeted Thursday morning about the record high stock prices.

After almost two years and 13 rounds of high-level negotiations, Chinese envoy to the United States Cui Tiankai said the two countries would succeed in working out a win-win scenario.

“I believe that we will be able to make a mutually beneficial deal, as long as we both show sincerity and reach out to each other on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” Cui had said at the 2019 Horasis China Meeting, a conference that has been called the “World Economic Forum for emerging markets.”

“This is the only way that our economic and trade cooperation and the overall relations can be restored to the right track,” added Cui.

The two global economies reached an agreement in principle in what the Trump administration called a Phase 1 deal that was announced on October 12.

Phase 1 agreement was modest. It comprises Chinese purchases of American farm goods, rules to deter currency manipulation, and certain provisions to safeguard intellectual property and to make available Chinese industries to U.S. businesses.

Specific details of the Phase 1 pact still have to be written out. But it was hailed as a making headway toward ending the negotiations.

President Trump agreed to delay a planned tariff hike amid ongoing negotiations.

The president said China agreed to purchase up to $50 billion of American farm goods. However, Beijing has not confirmed the extent of its commitment.

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross stated during a conference call Tuesday he was “reasonably optimistic.”

“We’re hoping Phase 1 will be a precursor of later agreements,” Ross said. More challenging topics would be postponed for subsequent negotiations, added Ross.

President Trump and Chinese leader Xi jinping were scheduled to meet at the 2019 Summit of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in mid-November in Santiago, Chile.

The APEC Summit was canceled due to widespread protests and riots in Chile, resulting in the deaths of at least 18 people and 7,000 arrests.

U.S. officials said the two countries are now working on timing and an alternative location for a signing ceremony.

 

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