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Trade talks between China and the US are back on track

20 August 2020

China and the United States have agreed to hold trade talks in the near future to evaluate the progress of the Phase 1 trade deal.

Reuters reports that news of the talks came from the Chinese commerce ministry. Ministry spokesman Gao Feng made the comments at a weekly online briefing but did not elaborate.

The move follows remarks made by the White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on 18 August that no new high-level trade talks were scheduled. However, both sides report that they are in touch about implementing the Phase 1 deal.

The deal, reached on 15 January and hailed as a major breakthrough after a two-year long trade dispute between the world's two largest economies, set ambitious targets for China to sharply boost purchases of US farm and manufactured goods.

But ties quickly soured in the aftermath of the coronavirus pandemic and China's imposition of a new national security law in Hong Kong.

Both sides traded threats and sanctions on individuals and businesses, such as Chinese video platform TikTok.

Official data also suggests China's imports of US farm and manufactured goods, energy and services are well behind the pace needed to meet a first-year target increase of $77 billion over 2017 purchases.

China's purchases have increased as its economy recovers from this year's coronavirus lockdown, however.

On Tuesday 18 August, US President Donald Trump told reporters he had postponed a 15 August review of the trade pact, in frustration over Beijing's handling of the virus pandemic.

Read more about this story here.

Source: Reuters



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