China says it has agreed with USA to cancel tariffs in phases

United States President Donald Trump holds a letter from China's President Xi Jinping during a meeting with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office at the White House

"China has been very insistent that existing tariffs must be done away with in any deal, so the announcement shows the United States giving way in the face of Beijing's core interests", said Dr Huo, who is vice-chairman of the China Society For World Trade Organisation Studies.

"In the past two weeks, top negotiators had serious, constructive discussions and agreed to remove the additional tariffs in phases as progress is made on the agreement", Gao said.

The U.S. -China trade war that Trump began has been a drag on both nation's economies, and the leaders had initially expected to take a step toward resolving it ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections at an global summit in Chile this month.

Global markets rose on signs of progress toward ending the U.S.

The two sides continue to negotiate over where and when a "Phase One" deal would be signed. The Washington-based lender of last resort to indebted countries said its economists had already shown that the two countries' trade war had slowed global growth significantly this year.

"Given President Trump's love of tariffs, the additional element (of tariff rollbacks) may increase the risk and prolong the phase-one negotiation", said OCBC Bank's head of Greater China research Tommy Xie.

Trump said in late October that he would shortly reveal the new summit site, but an official announcement has yet to be made.

USA trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, is one of several officials who have argued that the duties on the $250bn of goods are a way of making sure China lives up to its commitments and should be in place for the long term. Gao said he had no further information on the location or timing.

President Donald Trump agreed to postpone a planned tariff hike while lower-level officials hammered out details. Beijing has yet to confirm the scale of its commitment.

Those issues include USA claims that China forces American companies to share intellectual property as a condition for doing business in the country, as well as allegations of Chinese industrial espionage.

Dozens of venues have been suggested for a meeting, which had originally been set to take place on the sidelines of a now-cancelled mid-November summit of Asia-Pacific leaders in Chile, a senior Trump administration official told Reuters on Wednesday.

That dampened hopes a face-to-face meeting might produce progress.

"There was a study done by one of the European think tanks that said of the 25 percent [tariff], 20.4 or thereabouts had been absorbed on the Chinese side, either through the deterioration in currency or through prices, and only about 4.5 percent was absorbed on the US side", Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross told Gerry Baker during an interview on FOX Business' "WSJ at Large".

Reuters reported earlier that the signing might be delayed and likely wouldn't occur in the U.S.

More complicated issues would be tackled in later negotiations, Ross said.

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