Trump delays tariff hikes on Chinese goods ahead of talks
US President Donald Trump will delay a planned tariff hike on $250bn (£202.8bn) of Chinese goods as a “gesture of good will”.
In a tweet, Mr Trump said a 5% increase to duties scheduled for 1 October will be postponed for two weeks.
He said the delay had been requested by China, and also follows a move by Beijing to scrap some US tariffs.
It comes as the two sides prepare to hold fresh talks aimed at resolving their long-running trade dispute.
Last month, the US said it would increase the tariff rates on all Chinese goods, which included raising a 25% tax on $250bn of Chinese imports to 30%.
On Wednesday, Mr Trump said China’s Vice Premier Liu He had asked him to postpone the upcoming tariff increase from 1 October as the date coincided with the anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.
Earlier, China released a list of 16 US imports that will be exempted from tariffs including anti-cancer drugs and animal feed.
Significant US exports to China, like pork, soybeans and American-made cars, are among the goods that will still be hit by the hefty taxes.
The world’s largest economies have been locked in a bruising trade fight for the past year that has hurt businesses and weighed on the global economy.
Tensions escalated in recent months and Washington said it would target all Chinese imports to the US with new duties by the end of the year.
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Against that backdrop, both sides are preparing to return to the negotiating table.
Preliminary meetings are set to take place later this month in Washington before US treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer meet China’s Mr Liu in October.
Still, some analysts argue the latest gestures by the US and China have not brought a resolution to their trade row much closer.
“A broad settlement is not in sight,” Gary Hufbauer of the Peterson Institute for International Economics said.
“Beijing is prepared for a continuation of tariffs and hostile rhetoric through 2020. And Trump cannot back down without getting a storm of criticism from the hawks, both Democrats and Republicans.”