End the duopoly

Trade Talks Looming, U.S. and China Lower Their Guard, a Little

President Trump said on Thursday that China would resume purchases of American farm goods and Beijing confirmed that Chinese companies were making inquiries about buying agricultural products, the latest sign that both sides are trying to ease tensions that have pushed the bilateral relationship to its rockiest point in decades.

The president’s announcement, made on Twitter on Thursday morning, followed a day of cooling trade tensions, in which China announced that it would grant some limited exemptions to its tariffs for American products, and Mr. Trump responded by promising to delay his next tariff increase by two weeks to Oct. 15.

“It is expected that China will be buying large amounts of our agricultural products!” the president said on Twitter on Thursday.

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China’s Ministry of Commerce said some Chinese companies were beginning to make inquiries about resuming purchases of American agricultural products. “Soybeans and pork are all within the scope of inquiry,” said Gao Feng, a spokesman for the ministry. “I hope that China and the United States will move in the same direction and create favorable conditions for consultations.”

American and Chinese negotiators now plan to meet in person in early October, before Mr. Trump’s deadline to increase tariffs on $250 billion worth of goods to 30 percent from 25 percent. Expectations for quickly resolving the significant differences between the two sides remain modest. But the recent de-escalation increases the likelihood that the next round of tariffs might be averted, perhaps eventually opening a path to an agreement that would smooth relations between the countries.


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