US-China trade negotiations will resume as Trump makes tariff concessions

 President Trump agreed to withhold new tariffs on Chinese goods in a tentative plan to end the trade war.

By Gabriela Resto-Montero  |

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping meet at the 2019 G20 summit. Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump tentatively de-escalated the ongoing trade war with China on Saturday when he announced he will cancel a planned 25 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of Chinese goods.

“We’re holding on tariffs, and they’re going to buy farm product,” Trump told reporters at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Neither Trump nor Xi offered details on which farm products China would buy while talking to reporters, and an earlier 25 percent duty will remain in place on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods.

US farmers have been been squeezed by the trade war; China’s retaliatory tariffs cover a range of farm goods, including soybeans, almonds, pork, and apples. Chinese buyers once accounted for roughly 60 percent of the US’ agricultural exports, but that number has declined since the tariffs began, with Minnesota’s exports to the country dropping about about 25 percent since 2018.

Trump has promised farmers relief before, announcing Mexico would increase its agricultural imports as part of a trade deal. Mexico later said it had not agreed to do so — it remains to be seen whether the bump in Chinese exports will actually come to pass.

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