China and the United States are rekindling trade talks ahead of a meeting next week between Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping during a G20 summit in Osaka, Reuters reports.
Trump said on Tuesday that teams from the two sides will begin preparations for the leaders to sit down at the G20 summit. China confirmed the get-together.
“Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting,” Trump said in a post on Twitter.
White House officials declined to go into detail about the preparations or expected outcomes from the talks in Japan, but both sides reiterated long-held positions.
US officials called for structural changes in the Chinese economy and in how Beijing treats US businesses, while China called for dialogue instead of expensive tariffs.
“The key is to show consideration to each other’s legitimate concerns,” Xi said, according to Chinese state media.
“We also hope that the United States treats Chinese companies fairly. I agree that the economic and trade teams of the two countries will maintain communication on how to resolve differences.”
Washington has imposed 25 percent tariffs on US$250 billion of Chinese goods, ranging from semi-conductors to furniture, that are imported to the United States.
Trump has threatened to put tariffs on another US$325 billion of goods, covering nearly all of the remaining Chinese imports into the US.
Trump had made no secret that, despite his threat to escalate the dispute, he wanted to meet with Xi while they are both in Japan.
China’s confirmation of the meeting avoids the possibility of a snub to Washington that could have triggered another round of tariffs, Reuters noted.
Trump praised his relationship with Xi and spoke optimistically about getting a deal.
“I think we have a chance. I know that China wants to make a deal. They don’t like the tariffs, and a lot of companies are leaving China in order to avoid the tariffs,” he told reporters at the White House.
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