A US government delegation will travel to Beijing in early January for the first face-to-face talks since President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart agreed to a truce in their tariff war, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday.
Deputy US Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish will lead the US team for talks during the week of January 7, Bloomberg said, citing two people familiar with the matter.
Word of the meeting follows small signs of progress – and the absence of new threats from Trump – while the two sides work to ease trade tensions by March 1.
Washington and Beijing have exchanged tit-for-tat tariffs on more than $300 billion in total two-way trade, locking them in a conflict that has begun to eat into profits and contributed to stock market plunges.
Trump initiated the trade war because of complaints over unfair Chinese trade practices – concerns shared by the European Union, Japan and others.
The ceasefire began after Trump met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping at a G20 summit in Buenos Aires on December 1 and they agreed to hold off on further tariffs or retaliation for 90 days.
On Sunday Beijing’s commerce ministry said China and the US ‘made new progress’ on the issues of trade balance and intellectual property during a phone call between officials from the two countries.
That call came after the two sides discussed ‘economic and trade issues’ by phone earlier in that week, the ministry said.
Beijing on December 14 announced that starting January 1 it would suspend extra tariffs added to US-made cars and auto parts.
Talks also produced reports the country would restart purchases of soybeans from American farmers and ease investment rules for US companies.