‘Back on track’: Trump, Xi seal trade war truce

OSAKA, Japan (AFP) – United States (US) President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping struck a trade war ceasefire yesterday, as Washington vowed to hold off on further tariffs and declared trade negotiations with China “back on track”.

The truce that halts damaging trade frictions came in a hotly anticipated meeting between the leaders of the world’s top two economies on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

Trump hailed the meeting in the Japanese city of Osaka as “excellent”.

“We are right back on track,” he added.

Both sides were expected to issue official formal statements later, but Trump confirmed Washington had committed not to impose any new tariffs on Beijing’s exports and that the two sides would continue talks.

“At least for the time being,” Washington will not impose new tariffs or remove existing ones, Trump said at a press conference. “We will be continuing to negotiate.”

The outcome was likely to be seen as a win, with experts cautioning ahead of the meeting that a full agreement was unlikely but a truce that avoided a new tit-for-tat round of tariffs would be positive.

“The base case scenario was met at G20 and while we are no worse for wear, let’s see what the G20 hangover brings,” said Market Analyst at Vanguard Markets Stephen Innes.

Trump struck a conciliatory tone from his arrival in Japan for the summit, despite saying China’s economy was going “down the tubes” before he set out for Osaka.

He said he was ready for a “historic” deal with China as the leaders kicked off their meeting, and Xi told him that dialogue was better than confrontation.