Xi-Trump consensus on trade ‘first step’ to continued progress

NEW YORK (Xinhua) – As China and the United States (US) have pulled back from further escalations over trade, the consensus reached between the two heads of state constituted “a first step hopefully on the road to continued progress,” a senior business professional has said.

“The ‘pullback’ is a welcome first step in efforts to reach an agreement, which if steadily built upon by taking positive future steps forward could result in sizeable benefits to both economies and build bonds for the future,” said Carla A Hills, Chairman and CEO of Hills & Company, a Washington-based advisory firm on trade and investment.

On the sidelines of the G20 summit in the Japanese city of Osaka on Saturday, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart, Donald Trump, agreed that the two sides will restart economic and trade consultations, and the US will not add new tariffs on Chinese imports.

This development has brought hope, especially to the business communities, which was “the most important outcome of this first step seeking a solution” to differences between the two sides, Hills told Xinhua on Monday.

“The progress to date has fuelled hope by our business leaders, workers, and farmers that progress will continue, and the two governments will reach a positive outcome,” said the female entrepreneur, who served as US Trade Representative from 1989 to 1993.

“Business leaders in both economies are hopeful of reaching a solution to the conflict that has resulted in tariffs, which have created not only disruption but considerable uncertainty,” Hills noted.

Yet she pointed out that business leaders would still remain cautious and maintain a wait-and-see outlook until they see further steps forward.

As the two countries have agreed that their economic and trade negotiating teams will discuss specific issues, Hills suggested that they “meet immediately and regularly to address the remaining issues.”

She also hoped that China would continue to move forward to promote openness, which would have a positive impact on the country’s relationships with all its global trading partners.

“Our aim should be to resolve the current issues and restore a strong and durable economic foundation for a strong US-China relations for the years ahead,” Hills stressed.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping. – XINHUA