U.S., China agree trade war ceasefire after Trump, Xi summit

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The limited bargain, reached with Chinese President Xi Jinping over dinner, will see the US and China restart talks aimed at resolving a trade dispute that is damaging the global economy, worrying some of Trump's Republican allies, and unnerving investors.

Mr. Trump said he plans to move forward with increasing tariff levels on Chinese products to 25 percent in January, saying in a Wall Street Journal interview Wednesday that it is "highly unlikely" that he would comply with China's request to hold off on the increase.

"It's great the two sides took advantage of this opportunity to call a truce", said Andy Rothman, investment strategist at Matthews Asia.

China also agreed to reconsider approval of US chipmaker Qualcomm's takeover of Netherlands-based rival NXP - a deal the Chinese government blocked earlier this year ― and to label the synthetic opioid fentanyl a controlled substance, a move the USA has been pushing China to do for years. Once again highlighting the "very special" relationship between the leaders, Trump expressed hope that they can reach an understanding that "will be good" for both nations.

China also conceded to label fentanyl, the synthetic opioid cited in thousands of drug deaths, as a controlled substance and agreed to reconsider a takeover by US chipmaker Qualcomm that it had previously blocked.

Word of the deal, which essentially sets up a process for more negotiation, came hours after Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 summit here and after Air Force One had departed for Washington.

Playing down domestic concerns of any compromise by China giving in to Trump's demands, it said "the Chinese public needs to keep in mind that China-US trade negotiations fluctuate". Both sides have raised tariffs on billions of dollars of each country's goods.

"And I think at some point, we're going to end up doing something which is great for China and great for the United States", Trump told reporters before the meeting.

He struck a positive note as he sat across from Xi, despite the USA president's earlier threats to impose new tariffs on Chinese imports as early as the next year.

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During his return from the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Trump told reporters that "three sites" were in consideration for the meeting, a follow-up to their summit in Singapore in June.

Xi also agreed to designate the drug fentanyl as a controlled substance, the White House said.

"The United States has no proof that most fentanyl in the country comes from China", he said.

Trump also canceled a Saturday news conference, citing respect for the Bush family following the death of former President George H.W. Bush.

His tariff campaign against the country began in January 2018, and saw a 25 per cent tariff on steel imports imposed in March.

Amid the trade tensions, China has sharply curtailed its purchases of U.S. soybeans and other produce, dealing a significant blow to farmers, a major support base for Trump.

"China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately", the statement said.

The two were expected to meet Saturday amid a period of increased tensions between China and the United States.

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