Potential US China trade deal would remove tariffs

An interim US-China deal is widely expected to include a US pledge to scrap tariffs scheduled for Dec 15 on about US$156 billion worth of Chinese imports

The spokesman said that Chinese and American negotiating teams have reached a consensus following "extensive, constructive and serious" talks in recent weeks.

In what could be another gesture to boost optimism, China's state news agency Xinhua reported late on Thursday that the Chinese customs and the ministry of agriculture are considering removing restrictions on U.S. poultry imports.

"Both sides agreed to remove the additional tariffs imposed in phases as progress is made on the agreement", said Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng.

Gao added that in order to reach the "first phase" of the trade agreement, both sides will have to withdraw some tariff increases at the same time.

"One could take the view that by not committing to meet the original deadline for signing the so-called phase one agreement.it gives more time for a somewhat more comprehensive agreement to be thrashed out - potentially involving a U.S. commitment to wind back some existing tariffs", said National Australia Bank's Ray Attrill.

News reports said Beijing wants 15% tariffs imposed in September on 125 billion dollars of Chinese imports removed before it will make a formal commitment. European shares and USA stock futures jumped.

The Dow Jones gained 246.34 points, with companies like Caterpillar and Boeing up at least 1.2 percent.

The International Monetary Fund estimates that the US-China trade war will shave nearly a percentage point off of global growth this year. The gold price slipped by more than 1% to $1,476 an ounce on Thursday.

"A possible rollback in a chunk of tariffs should be a monumentally more colossal affair than a delay in the date from mid-November to December", he said in a note.

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US President Donald Trump described the pact as "phase one" of a process could have as many as three stages and suspended his plans to raise tariffs on imports from the Asian giant.

France and China also issued a "Beijing call" seeking increased global cooperation in fighting climate change and protecting biodiversity while deploring the USA pullout from the climate treaty.

A US private sector analyst with knowledge of the talks said there are still deliberations in the White House about how far to roll back the duties and what steps China must take before the reductions would occur.

Brian Kuehl, co-executive director of national non-profit organization Farmers for Free Trade, said the true test of any deal to end the trade war will be whether the tariffs are fully rolled back.

A spokesman for the International Monetary Fund said an interim trade deal that rolled back some tariffs had the potential to improve its economic forecasts for 2020. "But again we need to wait for the details".

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