US, China declare 90-day halt to new tariffs

China and the United States have agreed to halt additional tariffs as both nations engage in new trade negotiations with the goal of reaching an agreement within 90 days, the White House said on Saturday after President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping held high-stakes talks in Argentina.

Trump agreed not to boost tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 per cent on January 1 as previously announced, while Beijing agreed to buy an unspecified but “very substantial” amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other products, the White House said in a statement. China “is open to approving the previously unapproved” deal for US company Qualcomm Inc to acquire Netherlands-based NXP Semiconductors “should it again be presented.”

In July, Qualcomm – world’s biggest smartphone-chip maker – walked away from a $44 billion deal to buy NXP Semiconductors after failing to secure Chinese regulatory approval, becoming a high-profile victim of the Sino-US trade dispute.

The White House said that if an agreement on trade issues including technology transfer, intellectual property, non-tariff barriers, cyber theft and agriculture has not been reached with China in 90 days that both parties agree that the 10 per cent tariffs will be raised to 25 per cent.

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