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Top negotiators from the United States and China spoke on Tuesday via phone call, coming up with an agreement to “push forward” their phase one trade agreement.
The discussion came despite the recent tensions between the two economic nation giants on several fronts. The two countries confirmed the talks separately.
A statement from Washington stated that both sides “addressed steps that China has taken to effectuate structural changes called for by the agreement.”
“The parties addressed steps that China has taken to effectuate structural changes called for by the Agreement that will ensure greater protection for intellectual property rights, remove impediments to American companies in the areas of financial services and agriculture, and eliminate forced technology transfer.”Office of the U.S. Trade Representative’s online statement
On the other hand, Beijing said a “constructive dialogue” between their side and the Americans has “agreed to create conditions and atmosphere to continue to push forward the implementation of the phase one of the China-US economic and trade agreement.”
“The two sides conducted a constructive dialogue on such issues as strengthening bilateral coordination of macroeconomic policies and the implementation of the China-U.S. phase-one economic and trade agreement,” according to the Commerce Ministry’s statement released by state media.
The phone call pledge, which was initially expected on August 15, involved U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lightizer, U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He. It is the first formal dialogue between the two countries since early May, despite fears that the deal would be scrapped eventually due to the growing rift between the U.S. and China.
“Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the steps necessary to ensure the success of the agreement,” the U.S. Trade Representative’s office (USTR) said in a statement.
But U.S. President Donald Trump, who repeatedly went berserk in his statements towards China over the coronavirus pandemic, claimed a week ago that he canceled negotiations with China, citing he “don’t want to deal with them now.”
Back in January, the U.S. and China agreed to sign the accord. The deal is expected to be used as a springboard for a partial truce in their long-existing trade war. It obliges Beijing to import an additional $200 billion worth of American products for the next two years.
However, the recent health crisis has put the agreement in limbo while China’s supposed importing of American goods has regressed.