STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

US and China call a ceasefire in trade dispute

After weeks of tensions, China and the United States have reached a ceasefire.Both sides this weekend said the...

Posted: May 21, 2018 1:54 PM
Updated: May 21, 2018 1:54 PM

After weeks of tensions, China and the United States have reached a ceasefire.

Both sides this weekend said they had agreed to not impose new tariffs on one another while talks continue, after reaching an initial agreement on trade.

In a joint statement on Saturday, the countries said China would "significantly increase" purchases of US goods and services to reduce their trade imbalance. This was a top demand of the Trump administration during two days of trade talks in Washington with Chinese officials.

"We're putting the trade war on hold," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told "Fox News Sunday. "We have agreed to put the tariffs on hold while we try to execute the framework."

The remarks echoed those by China Vice Premier Liu He, the top economic adviser to Chinese President Xi Jinping. He said the two sides have pledged not to engage in a trade war, according to state-run news agency Xinhua.

Mnuchin said the countries have agreed on a trade framework - though there aren't many details. The joint announcement released Saturday did not put a dollar amount on China's commitment to increase purchases.

The pledge for more cooperation comes as the US and China, the world's two largest economies, have threatened tens of billions of dollars in tariffs that could lead to a trade war.

Both sides specifically agreed to "meaningful increases" in US agriculture and energy exports, according to the statement. The US intends to send a team to China to hammer out the details. Mnuchin said Sunday on Fox News that Trump can "put the tariffs back on" if China doesn't follow through with its commitments.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer reiterated that threat in a statement warning that major issues between the two sides remain unresolved.

"Getting China to open its market to more U.S. exports is significant, but the far more important issues revolve around forced technology transfers, cyber theft and the protection of our innovation," he said. "As this process continues, the United States may use all of its legal tools to protect our technology through tariffs, investment restrictions and export regulations."

Related: Did China make a $200 billion trade offer to the US? Beijing says no

US officials on Thursday told CNN that Beijing had proposed boosting Chinese purchases of American goods by around $200 billion. But at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang denied such an offer had been made.

The statement also did not mention ZTE, the Chinese tech giant that has recently been at the center of the trade spat.

Last Sunday, in a move that surprised many, the president tweeted that he working with Chinese President Xi Jinping to help Chinese state-controlled phone and telecom equipment maker ZTE get back into business, adding the "Commerce Department has been instructed to get it done!"

ZTE halted its main operations after the Trump administration banned American companies from selling it vital product components. The US said that ZTE had lied to American officials about punishing employees who violated US sanctions against North Korea and Iran.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, in a statement on Saturday, criticized the joint announcement for seeming to keep lighter penalties for ZTE on the table.

"If the administration capitulates on ZTE and allows it to continue to exist, even if they are fined - they've been fined once already - that will signal to President Xi that we are weak negotiators," Schumer said.

Related: Trump talks trade with China as project linked to his company gets Chinese business

Schumer also protested what he said was a lack of concrete steps needed to protect US intellectual property.

In March, Trump proposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese exports following a months-long investigation into IP theft, calling it a "tremendous" problem. China, in turn, pledged retaliatory tariffs on US items like planes, cars and soybeans. Trump then raised the possibility of an additional round of tariffs worth $100 billion.

China and the United States said in Saturday's statement only that the two countries would "strengthen cooperation" on intellectual property protections, and that China "will advance relevant amendments to its laws and regulations in this area."

Scott Kennedy, an expert on the Chinese economy at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the joint statement is "too vague to be binding on its own."

"It commits neither side to any specific action, either to expand trade and investment, constrain industrial policy or not adopt penalties," he said.

-- CNN's Sarah Westwood and Yuli Yang contributed to this report.

Huntsville
Few Clouds
89° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
Florence
Few Clouds
87° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 89°
Fayetteville
Clear
87° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 88°
Decatur
Clear
90° wxIcon
Hi: 88° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 90°
Scottsboro
Broken Clouds
86° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 67°
Feels Like: 90°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 89927

Reported Deaths: 1580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson11650225
Mobile8998191
Montgomery6198143
Madison493225
Tuscaloosa391263
Baldwin317522
Shelby300232
Marshall294730
Unassigned263351
Lee249140
Morgan220615
Etowah191425
DeKalb167713
Elmore158437
Calhoun15359
Walker145763
Houston130912
Dallas128023
Russell12201
Franklin118420
Limestone118313
St. Clair118212
Cullman111311
Colbert107612
Lauderdale105312
Autauga101020
Escambia96515
Talladega89013
Jackson8163
Chambers81438
Tallapoosa80478
Dale77619
Butler75135
Blount7223
Covington70420
Coffee7035
Chilton6976
Pike6547
Barbour5625
Lowndes54624
Marion53524
Marengo51514
Clarke4849
Hale44925
Bullock43711
Perry4284
Winston42811
Wilcox4029
Monroe3884
Randolph38810
Conecuh37110
Bibb3643
Pickens3639
Sumter36118
Washington31011
Macon30813
Lawrence3060
Crenshaw2843
Choctaw27312
Henry2433
Greene24011
Cherokee2337
Geneva2260
Clay2165
Lamar1942
Fayette1695
Cleburne1141
Coosa902
Out of AL00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 109627

Reported Deaths: 1073
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby21296285
Davidson19320199
Rutherford604251
Hamilton562147
Knox392634
Williamson323022
Sumner316069
Unassigned29244
Out of TN282312
Wilson206420
Montgomery171111
Bradley170510
Sevier17025
Trousdale15726
Putnam154713
Robertson143216
Hamblen121713
Tipton11049
Blount10987
Maury10665
Washington10382
Madison88912
Bedford86210
Macon83413
Hardeman79411
Sullivan7809
Lake7440
Bledsoe6681
Loudon6493
Fayette6178
Anderson5995
Dickson5871
Gibson5582
Cheatham5445
Dyer5427
Rhea4971
Jefferson4892
McMinn47920
Lawrence4746
Obion4274
Henderson4260
Carter4245
Lauderdale4216
Coffee4112
Warren4004
Hardin3987
Cocke3911
Cumberland3756
Greene3695
Haywood3695
Smith3613
Monroe3569
Roane3561
Giles3449
Hawkins3244
McNairy3105
DeKalb3041
Franklin2854
Marshall2632
Weakley2603
Lincoln2511
Carroll2263
Hickman2260
Crockett2233
Wayne2141
Claiborne2120
Henry2110
Campbell2071
Marion2064
Chester1921
White1913
Grainger1680
Polk1661
Johnson1600
Decatur1591
Unicoi1360
Overton1341
Union1180
Cannon1170
Jackson1071
Grundy1012
Humphreys1013
Scott1010
Meigs960
Sequatchie940
Benton921
Morgan791
Fentress740
Hancock741
Perry740
Stewart700
Clay620
Lewis561
Houston550
Moore420
Van Buren320
Pickett221

 

 

Community Events