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Democratic candidates bash Trump's tariffs, but agree China is a problem

13 September 2019

On Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump said he was postponing the imposition of 5% extra tariffs on Chinese goods by two weeks, meaning Chinese officials can celebrate their october 1 national day without a fresh escalation.

Trump said that he might "consider" the concept of an interim deal, but signaled confidence that the negotiations were moving forward.

Chinese companies have begun looking into the prices of United States agricultural goods, a development that comes a day after Washington and Beijing eased tariffs and signals a possible easing in the trade war between the world's two largest economies.

Preliminary meetings are set to take place later this month in Washington before U.S. treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin and trade representative Robert Lighthizer meet China's vice premier Liu He in October.

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The US think tank Trade Partnership predicts that due to the trade war US gross domestic product will be slashed by 1.01%, which will cost 2.16million US jobs, and household spending in the US will increase by $2294 annually. "But I would let the Chinese know that we need to hammer out a deal".

In a tweet, Mr Trump said a 5% increase to duties scheduled for 1 October will be postponed for two weeks. US stocks, highly sensitive to the ups and downs of the negotiations, rose in early trading before giving up most of the gains by late morning.

"The fact of the matter is China, not the very deficit, they're stealing our intellectual property, they're violating the World Trade Organization, they're dumping steel on us", former Vice President Joe Biden said. Neither side has specified a date for the meetings.

Washington and Beijing have placed tariffs on billions of dollars worth of goods during trade dispute, with more tariffs due to take effect in the coming months.

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"The exemption could be seen as a gesture of sincerity towards the US ahead of negotiations in October but is probably more a means of supporting the economy", ING's Greater China economist Iris Pang wrote in a note. "An exemption list of just 16 items will not change China's stance", ING's Greater China economist Iris Pang said. "We just don't see China willing to negotiate on them before the race for USA presidential elections really kicks off".

Earlier on Thursday Beijing said Chinese companies were inquiring about prices of agricultural goods.

The $6.8 billion businesses paid in July only reflects the tariff rate increase from 10% to 25% that occurred on May 10 on $250 billion in imports from China. "He's prepared to raise tariffs if we need to raise tariffs".

The South China Morning Post reported, citing an unidentified source, that China was expected to buy more agricultural products in hopes of a better trade deal with the United States.

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Democratic candidates bash Trump's tariffs, but agree China is a problem