Tue July 2, 2019

Meeting at the G20 Summit on June 29 in Osaka, Japan, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to impose no new tariffs and other concessions while trade negotiations resume between the two countries. No details on the formal agreement had been released by this writing. For the U.S., the imposition of new tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports will be on hold for the “time being” according to the president at a press conference following the meeting. In addition, restrictions will be delayed on sales by U.S. companies to Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. In return, China has agreed to buy more U.S. agricultural products.

Ongoing trade negotiations broke down in May after U.S. negotiators said that China had reneged on provisions in a nearly completed deal. The breakdown of talks prompted Trump to threaten imposing additional tariffs on the remaining Chinese imports not covered by the first three lists of products with 25% additional tariffs already in force. This is not the first trade war truce. A truce on new tariffs was agreed to after the last time Trump and Xi met in person in November 2018 at the G20 Summit in Argentina. That truce lasted until May when the 10% tariffs on List 3 imports were increased to 25%. The president’s announcement on June 29 comes at the end of public hearings and a comment period on the so-called “List 4” of Chinese products. PLASTICS will continue to follow the trade negotiations and other actions regarding the tariffs on Chinese imports.