US, China say progress on trade, even as other tensions escalate

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High-level officials from both countries – including US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Vice Premier Liu He – spoke by phone Monday evening US time, according to published statements. by their respective governments.

“Both sides see progress and are committed to taking the necessary steps to ensure the success of the deal,” Lighthizer’s office said in a statement, referring to a “phase one” trade deal reached earlier. this year.

China’s Ministry of Commerce called the talks “Constructive dialogue” in his own statement, adding that the countries agreed to “create the conditions and the atmosphere to keep moving forward” the agreement.

The news of the talks comes more than a week after US and Chinese trade negotiators were initially scheduled to meet by video call to discuss the deal, which was reached in January.

But US President Donald Trump said he canceled the meeting because he was not happy with Beijing.“I canceled talks with China,” Trump told reporters last week, according to media reports. “I don’t want to talk to China now. ”

Last week, the Chinese side said trade talks would resume in the coming days.

Tensions between the United States and China have escalated over several policies. Countries blamed each other for the spread of Covid-19 and closed two consulates due to a worsening national security crisis. US authorities have also targeted several Chinese tech companies and threatened to ban popular TikTok and WeChat apps.

But the January trade deal remains largely intact. Analysts told CNN Business that countries have an interest in maintaining stable economic relations and that they are used to maintaining those ties even in the face of other problems.

Earlier this month, White House adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters at the White House that China had “substantially” increased its purchases of US goods, adding that trade was “good for now.”

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