Trump, Xi Agree to Temporary Truce in Bid to Contain Trade War

G20 declaration stresses fair sustainable development

For more than a year, Trump has raised concerns about the synthetic opioid being sent from China to the United States, which is facing an epidemic of opioid-related deaths.

President Donald Trump with China's President Xi Jinping and members of their official delegations during their bilateral meeting at the G20 Summit, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

But ahead of what is seen as the most important meeting of USA and Chinese leaders in years, both sides said differences remained, and the outcome of the talks were uncertain.

Trump has slapped punishing tariffs on more than $250 billion in Chinese imports so far this year, demanding that Beijing end allegedly unfair trade practices and reverse industrial policies criticized by other major economies.

In a release from White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump said, "This was an unbelievable and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China".

"This was an fantastic and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China", Trump said in the statement, released as he flew home from a stormy trip spent accosting his fellow leaders at the world's pre-eminent economic forum.

Ahead of the G20 Mr Trump told United States media he expected to go ahead with plans to raise tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods - first introduced in September - to 25% (up from 10%) starting in January 2019. China also agreed to boost its purchases of agricultural and industrial goods to reduce its trade imbalance with the US, she said.

The truce, reached after a dinner of more than two hours, buys time for the two countries to work out their differences in a dispute over Beijing's aggressive drive to supplant US technological dominance.

"Both parties agree that they will endeavour to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days".

But one thing is clear-the stakes in the negotiations between the US and China are huge.

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The aluminium products Lau's Dongguan factories make are subject to a 10 per cent tariff, which is a headache for him as he exports 30 per cent of the goods to the US.

The United States is unhappy with what it says is the WTO's failure to hold Beijing to account for not opening up its economy as envisioned when China joined the body in 2001. "China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately", the White House said. Trump has threatened to go ahead with that and possibly add tariffs on $267 billion of imports if there is no progress in the talks.

Trump, who in recent months has harshly criticized China and accused it of meddling in United States elections, in the statement called his meeting with Xi "amazing and productive".

Trump has mocked the "points of light" phrase, saying at campaign rallies that "I never quite got that one". Personal chemistry between President Trump and foreign leaders - in this case China's President Xi Jinping - and Mr Trump's appetite for deal-making matter more than painstaking negotiations at the level of senior officials.

Trump and Xi met Saturday for dinner on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires.

The final communique signed by all 20 member nations said 19 of them reaffirmed their commitment to the Paris climate accord.

"Instead, leaders buried their differences in obscure language and dropped language to fight protectionism, which had been included in every G-20 communique since the leaders' first summit", he said.

The wording on climate change was "a little bit more than the status quo but not backtracking", one European Union official said.

But Trump is also under mounting pressure at home in an investigation over whether his presidential campaign colluded with Russian Federation - a topic sure to dominate his press conference shortly before he sits down with Xi.

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