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Chinese, US negotiators discuss trade talks timetable

Update: December, 11/2018 - 11:00

BEIJING — Top Chinese and US negotiators held telephone talks today to exchange views on the timetable of trade talks, the Chinese commerce ministry said.

Vice Premier Liu He spoke with US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer 10 days after presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping agreed to a trade war truce.

A 90-day deadline was set to reach an agreement, but no date has been set for the next round of talks and tensions have risen anew following Canada’s arrest of an executive of Chinese telecom giant Huawei at the behest of the United States.

The commerce ministry said in a statement Liu and the US officials "exchanged views on the implementation of the consensus" reached by Trump and Xi as well as on the timetable for the next round of negotiations.

The brief statement did not provide more details.

Lighthizer said on Sunday that March 1 was a "hard deadline" for the two sides to reach an agreement that would prevent an escalation of the trade war.

The world’s top two economies have exchanged steep tariffs on more than US$300 billion in total two-way trade, locking them in a conflict that has begun to eat into profits.

Trump has agreed to hold off on hiking tariffs to give space for negotiations. — AFP

 

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