Chinese, U.S. negotiators hold 1st talks since truce

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Chinese, U.S. negotiators hold 1st talks since truce

U.S. and Chinese negotiators on Monday held their first face-to-face talks since the world’s two largest economies agreed to a truce aimed at resolving their trade dispute.

The visiting delegation, led by Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffrey Gerrish, left its hotel in Beijing Monday morning without speaking to reporters for a first day of talks.

The two sides plan to continue discussions on Tuesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump raised hopes last week that an agreement could be found to end the months-long dispute, during which the world’s top two economies have imposed import duties on more than $300 billion of each other’s goods.

“I think we will make a deal with China,” Trump said on Friday.

“We have a massive trade negotiation going on with China. President Xi [Jinping] is very much involved, so am I. We’re dealing at the highest levels and we’re doing very well.”

Trump on Sunday headed to the U.S. presidential retreat at Camp David, where he said he would discuss a trade deal with China with senior aides, among other issues.

The American delegation in Beijing includes officials from the Treasury, Commerce, Agriculture and Energy departments.

The talks come a month after Trump and Xi agreed to suspend a planned tariff hike for three months to give negotiators space to reach an agreement and end a dispute that has roiled world markets.

“Both China and the U.S. agreed to follow through on the consensus reached by both leaders to conduct positive and constructive talks in resolving our dispute,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters on Monday, declining to provide further details.

“The trade friction between China and the U.S. is not beneficial to anyone, or the global economy,” Lu said.

The ratcheting dispute has pummelled confidence in China, sending the stock markets tumbling while the yuan has fallen against the dollar.

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