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China, US agree to reduce tariffs amid trade talks, Beijing says

A Chinese official said Thursday that Beijing and Washington have agreed to reduce tariffs amid trade negotiations, according to multiple reports, clearing a potential obstacle to a deal.

Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Chinese commerce military, told reporters that both countries are planning to cancel tariffs in different phases, Reuters reported.

The development comes as the two countries are negotiating the terms of a “Phase One” trade agreement.

“If the two sides achieve a ‘Phase One’ agreement, then based on the content of that agreement, tariffs already increased should be canceled at the same time and by the same rate,” the official said, according to The Associated Press.

He added that the extent of tariff reductions depends on the negotiations.

“The trade war started with tariffs, and should end with the cancellation of tariffs,” Gao said, Reuters noted. 

President Trump has announced that China has agreed to buy up to $50 billion in U.S. agricultural goods, but China has not confirmed the amount.

Beijing has also indicated it wants the 15 percent tariffs put on $125 billion Chinese products in September removed before an official agreement, according to the AP. 

China and the U.S. have been immersed in a trade war for more than a year, raising tariffs against one another.

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross has said “Phase One” of the agreement would be agreed upon this month.

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