China says existing US tariffs must be removed for a trade deal

China says existing US tariffs must be removed for a trade deal

Flags of U.S. and China are displayed at AICC's booth during China International Fair for Trad
Flags of U.S. and China are displayed at American International Chamber of Commerce (AICC)'s booth during China International Fair for Trade in Services in Beijing, China, May 28, 2019. REUTERS/Jason Lee

BEIJING: US tariffs against China must be lifted for the two sides to reach a deal to end the trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said on Thursday (Jul 4).

Trade teams from the world's top two economies "have maintained communication", ministry spokesman Gao Feng said, days after presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping announced a truce.

"The United States' unilateral tariff increase on China's exports to the United States is the starting point for the Sino-US economic and trade frictions," Gao said at a weekly press briefing.

"If the two sides can reach an agreement, the tariffs imposed must be completely eliminated. China's attitude toward this is clear and consistent," Gao said.

READ: US-China trade talks resume but major hurdles remain

The countries have exchanged tariffs on US$360 billion in two-way trade and negotiations broke down in May after the United States accused China of reneging on its commitments.

Trump and Xi agreed at the G20 in Japan on Saturday to revive negotiations.

The US leader said he would not slap new tariffs on Chinese exports and suggested he could take a softer stance on Chinese telecom giant Huawei, which he has moved to blacklist.

Source: AFP/ga

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