China allows first-ever USA rice imports ahead of trade talks

China allows first-ever USA rice imports ahead of trade talks

China allows first-ever USA rice imports ahead of trade talks

On Thursday, China said that trade negotiators from China and the U.S. are planning to meet in January for talks. Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jeffery Gerrish will lead the Trump Administration's team to China for the talks.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires at the start of December to a 90-day truce while they try to find a solution to the escalating trade dispute.

That call came after the two sides discussed "economic and trade issues" by phone earlier in that week, the ministry said.

BEIJING, Dec 28 (Reuters) - China has opened the door to imports of rice from the United States for the first time ever in what analysts took to signal a warming of relations between the world's two biggest economies after a frosty year marked by tensions and tit-for-tat tariffs. Beijing this week announced a third round of tariff cuts, lowering import taxes on more than 700 goods beginning January 1, 2019, as part of its efforts to open up the economy and lower costs for domestic consumers.

China's customs administration approved USA rice imports on Thursday, a move that comes during a 90-day tariff truce between the two countries, which are engaged in a bruising trade war.

A worker places U.S. and China flags near the Forbidden City ahead of a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to Beijing, in Beijing, China November 8, 2017. The two leaders also agreed to launch new talks while the U.S. delayed a planned Jan 1 tariff increase until March.

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Publicly, Trump is pushing the Asian nation to reduce trade barriers and stop alleged theft of intellectual property. Gao provided no date and said both countries continue to maintain close communication.

"Despite the American side now having Christmas holidays", US and China trade teams have "maintained close communication", ministry spokesperson Gao Feng said.

In response to the United States effort, China started importing US soybeans for the first time in six months.

China's Commerce Ministry announced the meeting plans Thursday.

Gao did not give his response to the rumored scheduled visit of a US trade delegation on January 7 to China.

"When I talk to the president of the United States he is not talking about going beyond March".

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