President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed on Saturday not to further raise tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports from ten percent to 25 percent starting on January 1, 2019.
During a major meeting at the G20 Summit, China also agreed to “substantial purchases” of agricultural products from American farmers “immediately.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also announced on Saturday night that China agreed to purchase a “not yet agreed upon, but very substantial” amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the U.S.
This would dramatically reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries and provide both countries with more opportunities down the road to strike a larger deal.
“Both parties agree that they will endeavor to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days. If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10% tariffs will be raised to 25%,” Sanders said in the statement.
China also agreed to designate Fentanyl as a “Controlled Substance,” meaning anyone who sells the dangerous drug to the U.S. will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law.
The White House statement said the meeting between the two sides and their delegations was “highly successful.”
“This was an amazing and productive meeting with unlimited possibilities for both the United States and China. It is my great honor to be working with President Xi,” Trump said.
“Since the last meeting, there have been many new changes in the world situation. As two big countries, China and the United States have important influences and share important responsibilities in promoting world peace and prosperity,” Xi said.
“Cooperation is the best choice for both sides. I would like to take advantage of the opportunity tonight to exchange views with the president on issues of common concern and plan for the next phase of Sino-US relations,” the Chinese president added.
The dinner between Trump and Xi lasted roughly two-and-a-half hours, which was reportedly an hour longer than expected.
South China Morning Post Editor Chungyan Chow tweeted that the dinner and meeting was so successful that an unplanned family photo was taken.
Chow also said a “big applause” was heard in the room after the meeting and that “signs bode well for a deal between the two” countries.
In fact, it is going so well the two sides decide to take a "family photo" at the end – which is not something in the original plan.
— Chungyan Chow (@ChungyanChow) December 1, 2018
“In fact, it is going so well the two sides decide to take a “family photo” at the end – which is not something in the original plan,” Chow wrote in his tweet.
The attendees of the dinner on the U.S. side included: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Chief of Staff John Kelly, United States Trade Representative Ambassador Robert Lighthizer, National Security Adviser Ambassador John Bolton, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner, Assistant to the President for Trade and Manufacturing Policy Peter Navarro, Deputy Assistant to the President for Asian Affairs Matthew Pottinger, as well as two interpreters.