FILE PHOTO: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands after signing "phase one" of the U.S.-China trade agreement during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 15, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and U.S. President Donald Trump shake hands after signing "phase one" of the U.S.-China trade agreement during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 15, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo

WATCH: United States and China restart US-China trade talks

By Vuyolwethu Fundam Time of article published Jan 17, 2020

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According to a published report, the United States and China have agreed to start semi-annual negotiations on economic and trade issues. Similar talks had been conducted in previous administrations but the Trump administration had suspended them.

The resumption of the talks started in the George W. Bush administration and continued in the Obama administration was scheduled to be confirmed on Wednesday this week when the Trump administration signed a Phase One trade agreement with China in Washington.

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Video by: Vuyolwethu Fundam, Belt and Road Initiative Plus, BRI+

Henry Paulson started the talks between the U.S. and China when he was Treasury Secretary under George W. Bush, meeting twice a year with top officials from both countries. The talks continued throughout the Obama administration's eight years although the talks were limited to just once a year.

Once President Donald Trump took office in 2017, his administration suspended the negotiations, finding that they had failed to achieve significant results in combating unfair Chinese trade practices and America's huge trade deficits with China, the highest with any country.

Instead, the Trump administration initiated more targeted trade negotiations which ultimately triggered a tit-for-tat trade war between the two largest economies in the world. Both countries have imposed billions of dollars of tariffs on products from other countries.

These tariffs raised trade tensions, slower global economic growth and roiled financial markets. Both countries signed a Phase One deal that would address some of the key issues between the nations in December as part of a trade war cease-fire.

Administration officials said the terms of the Phase One contract would be released after signing the agreement.


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