President Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed Saturday to resume trade talks and the U.S. consented to halt additional tariffs on Chinese goods for now, the Chinese side said, breaking an impasse that has been looming over the global economy.
Mr. Trump said after meeting Mr. Xi for about 80 minutes that trade talks with China are “right back on track.”
“We had a very good meeting with President Xi of China. Excellent, I would say excellent,” Mr. Trump said. The U.S. had threatened to impose 25% tariffs on an additional $325 billion in Chinese goods, meaning virtually all Chinese exports to the U.S. would be subject to tariffs.
China’s official Xinhua News Agency said the U.S. agreed not to impose additional tariffs on Chinese products. The two sides agreed to restart trade talks on the basis of “equality and mutual respect,” Xinhua said.
It wasn’t immediately known what concessions the Chinese side might have made in exchange for the U.S. putting off the additional tariffs.
Earlier Saturday, Mr. Trump said he would discuss American actions toward Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei Technologies Co. at the meeting.
So far, the U.S. has imposed tariffs on $250 billion in imports from China in the trade conflict, prompting retaliation from Beijing.
“We want to do some things that will even it up with respect to trade,” said Mr. Trump at the start of the meeting with Mr. Xi. The U.S. blames Beijing for a host of economic practices that it says hurt American companies.
Mr. Xi said at the start of the meeting that the U.S. and China “benefit from cooperation and lose from a confrontation.”
Earlier Saturday, Mr. Trump said during a meeting with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he had already met with Mr. Xi on Friday night at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Osaka. “A lot was accomplished actually last night,” Mr. Trump said.
Chinese officials have said reversing the blacklisting of Huawei is their top priority in trade negotiations. But the U.S. has been reluctant to mix what is seen as a national-security issue—whether Huawei equipment can be used for Chinese espionage—with trade matters.
One possibility, said people familiar with the administration’s thinking, is that the U.S. could drop extradition proceedings against Huawei Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou as a part of a deal.
Such a move is bound to provoke an uproar among Republican and Democratic lawmakers who advocate a stricter stance toward China. Mr. Trump ignored a question from a reporter on Saturday about whether he was prepared to drop the extradition request for Ms. Meng.
In a possible reference to Huawei, Mr. Xi said he hopes the U.S. will treat Chinese businesses fairly, according to Xinhua. Mr. Trump said the U.S. will provide fair treatment to companies in both countries.
At the U.S.-China meeting Saturday, Mr. Trump was flanked by Robert Lighthizer, the U.S. trade representative, and Steven Mnuchin, the U.S. treasury secretary. The president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, was also seated at the table with American economic and national-security officials.
The Chinese officials in attendance included Vice Premier Liu He and Beijing’s ambassador to the U.S., Cui Tiankai.