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China and U.S. temporarily halt new trade tariffs

Published: 05 Dec, 2018

During a post-G20 summit meeting in Buenos Aires, the U.S. President, Donald Trump, is said to have agreed not to increase tariffs on US$200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25% on January 1, 2019.

Trump and China’s President, Xi Jinping, are reported to have agreed on suspending new trade tariffs for a period of 90 days to allow for talks, with both sides agreeing to open up their markets. "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%", said the White House in a statement, adding that China agreed to "purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other products from the U.S. to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries".

On November 30, Trump also signed a continental trade deal with Mexico and Canada to replace NAFTA, the United-States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), yet to be approved by the U.S. Congress. Matt Priest, President and CEO, Footwear Distributors & Retailers of Americas (FDRA), said the USMCA is a “monumental step” for the three countries, with no notable overhauls to provisions for the footwear industry. “There might be some ease in customs and the movement of goods, but all the important things haven’t changed,” said Priest, citing footwear’s duty-free treatment under NAFTA. “We will be monitoring it closely, pushing for its passing as soon as possible and continuing to advocate for the industry as best as we can.”

Contacted by theSauerReport for comment, Stephen Sothmann, President, USHSLA (U.S. Hide, Skin and Leather Association), stated: “We consider the temporary agreement a positive step towards the resolution of this trade war. We’re aware that the situation can change quickly but we are hopeful that this will bring stability.” To read more click here.

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