BEIJING — China appealed to Washington for a quick end to their trade war but gave no indication Thursday what additional steps Beijing might want before carrying out what President Donald Trump said is a promise to buy up to $50 billion of American farm goods.
Trump agreed Oct. 11 to delay a tariff hike in exchange for Chinese purchases of U.S. exports. Beijing said it will buy more American goods but has yet to confirm the details, leaving companies wondering whether Chinese leaders have other demands, including a possible end to punitive U.S. tariffs before that goes ahead.
Negotiators are “striving to reach a consensus on the text of the agreement as soon as possible,” said a Ministry of Commerce spokesman, Gao Feng. “I can’t disclose the specific details.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters Wednesday that officials still were ironing out details of a preliminary agreement.
Companies welcomed the deal as a small but promising possible step toward breaking a deadlock in the 15-month-old fight over China’s trade surplus and technology ambitions.
Tariff hikes by both sides on billions of dollars of imports have battered factories and farmers, weighing on global economic growth. Trump delayed a tariff due to take effect Tuesday on $250 billion of Chinese goods but another increase on $160 billion of imports still is scheduled for Dec. 15.