China says US tariffs must be lifted for trade deal

Thursday July 4 2019

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BEIJING. US tariffs against China must be lifted for the two sides to reach a deal to end the trade war, the Chinese commerce ministry said Thursday.

Trade teams from the world's top two economies "have maintained communication", ministry spokesman Gao Feng said, days after presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping announced a truce.

"The United States' unilateral tariff increase on China's exports to the United States is the starting point for the Sino-US economic and trade frictions," Gao said at a weekly press briefing.

"If the two sides can reach an agreement, the tariffs imposed must be completely eliminated. China's attitude toward this is clear and consistent," Gao said.

The countries have exchanged tariffs on $360 billion in two-way trade and negotiations broke down in May after the United States accused China of reneging on its commitments.

Trump and Xi agreed at the G20 in Japan on Saturday to revive negotiations.