US, Chinese trade officials hold virtual meeting, discuss ‘Phase 1’ deal

U.S. and Chinese trade officials held a virtual meeting on Saturday where they discussed the “Phase 1” deal made between the countries when former President Trump was in office.

China’s Commerce Ministry said in a statement that the country’s top trade negotiator Liu He and U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai participated in a call discussing economic concerns and the Phase 1 deal, The Associated Press reported.

The trade deal was made under Trump following amid tensions between the two nations following a number of moves Trump made while in office. Trump significantly raised tariffs on China, and China reciprocated on some U.S. products. 

The Biden administration has kept Trump’s high tariffs on China but has expressed a willingness to negotiate.

China’s statement says the officials “conducted pragmatic, candid and constructive exchanges,” according to the AP.

Liu, a vice premier and member of the ruling Communist Party’s Politburo, has pushed for the tariffs to be abolished and talked to Tai about the country’s economic development.

China has bounced back relatively quickly from the coronavirus pandemic but is facing issues from local government debt, the AP noted.

The talk between the officials comes amid tensions between the countries in other areas such as Taiwan and human rights. 

The Hill has reached out to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative for comment.

Tags China-U.S. relations chinese tariffs Donald Trump Katherine Tai trade war

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