US and China back in talks after trade dispute

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Representatives from the governments of the United States and China have returned to formal consultations over their trade dispute for the first time since early May. Both sides say the trade deals struck in January are still standing.

Consultations have been deadlocked in recent months. Telephone talks between US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Chinese Deputy Prime Minister Liu He were initially scheduled for August 15 but were postponed due to rising tensions.

Now that they have spoken to each other, both representatives have expressed their commitment to the Phase 1 trade agreement. In that agreement, China has committed itself to purchase American products, especially raw materials, but little has happened in practice.

According to the deal, China has to buy in agricultural commodities from the US in a year. China has only achieved 5 percent of the promised purchase of US oil and gas.

Under the Phase 1 trade agreement, the US will cut import tariffs on Chinese products in exchange for the purchase of raw materials.

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