MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Christine Lagarde called the desire of Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump to engage in talks to resolve a trade dispute between the two countries a “significant progress.”
“I am not sure, you know, that the objective is a trade agreement. But at least there was significant progress and framework under which they agreed to move forward and to address some of the key issues. I think what is clearly important is to come to an understanding on both sides, to agree on some key principles, to have definitions of what is a subsidy, what warrants intellectual property rights protection and what is state of the enterprise. So it is complicated and it is going to take time, but the willingness of these two presidents to move forward and to agree to discuss those issues, I think,… is progress,” Lagarde said after delivering the annual Kissinger Lecture, as she was asked whether it would be possible for Washington and Beijing to come to a trade agreement in 90 days.
The statement comes after Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump met in Argentina following the G20 summit on 1 December. During the meeting, Trump agreed to postpone increasing the tariff on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25 percent, initially planned to go through on January 1.
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China, in turn, agreed to purchase a “substantial amount” of US agricultural, energy and industrial products, among others, to reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries, according to the White House. On Tuesday, Trump said that the trade negotiations between Washington and Beijing would take 90 days.
The United States and China have been engaged in a trade war that was triggered when Trump announced in June that $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would be subject to 25 percent tariffs in a bid to fix the US-Chinese trade deficit. Since then, the two countries have exchanged several rounds of trade duties against each other.