The US and China are to hold further trade war peace talks in Washington next week after both sides hailed “progress”.
A week of negotiations in China’s capital, which latterly included a banquet for US trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, were aimed at securing enough progress to avert an escalation.
US tariffs on $200bn worth of Chinese imports are due to rise to 25% from 10% by 1 March without sufficient progress.
The US is demanding China curb forced technology transfers and better enforce intellectual property rights.
As the clock ticks down to the deadline, officials held a week of talks in the Chinese capital – with top level talks over Thursday and Friday.
Mr Mnuchin said in a Twitter post that they had held “productive meetings” with President Xi’s top economic adviser.
Chinese state TV quoted Xi Jinping as saying: “The consultations between the two sides’ teams achieved important step-by-step progress.”
He added that China was willing to take a “cooperative approach”.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the focus would now return to Washington.
“The United States looks forward to these further talks and hopes to see additional progress,” she said.
“Both sides will continue working on all outstanding issues in advance of the 1 March 2019 deadline for an increase in the 10 percent tariff on certain imported Chinese goods.”
The trade war has had an impact on not only the US and Chinese economies but damaged global growth and the outlook too.
Stock markets fell sharply last year as investors digested the potential impact on corporate earnings, particularly in the tech sector – at the heart of US complaints against Chinese behaviour and their trade imbalance.
Any signs of hope for a truce have been seized on since.
Values rose in Europe on Friday on renewed hopes a truce will be agreed.
However, gains were tempered by continued worries over far weaker than expected retail sales data for the world’s largest economy, released on Thursday.