Trump, Xi reaffirm Backing for Phase I Trade Deal


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U.S President, Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday reaffirmed their backing for an interim deal meant to stave off the countries’ trade war.

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In a phone conversation with Xi, Trump noted the great achievement of the phase one trade deal and recommitted to its implementation, a White House spokesman said.

Xi said the agreement, signed in January in Washington, was beneficial to China, the United States and the world, according to Xinhua news agency.

The talk came a day after China announced it would halve punitive tariffs on 75 billion dollars’ worth of U.S imports starting on Feb. 14, the same date the U.S was due to cut tariffs on some Chinese products.

Both countries said they would roll back tariffs as part of the phase one trade deal, which was meant to pause the countries’ two-year-old trade war.

Trump also said he was confident about China’s success in fighting a coronavirus epidemic that has so far infected more than 30,000 people and killed more than 600 across the country.

He said the U.S was willing to communicate and cooperate with China on this issue, according to Xinhua.

Xi said China was fully confident and capable of defeating the epidemic.

The coronavirus outbreak has raised fears that it would bog down China’s economy, which is already growing at the slowest pace in decades.

Entire cities have been cordoned off, factories and businesses have been closed and some transport lines suspended in an effort to curb the spread of the disease.

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