U.S. President Donald Trump and China President Xi Jinping had a successful meeting at the G20 Summit in Argentina on Saturday. Trump agreed to hold off for the time being on any new tariffs, while his Chinese counterpart pledged to purchase more American goods.
A statement from the White House reads: “President Trump has agreed that on Jan. 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10 percent rate, and not raise it to 25 percent at this time. China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries. China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from [American] farmers immediately.”
The footwear industry applauded the temporary trade war ceasefire.
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“The footwear industry welcomes the news that the U.S. will not pursue any new tariffs on Chinese goods while the two countries seek a negotiated outcome to this protracted trade war,” said Matt Priest, president and CEO of the Footwear Distributors & Retailers of America. “Our companies know far too well the negative impact import duties have on American consumers and are grateful that additional tariffs have not been placed on footwear during the 301 process. That being said, we will continue to advocate on behalf of our industry, calling for the end of all 301 duties and, ultimately, the elimination of all $3 billion in footwear duties paid annually.”
Similarly, the American Apparel & Footwear Association was equally encouraged by the news.
“The resumption of talks between the U.S. and China is encouraging for our industry, as we are dependent on complex global supply chains for our marketplaces around the world,” said AAFA president and CEO Rick Helfenbein. “While we are pleased that American consumers have been protected from additional tariffs on most of our products to date, this announced 90-day reprieve on increased and future tariffs is promising. We hope it will lead to the swift removal of the punitive tariffs already imposed by the Administration.”
President Xi also agreed to designate the highly-dangerously drug Fentanyl as a Controlled Substance, meaning that people selling the drug to the U.S will be subject to China’s maximum penalty under the law.
The leaders set a 90-day deadline to reach a more conclusive trade agreement. But if no agreement is reached, the tariffs, according to the White House, will rise to 25 percent.
Before dinner was served, Trump told reporters: “The relationship is very special — the relationship that I have with President Xi — I think that is going to be a very primary reason why we’ll probably end up with getting something that will be good for China and good for the United States.”
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