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Trump says US, Chinese teams to restart trade talks ahead of G20

Updated June 18, 2019

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In this Nov 9, 2017, file photo, US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. — AP
In this Nov 9, 2017, file photo, US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping participate in a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China. — AP

United States President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he had spoken to Chinese President Xi Jinping and that the two leaders' teams would restart trade talks after a long lull in order to prepare for a meeting at the G20 summit later this month.

US and China are in the middle of a costly trade war that has pressured financial markets and damaged the world economy. Talks between the two sides to reach a broad deal broke down last month and interaction since then has been limited.

Trump has made no secret that, despite his threat to escalate the dispute with more US tariffs on Chinese goods, he would like to meet with Xi at the Group of 20 meeting in Japan next week. Though he has repeatedly said the two parties would talk, the Chinese side has not confirmed a meeting would take place.

In a Twitter post today, Trump said he and his Chinese counterpart had agreed to start preparations during a phone call.

“Had a very good telephone conversation with President Xi of China. We will be having an extended meeting next week at the G-20 in Japan. Our respective teams will begin talks prior to our meeting,” Trump tweeted.

Those remarks eased concerns that such a meeting would not take place, which would have been seen as a snub to Washington and possibly have triggered another round of tariffs.