Tariffs on hold in early US-China trade deal

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The US and China have announced a preliminary trade agreement.

The so-called phase one deal will see billions of dollars in tariffs removed or delayed.

US stocks hit a fresh record on hopes there will be a continued softening of trade tensions between the world’s two largest economies.

A fresh wave of US tariffs on Chinese imports was due to take effect on Sunday. However, this has been cancelled for now.

“We will begin negotiations on the phase two deal immediately, rather than waiting until after the 2020 Election,” US President Donald Trump said in a tweet. “This is an amazing deal for all.”

If the new, higher tariffs had gone ahead, Chinese-made goods such as smartphones, clothing and toys would have become more expensive for Americans just ahead of Christmas.

US negotiators are reportedly offering to significantly reduce existing tariffs on about $360bn (£270bn) worth of Chinese imports.

In return, China has promised to buy large quantities of US soybeans, poultry and other agricultural products.

The agreement is a deal in principle, which means if China breaks any part of the agreement, the Trump administration has the ability to re-implement tariffs.

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