"I think it was a gesture, OK, I think it was a good move". "But it was a big move".
On the other hand, he stated Trump is willing to continue raising tariffs on imports of Chinese goods as part of Washington's pressures. "I take the Chinese in good faith that they want to come here with a deal now".
"Clearly, they're trying to show what they can do if we get back to somewhat of a normal trade relationship", he said.
China has released a list of 16 United States imports that will be exempted from tariffs in the ongoing trade war between the world's two largest economies. Top-level negotiators last met face-to-face in China in July. Exact dates for the meetings have not been released. The delay could signal a de-escalation of tensions ahead of trade negotiations that are slated to resume in Washington next month, although expectations are tempered, analysts said.
Not only would USA companies leaving China further dim United States economic growth prospects, but even the Wall Street Journal points out that if U.S. companies move their supply chains to south-east Asian countries, they will pay a high price and face labour shortages and poor infrastructure.
If a deal like the one being contemplated comes to fruition during the forthcoming face-to-face meetings, it could lead to a hold on further USA tariffs and an eventual removal of the 15 percent tariffs on $112 billion in Chinese goods that went into effect on September 1. The Chinese government is considering whether to permit renewed imports of American farm goods including soybeans and pork, Bloomberg reported Wednesday.
China has imposed several rounds of tariffs on USA imports in the ongoing tit-for-tat dispute between the two countries. The United States is by far China's largest supplier of whey, which is an important ingredient in piglet feed and hard to source in large volumes from elsewhere.
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Oil is down about 15 percent from its peak in April as the prolonged US-China trade spat dents the outlook for global demand. OPEC, Russia and other producers have since January 1 implemented a deal to cut output by 1.2 million bpd.
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Both Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have sought to lower tensions in recent weeks as the world's biggest economies see growth slowdown, with the USA delaying a planned hike in tariffs until mid-October.
Beijing imposed 25% tariffs on American farm goods a year ago in response to Trump's tariff hikes on Chinese goods.
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan on June 29, 2019.
The exemption will take effect on September 17, and three factors will be taken into consideration when deciding if a product is worthy of tariff exemption: difficulties in seeking substitutes, severe economic damage caused by the additional tariffs, and the serious negative structural effects on the relevant industry, the commerce ministry said.
The first list includes 12 items and allows affected import enterprises to apply for refunds of collected duties within six months from Wednesday.
Lower-level USA and Chinese officials are expected to meet next week in Washington before talks between senior trade negotiators in early October.
Beijing this week renewed a promise to buy USA agricultural goods such as pork and soybeans, the most valuable US farm export.
Senior White House adviser Peter Navarro this week urged investors, businesses and the public to be patient about the trade dispute.