President Donald Trump signed off on a phase-one trade deal with China, averting the December 15 introduction of a new wave of U.S. tariffs on about $160 billion of consumer goods from the Asian nation, according to people familiar with the matter.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite both ended the day with record closes, with the S&P rising 0.9% to 3,168.57 and the Nasdaq advancing 0.7% to 8,717.32.
The US reportedly offered to halve tariff rates on about $350bn worth of Chinese goods, some of which had climbed as high as 25%. If the US does not suspend the new tariffs, Beijing officials will apply more tariffs on American goods and may suspend talks until after the USA presidential election in November 2020, many trade experts believe.
The White House had no comment on any offers.
"We want to see evidence that things aren't deteriorating and if tariffs are getting delayed or rolled back, that's evidence".
Ahead of the meeting, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer told senators that announcements were possibly "imminent" on U.S. tariffs, senior Republican Senator John Cornyn told reporters.
"They want it, and so do we!" he tweeted five minutes after equity markets opened in NY, sending stocks to new records.
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Without progress, the USA had threatened to impose tariffs on more than $150bn worth of Chinese exports on 15 December.
Bloomberg News was first to report a deal in principle had been reached. "They all want to buy the sexy semi-conductors, technology, or anything to do with U.S". Advocates of delaying the tariff increase have argued that continued negotiations with Beijing will enable him to maintain a tough line with Beijing without the economic damage that more import taxes might bring.
Oil prices rose after President Donald Trump said Washington was "very close" to a deal. Beijing has retaliated by taxing $120 billion in US exports, including soybeans and other farm products that are vital to many of Trump's supporters in rural America. Trump tweeted in a markedly optimistic tone, although it was unclear if he would officially confirm the agreement on Thursday. Beijing also has tried to limit losses to its own economy by avoiding imposing tariffs on high-tech components and other goods required by Chinese manufacturers.
China and the United States agreed in October to conclude a preliminary trade agreement, but Beijing is balking at USA demands that it promise to buy a specific amount of agricultural goods.
Beijing has said previously it would retaliate if the United States escalates the trade dispute.
Washington was set to impose on Sunday additional 15% duties on $160 billion worth of Chinese goods, mostly consumer goods such as smartphones, toys and clothing.