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US and China agree to lift some tariffs amid trade war progress

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The governments of Donald Trump and Xi Jingping have been locked in a bruising trade war

The US and China have agreed to remove some tariffs on each other's products as part of the first phase of a trade agreement, officials on both sides said.

The move could help ease tensions between the world's biggest economic giants, whose months-long trade war hit countries' economies and also had a global impact.

The Chinese Ministry of Commerce said the two countries agreed to cancel tariffs in stages, but did not give a schedule.

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The trade war has hit the US and China, as well as the global economy.

The interim trade pact was expected to include a US pledge to scrap December 15 scheduled tariffs for about $ 156 billion in Chinese imports, including cell phones, laptops and toys.

But the action is seen as facing opposition from many of Trump's advisers inside and outside the White House and his reelection campaign.

Chinese Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng told a news conference in Beijing: "Tariff cancellation was an important condition for any agreement," adding that both countries would have to cancel some tariffs on products simultaneously. each other to activate the phase one pact.

"The trade war began with tariffs and should end with tariff cancellation."

"Over the past two weeks, key negotiators on both sides have had serious and constructive discussions about the proper resolution of several key concerns," said Gao.

"Both sides have agreed to cancel additional tariffs at different stages as the two sides move forward in their negotiations," Gao added.

An unidentified US official said the planned tariff suspension is part of a "first phase" trade agreement that President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping intend to sign before the end of the year.

The US Treasury Department declined to comment on the decision and the US Trade Representative's office did not respond to a request for comment.

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