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IMF sees tensions easing between the US and China

By Francis Jay

Hopes rise that both sides will ease tariffs and restore normal trade

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it sees signs of de-escalation in trade tensions between the US and China after a week in which the mood music of relations between the two economic superpowers has changed constantly.

Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva claims hopes are now higher that the two states will reach an agreement to phase in trading relations and cancel tariffs as soon as possible. The aim is to restore market confidence and reduce uncertainty.

China has imposed tariffs on $110 billion (£86 bn, €99 bn) worth of items from the US including soybeans, beef, pork, seafood, vegetables, liquefied natural gas, whiskey and ethanol. The US has imposed tariffs on $250 billion (£195 bn, €225 bn) of goods from China including chemicals, building materials, furniture and some consumer electronics.

Reuters reports that China’s Commerce Ministry spokesman Gao Feng said: “The final goal of both sides’ negotiations is to end the trade war and cancel all additional tariffs. This would benefit the whole world. We hope that both sides will continue to work together, advance negotiations, and reach a phased agreement as soon as possible.”

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow agreed he saw a momentum building towards an agreement.

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