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China commerce ministry says it has proactively dealt with US trade frictions

China commerce ministry says it has proactively dealt with US trade frictions
December 29, 2019
BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Commerce Ministry has “proactively dealt with” trade frictions with the United States this year, it said on Sunday after an annual work conference. The ministry has implemented the decisions of the central government and “resolutely safeguarded the interests of the country and the people”, it said in a statement on its website. The United States and China cooled their trade war this month, announcing a “Phase one” agreement that would reduce some U.S. tariffs in exchange for what U.S. officials said would be a big jump in Chinese purchases of American farm products and other goods. China’s commerce ministry has said it is in close touch with the United States on signing the trade deal, and both sides are still going through necessary procedures before the signing.
Earlier, world stocks rallied to near record highs on Friday after China said it had agreed with the United States to cancel tariffs in phases, a key demand of Beijing for sealing a deal to end a trade war that has slowed economic growth and roiled markets.
MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe rose slightly to stand at 543.70, just a hair off the record high of 550.63 reached in January 2018. The index compiler’s gauge of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan edged up 0.2 per cent in early trade while Tokyo’s Nikkei jumped 0.75% to a 13-month high. China and the United States have agreed to roll back tariffs on each others’ goods as part of the first phase of a trade deal, officials from both sides said on Thursday, in further signs of progress even as both side continue to haggle over several contentious issues. “As the U.S.-China dispute seems to be heading for a resolution while the developed world is adopting very easy monetary policy, risk assets are enjoying the tail wind,” said Masahiro Ichikawa, senior strategist at Sumitomo Mitsui DS Asset Management. The Chinese commerce ministry, without laying out a timetable, said the two countries had agreed to cancel the tariffs in phases. But multiple sources familiar with the talks said the plan faces fierce internal opposition at the White House and from outside advisers. While US stocks pared gains on the report of the opposition to the deal in Washington, the Dow and S&P 500 did close at all-time highs, while the Nasdaq missed a record close by less than two-tenths of a point. The S&P 500 gained ended 0.27% higher at 3,085.18.