(Reuters) – The United States and China have agreed to meet for senior-level trade talks in Washington in October, raising hopes that world’s two largest economies could make progress toward ending a damaging tit-for-tat tariff war that is now in its second year.
China’s Commerce Ministry said its trade team will consult with their U.S. counterparts in mid-September in preparation for negotiations in early October, and both sides agreed to take actions to create favourable conditions.
A spokesman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office confirmed that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin agreed during a phone call to hold ministerial-level talks in Washington “in the coming weeks” with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He.
The following timeline details key moments in the rollercoaster trade relationship between the world’s two largest economies.
- June 28, 2016 S&P 500: +1.78% While campaigning for the White House, Donald Trump lays out plans to counter unfair trade practices from China at a rally in Pennsylvania. He says China’s entrance into the World Trade Organization enabled the “greatest jobs theft in history.”
- March 31, 2017 S&P 500: -0.23% Trump, now president, signs two executive orders. One calls for tighter tariff enforcement in anti-subsidy and anti-dumping trade cases. The other orders a review of U.S. trade deficits and their causes.
- April 7, 2017 S&P 500: -0.08% At their first meeting at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree to a 100-day plan for trade talks.
- July 19, 2017 S&P 500: +0.54% The two sides fail to agree on new steps to reduce the U.S. deficit with China after the 100 days of talks.
- 14, 2017 S&P 500: +1.00% Trump orders a probe into alleged Chinese intellectual property theft, described as his first direct trade measure against Beijing.
- 17, 2018 S&P 500: +0.94% Trump, in a Reuters interview, threatens a big fine on China over alleged IP theft, without providing details.
- 22, 2018 S&P 500: +0.81% Trump imposes tariffs on all imported washing machines and solar panels – not just those from China.
- March 8, 2018 S&P 500: +0.45% Trump orders 25% tariffs on steel imports and 10% on aluminum from all suppliers – not just China.
- April 2, 2018 S&P 500: -2.23% China imposes tariffs of up to 25% on 128 U.S. products.
- April 3, 2018 S&P 500: +1.26% Trump unveils plans for 25% tariffs on about $50 billion of Chinese imports.
- April 4, 2018 S&P 500: +1.16% China responds with plans for retaliatory tariffs on about $50 billion of U.S. imports.
- June 15, 2018 S&P 500: -0.10% The United States says will levy 25% duties starting July 6 on $34 billion of Chinese imports. It says 25% tariffs will also kick in on an additional $16 billion of goods after a public comment period. China responds with tariffs on $34 billion of U.S. goods.
- July 10, 2018 S&P 500: +0.35% The United States unveils plans for 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports.
- 1, 2018 S&P 500: -0.10% Trump orders USTR to increase the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25% from the originally proposed 10%.
- 7, 2018 S&P 500: +0.28% The United States releases the list of $16 billion of Chinese goods to be subject to 25% tariffs. China retaliates with 25% duties on $16 billion of U.S. goods.
- 23, 2018 S&P 500: -0.17% Tariffs on goods appearing on the Aug. 7 lists from both the United States and China take effect.
- 7, 2018 S&P 500: -0.22% Trump threatens tariffs on $267 billion more of Chinese imports.
- 24, 2018 S&P 500: -0.35% The United States implements 10% tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports. The administration says the rate will increase to 25% on Jan. 1, 2019. China answers with duties of its own on $60 billion of U.S. goods.
- 1, 2018 S&P 500: +1.09% (Monday, Dec. 3) The United States and China agree on a 90-day halt to new tariffs. Trump agrees to put off the Jan. 1 scheduled increase on tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods until early March while talks between the two countries take place. China agrees to buy a “very substantial” amount of U.S. products.
- 24, 2019 S&P 500: +0.12% (Monday, Feb 25) Trump extends the March 1 deadline, leaving the tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods at 10% on an open-ended basis.
- May 5, 2019 S&P 500: -0.45% (Monday, May 6) Trump tweets that he intends to raise the tariffs rate on $200 billion of Chinese goods to 25% on May 10.
- May 8, 2019 S&P 500: -0.16% China backtracks on almost all aspects of a draft U.S.-China trade pact.
- June 29, 2019 S&P 500: +0.77% (Monday, July 1) At the G20 meeting in Osaka, the United States and China formally agree to restart trade talks after concessions from both sides. Trump meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping and agrees to no new tariffs and an easing of restrictions on Chinese telecom powerhouse Huawei Technologies Co Ltd . China agrees to unspecified new purchases of U.S. farm products.
- 1, 2019 S&P 500: -0.90% After two days of unproductive trade talks in Beijing, Trump announces 10% tariffs on $300 billion worth of Chinese imports, in addition to the 25% already levied on $250 billion worth of Chinese goods. Trump says the talks between Washington and Beijing will continue despite the new tariffs, and that the rate could be increased above 25% in stages.
- 5, 2019 S&P 500: -2.98% China’s Commerce Ministry responds to the latest U.S. tariffs by halting purchases of U.S. agricultural products, and China’s yuan currency weakens past the key seven per dollar level, sending equity markets sharply lower. After U.S. markets close, the U.S. Treasury says it has determined for the first time since 1994 that China is manipulating its currency, knocking the U.S. dollar sharply lower and sending gold prices to a six-year high. China denies the claim.
- 9, 2019 S&P 500: -0.66% Trump says he is not ready to make a deal with Beijing and suggests he may cancel in-person trade talks scheduled for Washington in September. The U.S. president also says the United States will continue to refrain from doing business with Chinese telecoms equipment giant Huawei. A White House official later says Trump was referring to a ban on U.S. government purchases of Huawei equipment, not requests for sales by U.S. companies to Huawei, which are still being assessed by the Commerce Department.
- 13, 2019 S&P 500: 1.5% The Trump administration delays tariffs on about half of the Chinese products on the $300 billion list announced on Aug. 1, including laptops and cell phones, scheduled to start in September. These tariffs will instead be introduced on Dec. 15 in the hopes of blunting their impact on U.S. holiday sales.
- 23, 2019 S&P 500: -2.6% China announces it will impose additional retaliatory tariffs against about $75 billion worth of U.S. goods, putting as much as an extra 10% on top of existing rates in response to the U.S. tariffs announced earlier in August. In response, Trump announces Washington would raise all current tariffs from 25% to 30%, and the tariffs scheduled for September and December to 15% instead of 10%. Trump also said he was ordering U.S. companies to find alternatives to China, including bringing their manufacturing facilities back to the United States or other places.
- 1, 2019 China begins imposing a 5% duty on U.S. crude oil for the first time since the two countries began their trade war over a year ago. U.S. soybeans, already subject to a 25% Chinese tariff, are subjected to an extra 5% tariff, while U.S. beef and pork get an extra 10% tariff. The United States begins imposing 15% tariffs on $125 billion list of Chinese goods, including footwear, Bluetooth headphones, smart watches and flat-panel televisions. A variety of studies suggest the tariffs will cost U.S. households up to $1,000 a year and the latest round will hit a significant number of U.S. consumer goods.
- 4, 2019 China and the United States on Thursday agree to hold high-level talks in early October in Washington, China’s commerce ministry said in a statement on its website. The ministry said its trade team will consult with its U.S. counterpart in mid-September in preparation for negotiations in early October, and both sides agreed to take actions to create favorable conditions.