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China Seeks More Tariffs Roll Backs in Phase One Trade Settlement

China is pushing the U.S. to withdraw more tariffs imposed in September as part of a “phase one” U.S.-China trade agreement, people conversant in the talks said Monday.

The agreement, which can be signed later this month by Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a yet-to-be-decided venue, is widely anticipated to include a U.S. commitment to scrap tariffs scheduled for Dec. 15 on about $156 billion worth of Chinese imports, including smartphones, laptops, computers, and toys.

A U.S. delegate said the fate of the Dec. 15 duties is being considered as a part of talks and a possible signing trip this month.

Another source briefed on the discussions said Chinese mediators want Washington to withdraw 15% tariffs on some $125 billion worth of Chinese items that went into effect on Sept. 1. They’re also seeking relief from earlier 25% levies on nearly $250 billion of imports from machinery and semiconductors to furniture.

A person accustomed to Beijing’s negotiating position stated that China is continuing to pressure Washington to “drop all tariffs as soon as possible.”

China’s request to remove the Sept. 1 levies was earlier reported by Politico, citing sources. Another story read that the White House was contemplating whether or not to roll back the Sept. 1 tariffs, which cover some clothing items, flat-screen TVs, smart speakers, and Bluetooth headsets.

Ralph Winnie, director of the China program at the Eurasia Facility, said wrapping up the interim trade agreement would give a boost to the U.S. as well as Chinese economies while handing Trump an essential win among farmers – core voters.

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