Trump, Xi sit down to dinner at G20 to discuss trade war

G20: BRICS slam protectionism as China-US trade war dominate summit

China and the United States agreed to a ceasefire in their bitter trade war on Saturday after high-stakes talks in Argentina between USA president Donald Trump and Chinese president Xi Jinping, including no escalated tariffs on January 1.

President Trump teased automakers in the US and worldwide late Sunday with a characteristically minimalist announcement of China's apparent intention to ease its 40 percent import tariffs on USA -made cars. Existing tariffs, however, will stay in place.

In another long-sought concession to the U.S., China agreed to label fentanyl, the deadly synthetic opioid responsible for tens of thousands of American drug deaths annually, as a controlled substance.

Trump has appointed Lighthizer, one of the administration's most vocal China critics, to oversee the new round of trade talks with China, a White House official and a US official told Reuters on Monday.

Trump slapped 10 per cent tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods in September.

Xi avoids further immediate pressure on China's slowing economy, while Trump - scarred by last month's midterm elections that saw the Democrats regain control of the House of Representatives - can ease damage to agricultural U.S. states that export to China, particularly soybean producers.

What happens if there's no deal after 90 days?

The timetable for China's lowering of tariffs below 40 percent remains unclear. They include forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection and cyber crimes, according to the White House statement.

At the dinner, Trump said his ties to Xi were "a very primary reason" for considering a deal possible.

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Protesters take to streets of Buenos Aires during G20 gathering
When he was elected in 2015, Mr Macri promised market-friendly reforms to get Argentina's isolated economy back on track. Argentine President Mauricio Macri said the allegations against the prince may be discussed during the G20 summit .

Trump told Xi at the start of their meeting he hoped they would achieve "something great" on trade for both countries.

If no broader deal is reached within 90 days, the U.S. said it would hike tariffs on $200bn of Chinese goods from 10 to 25 percent. The same goes for Trump who is under pressure from U.S. lobby groups, who have pointed out that higher tariffs would mean higher costs for American manufacturers, leading to higher prices for USA consumers. China says the two sides also agreed to open up their markets, the BBC reported.

Under the agreement reached in Buenos Aires, the two countries have 90 days to resolve their differences over Beijing's tech policies. It does, however, include some points not included in the United States statements, such as that the two sides agree to boost market access and will work toward scrapping all tariffs.

The White House statement also said that Xi is open to approving the U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm's purchase of Dutch semiconductor company NXP.

Bonnie Glaser, director of the CSIS China Power Project in Washington, told CNN the disparity showed there was "a lot of room for misunderstanding" in the deal between Trump and Xi.

My meeting in Argentina with President Xi of China was an extraordinary one.

"Neither side got their maximum demands and it's not the first time in U.S". China retaliated with tariffs on $110 billion of United States imports.

The Trump administration also said China would purchase "a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries".