US-China agree to reopen trade talks, new tariffs suspended

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Photo Illustration/CNNMoney
Photo Illustration/CNNMoney

US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping have just wrapped up a closed-door meeting, where they discussed the ongoing US-China trade war.

But let’s go back to basics. Here’s what you need to know:

What is the trade war?

The trade war encompasses a series of escalating tit-for-tat trade tariffs between the US and China. It started last June, when Trump announced tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods. Days later, Xi retaliated with tariffs on $34 billion worth of US imports.

The trade war has now been going on for a year. Hundreds of billions of dollars in US and Chinese exports are now facing heavy tariffs on both sides of the Pacific.

What does this mean for the public?

The tariffs mean American products are more expensive for Chinese importers — and so soybean, corn, and wheat farmers in the US have taken a severe blow. Big US companies and industry trade associations, like Walmart and Costco, have also suffered.

When will it end?

No one is quite sure. The trade talks have stalled since May, and even though today’s meeting signals something of a tentative restart in negotiations, US officials say a final deal isn’t expected this week.

Instead, what’s more likely is a truce of sorts that will avoid new tariffs while establishing a timeline for renewed talks.

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