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China, US had “constructive” phone talks on trade, US to let firms sell “safe” goods to Huawei

Chinese and American trade negotiators held a “constructive” phone talk on Tuesday, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said, marking a new round of talks after the world’s two largest economies agreed to a truce in a year-long trade war.

US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin talked with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He and Trade Minister Zhong Shan on Tuesday in a further effort to resolve outstanding trade disputes between the countries, a US official said earlier in a statement.

Kudlow said the talks “went well” and were constructive. He said the two sides were talking about a face-to-face meeting, which could take place in Beijing, but no details were available yet.

China’s Commerce Ministry said in a short statement that the two sides had “exchanged views on implementing the consensus of the two countries’ leaders at the Osaka meeting”. It gave no other details.

The United States and China agreed during a Group of 20 nations summit in Japan last month to resume discussions, easing fears of an escalation. After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20, US President Donald Trump agreed to suspend a new round of tariffs on $300 billion worth of imported Chinese consumer goods while the two sides resumed negotiations.

In the meantime, the US will allow American companies to sell technology to the blacklisted Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei where there is no threat to US national security, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.

Ross affirmed that Huawei would remain on the Entity List, meaning winning licenses would require overcoming a presumption of denial, and said the scope of items requiring licenses would not change.

Kudlow said in an event on Tuesday that relaxed US government restrictions on Huawei could help the technology giant but would only be in place for a limited time.

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