BEIJING (Reuters) – China wants to work out an initial trade agreement with the United States and has been trying to avoid a trade war, President Xi Jinping said on Friday, but is also not afraid to retaliate when necessary.
Economists warn that a prolonged trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies is elevating risks to the global economy by disrupting supply chains, curtailing investment and curbing business confidence.
Completion of a phase one deal could slide into next year, trade experts and people close to the White House have told Reuters, with Beijing asking for more extensive tariff rollbacks and Washington countering with increased demands of its own.
“We want to work for a ‘phase one’ agreement on the basis of mutual respect and equality,” Xi told representatives of an international forum, according to a pool report.
“When necessary we will fight back, but we have been working actively to try not to have a trade war. We did not initiate this…
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