The United States and China will continue with their trade negotiations even though the recent arrest of Huawei’s CFO caused turmoil leading to heightened tension between the two countries.
The Chine Commerce Industry issued a statement saying the country’s top trade negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, spoke on the phone Tuesday with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer.
The statement added that the officials discussed “implementing the agreements” reached by President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires at the beginning of this month. They also talked about “timetables and road-maps about the next round of trade negotiations.”
The conversation was confirmed by a Treasury Department spokesperson who declined to provide any further details about what exactly the officials talked about, CNN reports.
However, it still remains uncertain whether Washington and Beijing will manage to reach a lasting trade agreement, which has resulted in the past two weeks being marked by volatile trading in global markets. If they fail to build on the trade truce the two leaders agreed on within the 90-day framework, the already wide-ranging trade war could escalate further with the imposition of more tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods.
Relations between the U.S. and China were additionally worsened last week when Canada announced it had carried out a request by the U.S. to arrest the chief financial officer of China’s tech giant Huawei. The U.S. government is seeking the extradition of the executive, Meng Wanzhou, over alleged violations of sanctions on Iran.
Meanwhile, China warned both the U.S. and Canada that should Meng not be released there would be “serious consequences.” Huawei denies having knowledge of any wrongdoing by its CFO.
CNN adds that the arrest only underlines the two economies’ clash over technology, although Lighthizer, who’s leading the team of U.S. negotiators, maintained the two issues were separate. For now, the two governments are not allowing Meng’s case to affect their trade talks.