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Montevideo, May 16th 2022 - 18:34 UTC

 

 

APEC finance ministers meeting in Chile, cautiously optimistic on a Beijing/USA trade agreement

Wednesday, October 16th 2019 - 04:51 UTC
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Finance ministers and representatives of the APEC forum met in Santiago on Tuesday and discussed the possibility of a full trade deal being signed next month. Finance ministers and representatives of the APEC forum met in Santiago on Tuesday and discussed the possibility of a full trade deal being signed next month.
Chile's finance minister, Felipe Larrain, said such an agreement would be “highly significant.” Chile's finance minister, Felipe Larrain, said such an agreement would be “highly significant.”

APEC finance ministers expressed “moderate optimism” on Tuesday that the United States and China will end their trade war and sign an agreement during the forum's summit in Santiago next month.

For the last 18 months the world's two largest economies have been embroiled in a trade spat that saw tariffs placed on hundreds of billions of dollars' worth of goods.

US President Donald Trump announced a partial deal last week.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin added on Monday that US and Chinese officials would hold phone talks over the next two weeks to finalize the “phase one” trade deal.

Finance ministers and representatives of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum met in Santiago on Tuesday and discussed the possibility of a full trade deal being signed next month.

Chile's finance minister, Felipe Larrain, said such an agreement would be “highly significant.”

While he was somewhat optimistic, he also he warned that “planning and good intentions and the idea to sign it are one thing. Actually signing it is another.”

“Hence, in some there's this natural dose of skepticism.”

Few specifics of the deal are known except that it covers intellectual property, financial services and currencies. Washington has also scrapped tariff increases planned for this week and could do so with others scheduled for December.

New Zealand's finance minister Grant Robertson warned against getting carried away, though.

The finance ministers are due to issue a joint statement backing free trade at the end of their meeting.

APEC is an inter-governmental forum made up of 21 economies that promotes free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

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