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Lighthizer said on Sunday that unless U.S.

The tariff reduction benefits Daimler and BMW more than US automakers such as General Motors or Ford Motor Co.

But tariffs on USA soybeans and ongoing trade war caused the amount of soybeans heading to China to drop to almost zero, despite October and November typically representing the peak season.

The United States had been poised to more than double the punitive tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods at the start of the year, but with the truce in effect that has been pushed back to March 1. The US now charges a 27.5pc tax on imported cars from China.

However, China has been out of the market since Beijing imposed a tariff on U.S. soy imports in July, pushing prices of the oilseed to decade-lows.

According to Trump, trade talks with Beijing are already under way by telephone, with more meetings likely among U.S. and Chinese officials.

China has also told state oil trader China International United Petroleum & Chemical Corp (中國國際石化聯合) to buy USA oil, and Washington is expecting Beijing to cut tariffs on US-made automobiles and parts.

A proposal has been made to China's cabinet to eliminate the 25 per cent surcharge the country slapped onto USA -made vehicles earlier this year. The 40% rate is a retaliatory measure in response to United States tariffs on Chinese-made goods.

The trade war has taken a toll on auto companies that manufacture in the USA, with the makers of Mercedes-Benz and its rival BMW both warning of lower profits this year as tariffs forced them to hike prices in China.

The breakthrough came after a dinner meeting between President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Buenos Aires.

The discussions reportedly touched on China's purchases of agricultural goods and changes to China's economic policies, including its Made in China 2025 plan, which seeks to promote the growth of tech industries such as robotics, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The world's two largest economies are finally playing nice, starting first with soybeans.

The export council "is encouraged by the news that buyers from China have made purchases of US soybeans", the American group said in an email. China's decision came amid a period of heightening tensions between the US and China over trade and intellectual property issues.

The sources said the White House was delaying its approval mainly on hopes China will soon resume purchases of soybeans, something that has raised questions over what extent of aid will be necessary.

Trump also said he would shortly be providing formal notice to Congress that he will terminate the North American Free Trade Agreement, giving lawmakers six months to approve the replacement he signed Friday.

Last year, BMW exported 65,000 vehicles to China from its factory in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which is BMW's largest factory in the world.