China’s Ministry of Finance stated on December 14 that China plans to suspend the additional 25% tariff on cars that are manufactured in the United States for three months, starting on January 1, 2019. This planned tariff halt follows China’s purchase of U.S. soybeans, and is another installment of the trade ceasefire that was announced by China’s President Xi last week in an effort to de-escalate the trade war with the U.S.

In a statement on its website, the Ministry of Finance also expressed its hopes that China and the U.S. can speed up negotiations to remove all additional tariffs on each other's goods. The announcement was met with cautious optimism by both national leaders and investors alike.

On December 12, the European Parliament approved the free trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union (EU) and Japan by a large majority. The EU-Japan trade agreement will create an open trading market for 635 million people, or a third of the world’s total gross domestic product (GDP).

The EU-Japan agreement is the first of its kind to directly incorporate the Paris climate agreement in a binding manner. It is also the first bilateral agreement between the EU and Japan, and is currently the largest bilateral FTA in the world.