Trump's announcement came after China said earlier Wednesday it is exempting a handful of USA products from the next round of its sanctions set to begin September 17. "But it was a big move".
US President Donald Trump will delay a planned tariff hike on $250bn (£202.8bn) of Chinese goods as a "gesture of good will".
But he said Trump "is prepared to keep these tariffs in place".
"I think they did the right thing, but good for them", Trump said at the White House. "It's something we would consider, I guess, but we're doing very well".
The Treasury secretary said mid-level USA and Chinese negotiators will meet next week or the week after.
The mutual steps to ease trade tensions between the world's two largest economies could influence working-level discussions expected at mid-month.
Still, global stocks rose on Thursday after the conciliatory gestures from both sides.
"The exemption could be seen as a gesture of sincerity towards the US ahead of negotiations in October but is probably more a means of supporting the economy", ING's Greater China economist Iris Pang wrote in a note.
The slight reprieve may be little comfort to American businesses that have had to struggle with trade uncertainties. An exemption list of just 16 items will not change China's stance. China had halted US farm-product imports in August after negotiations deteriorated.
Analysts noted that the list of exemptions did not include soybeans or pork, two major US exports. He called his decision a goodwill gesture.
In a tweet, Mr Trump said a 5% increase to duties scheduled for 1 October will be postponed for two weeks.
The second round was worth $60 billion, taking effect in September previous year, after the U.S. began imposing additional 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese products the same day.
Trump said earlier in the week that the trade dispute has put significant economic pressure on China, with many companies shifting its production out of the country.
"There have been so many ups and downs in the talks that it is hard to predict whether the new conciliatory actions will lead to a deal", said DeBusk, a former Commerce Department trade official.
The year-long exemptions kick in Tuesday as low-level trade talks get underway ahead of high-level meetings in October. Beijing said in May that it would start a waiver program, amid growing worries over the cost of the protracted trade war on its already slowing economy. "The timing and magnitude of any new trade agreement remains unknown with no indication that either side is willing to concede on structural issues".
Chinese importers bought at least 10 boatloads of United States soya beans on Thursday, their most significant purchases since at least June, traders said, ahead of high-level talks next month.