China stays silent as Trump talks up trade truce

Mae Love
December 4, 2018

Trump raised the stakes on those pledges, saying in a tweet that he expects China to start buying more agricultural products "immediately".

However, a brokerage report speculated that a three-percent jump in Chinese stocks on Monday was partly stoked by enthusiasm based on optimistic but vague reporting in Chinese newspapers.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin talks with reporters about trade negotiations with China, at the White House, Monday, Dec. 3, 2018, in Washington.

China said last week that tariffs on USA autos would be 15 per cent if not for the trade dispute, and it called for a negotiated solution.

As part of the talks on Saturday night, Trump agreed not to increase existing tariffs on Chinese goods or impose any new ones for 90 days, while talks took place.

President Trump and President Xi have agreed to immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture. In his Twitter posts on Tuesday, Trump said they might need an extension if the 90-day timeline didn't prove sufficient.

Donald Trump and Xi Jinping met dinner in at G20 in Argentina.

A lack of detail from the Chinese side has left investors and analysts wondering if Mr Trump's exuberance is warranted, and if details touted by the White House but left out of Chinese reporting on the agreement are in question. "President Xi laid out for President Trump very clearly what they're prepared to do on these issues, and the issues cover everything from purchasing more goods, which we've always talked about, but more importantly protecting intellectual property, eliminating forced joint ventures, protecting USA technology currency".

Trump said China had committed to buying large amounts of US agricultural products and completely removing all tariffs on US automobiles a huge shift from its current 40 per cent penalty although China hasn't confirmed this

"China is willing to increase imports in accordance with the needs of its domestic markets and the people's needs, Wang said, "including marketable products from the United States, to gradually ease the imbalance in two-way trade".

The appointment of Lighthizer, the hardline U.S. trade representative, to lead the talks instead of Treasury Secretary Mnuchin puts one of the administration's toughest China critics in charge.

According to the White House, the US will still keep in place $200 billion of tariffs on Chinese imports but will not increase those tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent after the start of the year as originally planned.

But despite the uncertainty and threats, Trump also said he was open to signing an agreement if one is reached between Chinese and United States negotiators.

The move was confirmed on Monday by White House trade advisor Peter Navarro, . who called Lighthizer Washington's "toughest negotiator".

But so far Beijing has resisted confirming commitments made by Xi and announced by the United States.

"But if a fair deal is able to be made with China, one that does all of the many things we know must be finally done, I will happily sign".

Lighthizer, he said, "will be in charge of enforcement, timelines..."

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