China to 'immediately' implement USA trade truce measures

Mae Love
December 8, 2018

In recent months, Chinese exports had expanded robustly, which economists said reflected front-loading of cargoes before a now-postponed plan to hike USA tariffs of US$200 billion of Chinese goods to 25 per cent from 10 per cent on Jan 1.

While at the conclusion of Saturday's working dinner, both the US and Chinese delegations said that what amounted to a trade war "truce" between the leaders had been reached, the messaging from the White House that followed seemed to only muddy the waters.

China's trade surplus with the United States ballooned to a record Dollars 35.6 billion in November, official data showed Saturday, as exports across the Pacific remained strong despite a raft of USA tariffs while imports shrank.

Asked about Trump's statement that Beijing would cancel tariff hikes on US -made autos, Gao referred reporters to the Cabinet's tax commission.

Trump and figures in his administration have said China would immediately start buying U.S. goods in bulk, but Beijing has refrained from confirming those claims.

Shipments to the whole world in U.S. dollar terms rose 5.4 per cent in November, the customs administration said Saturday, missing estimates.

The two agreed a 90-day window starting from December 1 to try to resolve their differences, but if they can not do so then the threatened tariff increase will kick in on March 1.

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While Trump has long championed the tariffs, even referring to them as "the greatest", they are ultimately a tax on American consumers that raise the cost of goods.

The customs data showed that annual growth for exports to all of China's major partners slowed significantly.

China's trade surplus with the United States was $35.55 billion in November, a record high and compared with $31.78 billion in the preceding month.

But unease over the agreement has dented stocks this week with major USA indices falling more than two per cent to close the market's worst week since March and one that left both the Dow and the S&P 500 in negative territory for the year.

Gao's briefing came hours after the trade detente risked being rattled by the arrest in Canada of a top executive from Chinese telecom giant Huawei at the request of the United States.

Trump added China would roll back tariffs of 40% on cars.

"China will start from agricultural products, autos and energy to immediately implement specific items that China and the US have agreed upon", Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing.

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