China's State Media Offers Some Clarity on U.S. Trade Deal

China's State Media Offers Some Clarity on U.S. Trade Deal

Donald Trump suggested Tuesday that he could extend a 90-day truce in his trade war with China, while his top White House economic adviser backtracked from the president's announcement that Beijing had agreed to reduce tariffs on US -made cars.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that China had agreed to remove tariffs on American autos, but White House aides struggled to explain specifics about the deal, according to the Associated Press.

Trump and President Xi, leaders of the world's two biggest economies, agreed Saturday in Argentina to not impose any new tariffs on each other's exports for the next 90 days while they negotiate a detailed trade agreement.

After a 2-1/2 hour dinner with Xi on Saturday in Buenos Aires, Trump agreed to postpone an increase in the tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent that was scheduled for January 1.

The two sides also agreed to negotiate during the next 90 days over "structural changes" to China's policies on technology transfers, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture.

China's reticence contrasted with the parade of US officials talking about the deal on Monday, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow.

China offered more than $1.2 trillion in additional commitments on trade at the dinner between Xi and Trump on Saturday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Monday. "We haven't made any move yet", said a trader with a major Chinese trading house.

"I think there is a higher likelihood that we get meaningful discussions now than in much of the last six months", said Kuijs.

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Beijing is less informative than Washington, which "might sometimes be too transparent", with officials issuing conflicting statements, said Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics.

For its part, China has slapped tariffs on $110bn of United States imports. China gets a delay on additional tariffs, while the US gets greater purchases of agriculture goods while retaining leverage to push for more structural changes to the economy. Kudlow told reporters at the White House that he believes the president expects China will reduce its vehicle tariffs to zero. It wasn't clear whether the preparations meant China would cut the retaliatory tariffs it imposed on those products, or when the purchases would happen.

Still, Beijing gave no sign of a changed stance on technology ambitions that Washington says violate Chinese market-opening obligations and might threaten USA industrial leadership. After this tweet of president Trump, the stock market showed some positive response which indicates that the faith investors are restored at least for a short period.

"My meeting in Argentina with President Xi of China was an extraordinary one", Trump tweeted on Monday.

Trump added that a 90-day timetable for negotiators to reach a deeper agreement had begun and that his aides would see "whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible".

Mr Xi and his most senior officials, including the Commerce Minister and the country's two top diplomats, are in Portugal, and due back in China on Thursday.

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association, which opposed the tariffs, said the truce would reduce the risk of an ongoing trade dispute with China.

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