China stays silent as Trump talks up trade truce

07 December, 2018, 18:59 | Author: Mary Valdez
  • Donald Trump,US-China relations,US-China ties

Tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods from China will remain at the rate of 10% and not rise to 25% on January 1, 2019, The White House announced after a meeting between Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 summit over the weekend.

There are several significant take-aways from this development, including the argument that Trump's hard line, even at times belligerent stance with Beijing, has caused them to blink first, particularly since economic growth in China has already started to feel the brunt of USA tariffs, while US economic growth, though not as robust as a few months ago, is still strong.

China has said comparatively little about the Trump-Xi agreement after senior Chinese officials briefed the media following the leaders' meeting, and there have been some differences between the two sides' accounts of what the deal entails.

The president's optimistic comments came one day after stock prices around the world plunged in response to a series of tweets he posted on Tuesday, warning a fragile accord between the two countries could crumble.

Trump didn't help when he tweeted 'I am a tariff man, ' which investors saw a sign a deal may not happen.

Chinese officials have said they are "confident in implementing" trade commitments made to the United States "as soon as possible", without giving details.

In addition, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday on the Fox Business Network that China agreed to buy $1.2 trillion of USA products.

Trump, however, has threatened to slap tariffs on auto imports from Europe and other countries, citing US trade deficits with those nations. "China does not want Tariffs!"

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.

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The announcement on Wednesday followed a period of relative quiet from Beijing after Chinese President Xi Jinping and his United States counterpart, Donald Trump, reached a temporary truce in the trade war between the world's two largest economies over the weekend. For months, the two countries have engaged in tit-for-tat increases in tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of exports flowing between the two countries.

"I think that if you put the two press releases together, you can see what basically happened", Cui Tiankai told Reuters in Washington on Monday after returning from Buenos Aires, where he had joined Xi's delegation. "And it'll have an incredibly positive impact on farming, meaning agriculture, industrial products, computers - every type of product". If the two had failed to reach an agreement, the US would've seen $200 billion worth of Chinese goods have their tariffs increase from 10% to 25% at the beginning of 2019.

Officials from the United States and a number of other major economies have often criticized China for its slow approach to negotiations and not following through on commitments.

Trump and White House aides have promoted the apparent U.S.

Volkswagen AG and Daimler AG executives both said they thought the chances that new tariffs will be imposed had been lessened following the meeting.

He said a pause in additional USA tariffs and an additional round of negotiations between the US and China is exactly what he was hoping for from the G20 meeting.

'The actual amount of concrete progress made at this meeting appears to have been quite limited, ' Alec Phillips and other economists at Goldman Sachs wrote in a research note.

The statement did not mention Trump or Xi, however the state news agency Xinhua later said the ministry statement was hailing their meeting.

In return, China agreed to buy what the White House called a "not yet agreed upon, but very substantial" amount of USA products to help narrow America's gaping trade deficit with China. "When it comes to anything associated with him, especially deals, things can't just be good, they have to be best".

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