Trade Talks With China To End On March 1 Unless Extended

Marcus Newton
December 5, 2018

The United States agreed to put on hold a scheduled increase in tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods due to come into effect on January 1, following talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping at a gathering of world leaders in Argentina. Chad Bown, a trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, estimates that 12% of USA imports were covered by tariffs in September.

Chinese officials discussed the possibility of lowering tariffs on USA auto imports before Xi met Trump in Argentina, according to a person familiar with the situation who asked not to be identified.

Chinese officials are puzzled and irritated by the administration's shaky handling of the meeting's aftermath, according to a former United States government official who has been in contact with them. Small-company stocks fell more than the rest of the market.

President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, held an effective meeting on the side-lines of the summit, held over the weekend in Argentina.

The White House said Xi said he was open to approving the previously unapproved Qualcomm-NXP deal should it again be presented to him.

Trump warned that although he and Xi want to get to an agreement "remember, I am a Tariff Man".

Trump said he and Xi "are the only two people that can bring about massive and very positive change, on trade and far beyond, between our two great Nations. It will always be the best way to max out our economic power", he said.

Markets took a dive following Trump's tweetstorm. In midday trading, the Dow Jones industrial average had dropped more than 600 points or about 2.4 per cent.

The trade war has taken a toll on vehicle companies that manufacture in the USA, with the makers of Mercedes-Benz and its rival BMW both warning of lower profits this year as tariffs forced them to hike prices in China. He said Xi already agreed to take concrete steps toward alleviating the trade war.

China, for its part, also agreed to offset its massive trade imbalance with the buying more, but not yet specified amounts, of energy products, agricultural, industrial and other products.

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

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.

There are significant differences between the two governments over what was agreed at the dinner, according to a side-by-side comparison of their post-meeting statements prepared by Bloomberg. But it raised its tariff on USA cars to 40 percent earlier this year in retaliation for Trump's tariffs on Chinese goods. "If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent", the statement said.

China's foreign ministry said on Monday that the two presidents had instructed their economic teams to work towards removing all tariffs.

The president also confirmed that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who has been critical of China in the past, will lead the negotiations with the help of other administration officials.

As such, Trump was keen to reassure USA farmers that the negotiations with China would benefit them.

This was also the first time that the president suggested the negotiating window could be extended.

"We need to see some major changes in their behaviour", he said, speaking at the same event as Kudlow.

In a subsequent tweet, Trump said he would "happily sign" a "fair deal" that addresses United States concerns, should one be reached with Beijing.

Roger Stone dismissed criticism of President Donald Trump's tweet praising Stone's "guts" for standing his ground agains.

They said they would hold off on imposing additional tariffs for 90 days starting on December 1 while they sought a solution to their trade disputes. "This agreement is a short-term alleviation of trade tensions, but we caution that this is a reprieve rather than a resolution".

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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