China swings to trade action as 'tariff man' increases pressure

Marcus Newton
December 8, 2018

Trump said on Twitter Monday that he had negotiated a temporary tariff ceasefire with China and that a permanent deal was forthcoming, but official comments from the White House and from Beijing contradicted, or at least tempered, the president's announcement.

The commerce ministry is due to hold its weekly news briefing on Thursday.

The Chinese government's top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, was less specific, telling reporters China will import more products, based on market demand, from the United States in efforts to gradually ease imbalances in two-way trade.

Chinese leaders have offered to change some details of plans such as "Made in China 2025".

He said the United States should look into a rule that would bar imports of Chinese products that used stolen US intellectual property.

Gen. Jack Keane said Monday on "The Story" that he's in favor of the truce agreed upon between the USA and China, but "it remains to be seen" what results it will yield.

It would also be good news for Tesla, which has been hit hard by increased tariffs on the electric cars it imports to China. Washington, but not Beijing, has also said China will cut import tariffs on American cars. The two countries have now agreed to a 90-day truce to work out a broader trade deal.

TD Ameritrade chief market strategist JJ Kinahan said Monday's market rally may be short-lived if there's no timely follow-up on details of a potential deal between the USA and China.

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"The 90-day limit sounds like an ultimatum given by the strong actor to the weak actor", added Fang, a former journalist for the publication Southern Weekly.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton told the Wall Street Journal event on Tuesday that Chinese theft of US intellectual property was among the administration's top concerns.

"My meeting in Argentina with President Xi of China was an extraordinary one". The automakers have a previously scheduled meeting with USTR on Monday, two people briefed on the matter told Reuters. The two nations agreed to temporarily halt the spiralling exchange of tariffs over the weekend, promising to try and iron out their differences by the start of March next year.

Chinese officials have been told to take necessary steps for the purchases, according to two officials with knowledge of the discussions.

After some confusion Monday about who would head the talks with China, Trump suggested Tuesday that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would take the lead, "working closely with" Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, economic advisor Larry Kudlow, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and trade advisor Peter Navarro.

The White House called the meeting "highly successful", saying the USA will leave existing tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods at 10 percent and refrain from raising that rate to 25 percent as planned on January 1.

Still, the meeting in Buenos Aires marked significant progress, he said, describing the upcoming negotiations as historically significant because both leaders had agreed to delve into several specific issues.

"Every time we covered this kind of bilateral meeting we had no detailed information from the Chinese side", she said, adding that Chinese media were only allowed to publish the reports of state news agency Xinhua.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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