White House hails China trade truce as skeptics raise doubts

Dec 08, 2018, 01:14
White House hails China trade truce as skeptics raise doubts

US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, agreed on Saturday to a temporary truce in the trade clash between the two countries. The 90-day clock starts January 1.

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.

China and the USA would push ahead with negotiations over 90 days and China would implement the specific issues it agreed with the U.S. "as soon as possible", the statement said.

The Ministry said that the recent meeting of U.S. President Donald trump and Chinese President XI Jinping was successful.

Currently, the automobile industry in the United States is not performing well because of the trade war issues with China.

According to a White House press release, for a 90-day period, the US will maintain the 10 percent tariffs on its list of $200 billion in Chinese imports, postponing an anticipated January 1, 2019, increase in duty levels. Asked if there was a specific agreement to remove the tariffs, he said: "Yes, there was".

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He said China discussed up to $1.2 trillion in commitments that could potentially help reduce the US trade deficit. For its part, China has slapped tariffs on $110bn of USA imports.

"I would think of that as a broad goal", he said.

Investors were pleased by the news. The Dow Jones industrial average closed up 288 points, a gain of 1.1%.

"China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately", the White House said after Trump and Xi's meeting. But both leaders face a mix of economic nationalists, free trade advocates and other conflicting forces at home. She also said China's willingness to approve a merger between QUALCOMM, Inc. Washington instead chose to see Beijing's argument that it already is making changes "in a more positive light". As part of the agreement, Trump - who called the deal "incredible" - said that he'll delay the United States' plan to impose tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods.

But by Tuesday morning, Trump was renewing his tariff threats in a series of tweets.

Those omissions suggest Beijing doesn't recognize how important those demands are to Trump, said Nick Marro of the Economist Intelligence Unit. Instead, the two sides are to negotiate over US complaints about China's trade practices, notably that it has used predatory tactics to try to achieve supremacy in technology.

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The U.S. LNG sector also needs Chinese participation, however.

During the talks in Buenos Aires, Trump agreed to delay a scheduled escalation in USA tariffs on many Chinese goods, from 10 percent to 25 percent, that had been set to take effect January 1. The downside for China is that it also needs US sourced LNG as its insatiable gas demand expands amid Beijing's mandate that gas make up at least 10 percent of its power generation energy mix by 2020, with further earmarks set for 2030.

Beijing has tried without success to recruit France, Germany, Japan and other government as allies against Trump.

"People say they haven't affected earnings yet, but what people forget is all the stuff being sold was planned in inventory before these tariffs were in place", Kinahan said.

At the same time, analysts said they were relieved that the Trump-Xi meeting at least pressed the "pause" button on tariff hikes.

China has its own grievances.

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