Trump Says China Agreed to 'Reduce and Remove' Tariffs on American Cars

Posted December 03, 2018

Trump's surprise announcement comes a day after he and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to suspend any new tariffs and give negotiators 90 days to strike a deal.

While Trump cited the USA trade deficits with foreign nations as a reason for implementing the tariffs, the US trade deficit with China has increased since the tariffs were announced.

Trump agreed to hold off on his threat to slap 25 per cent tariffs on US$200 billion (S$274 billion) worth of Chinese goods from January 1, leaving them at the current 10 per cent rate.

The president's Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, told reporters Monday that there will be "specific changes right away" to help the agricultural industry, even as the majority of the tentative agreement remains to be worked out over a 90-day-period agreed upon between the USA and China.

Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping

US President Donald Trump on Sunday said that China had agreed to cut import tariffs on US-made cars, a potential boon for automakers, including Tesla Inc and BMW AG, that manufacture in the US for export to China. "China's reform and opening-up's broad perspective recognizes that the rest of the world does things differently", it said in its editorial. "China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately", Sanders said. China agreed to resume purchases of some US farm and energy commodities.

"China's trade and investment practices have prevented USA companies from competing on a level playing field and hurt US workers". And Beijing agreed to reconsider a takeover by US chipmaker Qualcomm that it had previously blocked.

According to Wang, the two presidents "reached important common understandings and the meeting certainly has charted the course for China-U.S. relations in the some time to come".

The United States and China are locked in a dispute over their trade imbalance and Beijing's tech policies.

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Although Trump has hailed his tariffs as bringing "billions of dollars" into the USA economy, experts have pointed out that costs have increased for us consumers and many businesses are suffering as a result.

Trump described the meeting with Xi as "amazing and productive".

Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Geng Shuang (耿爽) yesterday said that the Chinese and USA presidents instructed their economic teams to work toward removing all tariffs.

Farmers sold $19.6 billion in products to China previous year, according to the Farm Credit Administration Office of Regulatory Policy. Cars made in North America get a zero tariff thanks to the North American Free Trade Agreement, an arrangement set to continue under the U.S. Mexico Canada Agreement signed in Buenos Aires, Argentina over the weekend. The planned tariff increase would be paused in the meantime, but she stressed the tariffs will be raised to 25 percent at the end of 90 days if "the parties are unable to reach an agreement".

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Trump wants China to do more to reduce its $335 billion trade surplus with the United States, further open up its economy and take action to curb the alleged theft of intellectual property. "But at least, a delay in tariff escalation is positive for the near-term economic outlook, and the decision keeps alive the prospect of a resolution of the US-China trade conflict".

President Trump expressed his friendship and respect for Chairman Kim.

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