China vows quick action on USA trade promises: 'The sooner the better'

Posted December 07, 2018

Trump says he wants to de-escalate trade tensions with China but insists on Beijing addressing long-standing issues such as intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, and tariffs and nontariff barriers.

Trump later said he did not want "to sound naive or anything", but he believes Chinese President Xi Jinping "meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting" at last week's G-20 summit in Argentina.

Beijing pledged to import more USA products to narrow its massive trade surplus with the U.S. following the Argentina talks, but it has given few details about what was agreed.

Beijing's decision to keep things vague, for now, may reflect a desire to avoid being seen as having capitulated under pressure - the sides have 90 days to reach a deal - or may be a hedge against Trump's unpredictability, analysts said.

The Trump administration is celebrating the 90-day truce it reached in its trade war with China as a significant breakthrough despite scant details, a hazy timetable and widespread scepticism that Beijing will yield to the United States demands anytime soon. If negotiations sputter, Trump has his finger on the trigger, as he made clear in a tweet Tuesday: "I am a Tariff Man". Deep divisions remain between the two countries, including the administration's insistence that China end its practice of pressuring USA companies to hand over valuable technology and trade secrets.

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White House officials have also struggled to explain whether China had actually agreed to drop a 40 per cent tariff on U.S. cars as part of the deal.

However he offered no new details on what China had agreed to with the United States.

Also, China's commerce ministry made no mention of the auto tariff cuts which Mr Trump said earlier this week China had agreed to.

"Relations with China have taken a BIG leap forward!"

The clock started ticking on December 1, when Trump met in Buenos Aires with China's leader Xi Jinping and agreed to work towards an agreement to roll back the exchange of tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade.

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The comments by the president and his top advisers over the past 48 hours have only added to China's confusion about their negotiating partners.

A day later, President Trump said on his Twitter that "the negotiations with China have already started" and that the deal will probably happen.

But the Chinese statement on this weekend's meeting only said Beijing agreed to buy more US goods. As part of his Twitter storm today, the U.S. president called himself "Tariff Man" and then proceeded to demonstrate his lack of basic understanding about how tariffs work, seemingly ignorant of the fact that tariffs are in effect a tax paid by domestic consumers, not foreign countries.

The Chinese regime is getting ready to resume imports of USA soybeans and liquified natural gas (LNG), Bloomberg reported, in a move confirming the Trump administration's claim that China had agreed to "immediately" start purchasing some US products. They announced that China had agreed to buy many more American products and to negotiate over the administration's assertions that Beijing steals American technology.

USA markets rallied on Monday following the Trump administration's claim of an imminent truce in the U.S.

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