Saturday, 15 December, 2018

China to 'immediately' apply measures agreed in trade truce with US

Vincent Yu | AP Vincent Yu | AP
Orlando Vargas | 06 December, 2018, 20:59

Beijing tried to boost optimism over the world's two largest economies yesterday, after days of interventions from Mr Trump and his advisers. Trump himself on Tuesday tweeted there "probably will" be a trade deal to follow the dinner meeting, even as he declared himself "a Tariff Man".

After Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a trip to Argentina for the G20 Leaders' Summit, he quickly announced that they had come to a suitable agreement that would allow them to halt temporarily the escalating trade war that had resulted in tit-for-tat tariffs on imported goods.

As part of the truce, Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25% beginning 1 January, leaving them at the current 10% rate.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by about 799 points or 3.09 percent on Tuesday after Trump reminded China that he was "a Tariff Man" who could easily hike tariffs on Chinese goods if they failed to deliver on their promise to purchase American goods. We are right now taking in $billions in Tariffs.

Trump added that a 90-day timetable for negotiators to reach a deeper agreement had begun and that his aides would see "whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible".

After describing the agreement made between China and the USA during the G-20 summit in Argentina over the weekend as "an incredible deal" and "one of the largest deals ever made", Donald Trump has done an unsurprising 180 after apparently finally appearing to catch up with reality.

"When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so", he said.

A Chinese official told the Reuters news agency officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicising details.

"The negotiations with China have already started". The European Union warned that it would retaliate with tariffs on USA products.

Sources told Reuters that Chinese oil trader Unipec plans to resume buying US crude by March after the Xi-Trump deal reduced the risk of tariffs on those imports.

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Hopes were buoyed when Trump told reporters in Argentina that he had reached an "incredible" deal with Xi, the president following that up with a tweet saying, "China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. now the tariff is 40%".

In return, Washington said China would purchase "very substantial" amounts of USA agricultural, energy, industrial and other products.

In return for the postponement in the higher United States tariffs, China agreed to step up its purchases of U.S. farm, energy and industrial goods, the White House said.

COUNTING THE COST: What's the endgame in the US-China trade war?

On Monday, Kudlow said there was an "assumption" that China would eliminate auto tariffs, not a specific agreement.

Trump added China would roll back tariffs of 40% on cars.

In late November, his office released a damning report on Chinese trade practices that gave China a low grade on resolving complaints on hacking, intellectual property theft, and forced technology transfers. He acknowledged that Chinese leaders have stopped short of following through on deals in the past, but he said he believed the involvement of Xi in the discussions Saturday would lead to a different outcome.

John Williams, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of NY, also unnerved investors by telling reporters Tuesday that he supports further Fed rate hikes.

The White House on Monday had to correct a statement by economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who incorrectly told reporters in a conference call that the 90-day negotiating period between the US and China would begin on January 1 instead of December 1.

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