China Implementing Agreed-Upon Trade Deals With US, Official Says

China Implementing Agreed-Upon Trade Deals With US, Official Says

Troy Powers
December 7, 2018

Trump and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, had reached a temporary truce in their trade war at a meeting over dinner at the G20 in Argentina on Saturday.

Among the conflicting assertions that White House officials made was over whether China had actually agreed to drop its 40 percent tariffs on U.S. autos.

But China later broke its silence on the truce with a spokesman saying that the negotiations have a timeline and China plans to quickly work on the "agreed upon consensus".

"All of these help to safeguard China's legitimate interests, and are also in the interests of the United States, and even more are in line with the expectations of the worldwide community", he added.

This follows President Trump's tweet on December 3, saying that "China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. now the tariff is 40%".

Hours after threatening "major tariffs" on Chinese goods unless a new trade deal is reached, President Trump on Wednesday claimed his administration is hearing "very strong signals being sent by China".

"The United States has put forward many demands, not all of them reasonable".

In his latest Twitter storm, Trump said that his team of negotiators was still "seeing whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible", adding that China is "supposed to" start buying more U.S. agricultural products "immediately". "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 added. The statement did not say whether Trump raised tariffs with executives from BMW, Daimler and Volkswagen.

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Trump, by postponing his threat to increase tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods to 25 percent from 10 percent, nodded to the Mnuchin wing of the administration, giving it a chance to prove that China is capable of reform. 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".

Yet Kudlow said later that there was no "specific agreement" regarding auto trade, though he added, "We expect those tariffs to go to zero". The changes USA officials have sought include forcing Beijing to lower tariffs on United States goods, stop dumping cheap steel and aluminium into foreign markets, and halting the theft of intellectual property, among other things. The Chinese have not acknowledged a 90-day deadline for the talks or said that they plan to "immediately" increase purchases of United States farm goods.

"I don't think this meeting or anything else for that matter, right now, is moving toward vehicle tariffs", Kudlow told reporters Monday.

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

On Tuesday, China's government issued a pledge that appeared to be aimed at mollifying US complaints about rampant violations of patents and copyrights.

Kevin Scott, who farms near Valley Springs, South Dakota, and serves on the American Soybean Association, said the news provides hope for farmers who are storing their crops while awaiting better prices. USA officials believe that China's regulators nixed the deal not for reasons of antitrust, but because China is desperate to make its own chips and views any strengthening of Western chipmakers with alarm.

The president, China's most powerful leader since at least the 1980s, flew from Argentina to Panama for an official visit and on Wednesday was in Portugal.