China's State Media Offers Some Clarity on U.S. Trade Deal

Ivan Schwartz
December 7, 2018

Trump, however, has threatened to slap tariffs on auto imports from Europe and other countries, citing USA trade deficits with those nations.

Values in NY surged on Monday but sank on Tuesday amid doubts the suspension of tariff hikes agreed during talks between Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at the weekend would lead to a concrete deal to end their trade war.

Stocks sank on Tuesday, with the Dow Jones plummeting nearly 800 points, amid concerns about the health of the US economy and uncertainty about what specifically Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping had agreed to at the G-20 summit in Argentina three days prior, but USA equity futures rose Wednesday after Beijing confirmed the news.

That gives the president 24 hours to fix the damage inflected when the market plunged nearly 800 points on Tuesday after a series of tweets from Trump suggested a trade war with China could resume next year.

After some confusion Monday about who would head the talks with China, Trump suggested Tuesday that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would take the lead, "working closely with" Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, economic advisor Larry Kudlow, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and trade advisor Peter Navarro.

Trump said he believes "President Xi (Jinping) meant every word of what he said" at their meeting recently in Argentina, including "his promise to me to criminalize the sale of deadly Fentanyl coming into the United States".

Chinese officials have said they are "confident in implementing" trade commitments made to the United States "as soon as possible", without giving details.

The threat of further escalation in the trade war between the world's two largest economies has loomed large over financial markets and the global economy for much of the year, and investors initially greeted the ceasefire with relief.

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One Chinese official told Reuters officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicizing details.

Trump didn't help when he tweeted 'I am a tariff man, ' which investors saw a sign a deal may not happen.

"He and I are the only two people that can bring about massive and very positive change, on trade and far beyond, between our two great Nations". Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican and opponent of Trump's tariff policy, criticized the president's tweets on that basis.

"We are now taking in $billions in Tariffs".

US stocks got a big lift Monday after the G20 meeting over the weekend cleared up some major uncertainties for investors. China's government has been slow to formulate its response to the summit as senior officials were still out of the country with Xi, Bloomberg News reported.

The Ministry of Commerce of China announced that the ultimate goal of the Chinese-American trade negotiations is the abolition of all fees. "China does not want Tariffs!"

"China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately", the White House said after Trump and Xi's meeting.

"The actual amount of concrete progress made at this meeting appears to have been quite limited", Alec Phillips and other economists at Goldman Sachs wrote in a research note.

Other reports by GizPress

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