Doubts on the rise about the US-China ceasefire

Anna Jefferson
December 5, 2018

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

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says there is no "specific agreement" between the United States and China that would address China's tariffs on USA auto imports but says he "expects" those duties to go to zero.

It also said China had agreed to start buying farm products from USA farmers immediately.

President Donald Trump on Monday tweeted optimistically that relations between the United States and China "have taken a BIG leap forward!" and predicted that "very good things will happen" after he reached a temporary truce with China's President Xi Jinping in the ongoing trade war over the course of a three-hour-long dinner on the sidelines of the G-20 summit this weekend.

He said the United States should look into a rule that would bar imports of Chinese products that used stolen US intellectual property.

"I'll call them "commitments" at this point, which are - commitments are not necessarily a trade deal, but it's stuff that they're going to look at and presumably implement", Kudlow told reporters at an official White House briefing that followed TV interviews and informal briefings by him and Mnuchin earlier in the day.

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Xi expressed openness to approving a previously unapproved Qualcomm-NXP deal, should it be presented to him again, it said. The White House also says China has agreed to buy more American goods , although it did not specify how much.


The two sides have given themselves 90 days to negotiate "structural changes" in the way China handles technology transfer, intellectual property protection, cyber theft and other issues.

President Donald Trump declared himself "Tariff Man" in a tweet that contributed to investors' fears about the tenuous US-China trade truce.

The US accuses China of unfair trading practices and tariffs are meant to counter Chinese practices that make it hard for American companies to compete.

China, for its part, also agreed to offset its massive trade imbalance with the U.S.by buying more, but not yet specified amounts, of energy products, agricultural, industrial and other products.

As tit-for-tat trade tariffs ratcheted up between the nations this year, China slapped retaliatory duties on US soybeans, pork and a host of other agricultural goods.

Senior Chinese officials did not mention this deal in a news conference.

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That means the death penalty, by the way, but anyhow, here's what China's Foreign Ministry said, again more vaguely: "China has chose to list all the fentanyl-like substances as controlled substances and start working to adjust related regulations".

However, there are differences in both countries' official accounts of what was agreed. "It will always be the best way to max out our economic power", he said on Tuesday.

White House trade director Peter Navarro detailed on Monday what the administration hopes to accomplish by lifting tariffs on China for 90 days. "President Trump's economically illiterate trade commentary won't help - and is driving American allies to ramp up their own trade barriers to retaliate".

Trump has argued that China for decades has abused global trade rules to lure away U.S. jobs, steal USA intellectual property, subsidise its own companies, and strong-arm United States firms.

In exchange, China offered more than one-point-two trillion dollars in additional commitments on trade. China has placed a 10 percent tariff on U.S. -LNG imports with the threat of increasing that figure in the future, resulting in China having to find alternate sources of the super-cooled fuel on the spot market.

"Let the negotiations begin", Trump wrote on Tuesday.

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