Trump sees 'very strong signals' that China is ready to deal

Xi Jingping

Stocks sank across the world, in part over fear that an escalation in tariffs would choke off economic growth and possibly send a global slowdown into a recession.

Should China remove the tariffs now, USA soybean would likely still be uncompetitive in the global market as harvest season approaches for the crop in South America.

Failure would raise the specter of a major escalation in the trade battle, with fresh U.S. tariff action and Chinese retaliation possibly as early as March.

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.

State Councillor Wang Yi, the Chinese government's top diplomat, said the talks about trade frictions had been extremely positive and constructive, helping reach a consensus that worked for both China and the United States.

The two sides also will discuss intellectual property protection, technical cooperation, market access and their trade balance, Gao said.

China and the U.S. announced a truce in their trade war after the meeting between Trump and Xi Jinping on Saturday, but that quickly descended into confusion, with both sides announcing different statements on what was agreed.

"We hope the two working teams from both sides can, based on the consensus reached between the two countries' leaders, strengthen consultations, and reach a mutually beneficial agreement soon", Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters. But Mnuchin added, "if that's real" - thereby raising some doubt - it would close the USA trade deficit with China, and "we have to have a negotiated agreement and have this on paper".

Mr Trump said this week on Twitter that Beijing had agreed to "reduce and remove" tariffs the 40% tariffs it places on U.S. cars.

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While at the conclusion of Saturday's working dinner, both the US and Chinese delegations said that what amounted to a trade war "truce" between the leaders had been reached, the messaging from the White House that followed seemed to only muddy the waters.

"So, again this will be a real agreement again and not that we can accomplish everything in 90 days but we expect to make a lot of progress and President Trump will be directly involved", Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told Fox.

"If it is, we will get it done", Trump wrote in a Twitter post. I am a Tariff Man.

"President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will". The two countries have now agreed to a 90-day truce to work out a broader trade deal.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that China had agreed to remove tariffs on American autos, but White House aides struggled to explain specifics about the deal, according to the Associated Press. Ultimately, I believe, we will be making a deal - either now or into the future. The White House and Beijing have essentially reached an agreement to pause the trade war for 90 days while the two sides try to reach a formal trade deal.

Trump "shared his vision of all automakers producing in the United States and creating a more friendly business environment", the White House said in a statement.

China implemented a 25% retaliatory tariff on USA pork products on April 1, which remains.

"The negotiations with China have already started".

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