Trump optimistic despite haze around China trade

DEVELOPING: US-China trade uncertainty fuels market plunge

DEVELOPING: US-China trade uncertainty fuels market plunge

U.S. President Donald Trump and China's leader Xi Jinping agreed on a temporary truce to halt their long-standing trade war at the G20 summit last weekend.

President Donald Trump is expressing optimism that China will to push forward with a cease fire on trade as tensions between Washington and Beijing escalates.

"On Trade, President Trump has agreed that on January 1, 2019, he will leave the tariffs on $200 billion worth of product at the 10% rate, and not raise it to 25% at this time".

The stock markets are closed Wednesday in honor of a memorial service for the late President George H.W. Bush.

The two leaders, who met on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Argentina, also made a decision to hold off on new tariffs and give negotiators three months to strike an agreement.

Stocks on Wall Street fell sharply on Tuesday after President Trump threatened more duties on China if trade talks fall through. 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". "But if not remember". I am a Tariff Man.

But the Chinese commerce ministry said negotiators will "actively push forward negotiations within 90 days in accordance with a clear timetable and roadmap" - marking Beijing's first public acknowledgement of the deadline announced by the USA at the weekend.

Trump, via Twitter, held out the possibility of an extension of the ceasefire but warned tariffs would be back on the table if the talks failed to bear fruit. That's a worst-case scenario that would immediately establish tariffs and customs checks on hundreds of billions of dollars in exports between Britain and the 27 other European Union nations.

China's tariffs on USA soybeans had earlier pushed the price of soybeans from Brazil, the world's top supplier, so high that Chinese buyers could have imported American soybeans and paid the tariff for less.

A Chinese official told Reuters officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicizing details. While toy makers in China such as Lung Cheong haven't been hit by the USA tariffs so far, they are nervous about the fallout should the two nations fail to find common ground in the next three months.

Trump sowed more confusion as he opened the door to lengthier negotiations with China, suggesting that they could extend beyond a 90-day deadline to reach a deal to avoid a massive tariff increase.

For its part, China has said it will import more United States products to reduce its trade surplus, but no dollar amount has been publicly discussed.

During the talks in Buenos Aires, Trump agreed to delay a scheduled escalation in United States tariffs on many Chinese goods, from 10 per cent to 25 per cent, that had been set to take effect on January 1. Negotiations will proceed "step by step, not based on the rhythm of the United States".

It was not clear whether the preparations meant China would cut the retaliatory tariffs it imposed on those products, or when the purchases would happen.

China agreed to eliminate the retaliatory tariffs it had placed on USA soybeans, according to the White House, which also said Beijing had agreed to buy an unspecified but "very substantial" amount of agricultural and other products.

Mr Trump has said China is supposed to start buying agricultural products immediately and cut its 40 per cent tariffs on USA vehicle imports.

What looked earlier this week like a resolution to the costly automotive tariff war with China has proven to be little more than a presidential boast.

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