China is preparing to buy U.S. liquefied gas and soybeans again

Eileen GuzmanDec 07, 2018

The U.S. agreed to refrain from raising tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from a current 10 percent to punitive levels of 25 percent as planned on January 1, according to announcements that followed the meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Argentina.

Trump says he wants to de-escalate trade tensions with China but insists on Beijing addressing long-standing issues such as intellectual property theft, forced technology transfers, and tariffs and nontariff barriers.

China expressed confidence on Wednesday that it can reach a trade deal with the USA, a sentiment echoed by Mr Trump a day after he warned of more tariffs if the two sides could not resolve their differences.

The mood has quickly soured, however, on scepticism that the two sides can reach a substantive deal on a host of highly divisive issues within the 90-day negotiating period, and markets continued to slide on Wednesday in part from confusion over the ceasefire's lack of detail.

Trump has threatened to impose tariffs worth a further $US200 billion on Chinese imports unless China makes it easier for USA companies to do business there. The U.S. agreed to delay raising tariffs on China for 90 days so that the two sides would have more time to negotiate.

One particularly damning tweet by Trump boasted, "I am a Tariff Man". He also declined to comment on the detention of Huawei Technologies Co.'s chief financial officer December 6 in Canada over potential violations of US sanctions on Iran.

The two countries have hit each other with tit-for-tariffs on goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars in sectors from automobiles to agriculture and energy, stymying trade and redrawing global supply chains.

"One of the very exciting things to come out of my meeting with President Xi of China is his promise to me to criminalize the sale of deadly Fentanyl coming into the United States".

Trump added China would roll back tariffs of 40% on cars.

That's why carmakers and vehicle parts manufacturers on both sides of the Pacific were initially buoyed by the claim of an "incredible" trade deal emerging from the 2-1/2 hour dinner meeting President Donald Trump held with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Sunday at the G-20 summit.

China, in turn, agreed to purchase a "substantial amount" of USA agricultural, energy and industrial products, among others, to reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries, according to the White House. Additionally, China was said to be beginning to buy products from USA farmers "immediately".

China imports nearly 90 percent of its soybeans, and the United States had been the country's primary supplier of soybeans.

Donald Trump threatened to slap a range of import penalties on Chinese products if they didn't make major changes in their economic relationship with the US.

"President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will".

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". These practices, according to the administration and outside analysts, include stealing intellectual property and forcing companies to turn over technology to gain access to China's market.

Trump also warned this week of more tariffs if the two sides could not resolve their differences.

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