United States and China declare 90-day trade war truce

Muriel Colon
December 3, 2018

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (C) speaks at a press briefing on the meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his USA counterpart Donald Trump that was concluded earlier in the day in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Dec. 1, 2018.

If the latest effort encounters the same roadblocks, Trump said he will proceed with his previous plan to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese products to 25 percent from 10 percent, which was to have taken effect on January 1.

Xi has also agreed to purchase "a very substantial amount" of American goods, including agricultural, energy, industrial, and other products, in an effort to reduce the US trade deficit with China.

Commenting on the G20 leaders agreeing that the WTO needs to be reformed, worldwide banking and financial markets expert Ananth Narayan told Sputnik that this development "has to be seen through the lens of the ongoing US-China trade dispute".

- USA will raise 10 percent tariffs to 25 percent if the two sides fail to reach agreement on resolving such issues in 90 days.

The tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods would have gone from 10 percent to 25 percent in the new year.

The dinner-table diplomacy that Presidents Donald Trump and Xi Jinping of China conducted over the weekend produced something as vague as it was valuable: an agreement to keep talking.

"The Chinese have to come into (the talks) with a sense of urgency", he added.

But they say the deal must do more to protect US workers from low-wage Mexican competition.

The U.S is unhappy with what it says is the WTO's failure to hold Beijing accountable for not opening up its economy as envisioned when China joined the body in 2001.

At the dinner, Xi also agreed to designate fentanyl as a controlled substance, meaning that people selling the powerful opioid to the United States will be subject to China's maximum penalty under the law.

Trump said Bush's death put a "damper" on what he described as a "very important meeting" with Xi.

US officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, have warned about China's increasing influence across swaths of the developing world, including Latin America.

"Some Chinese speculate about what compromise the United State can make in the future because China promised a lot and Trump just promised to not raise US tariffs", he added.

"Facts have proven that China and the US have more common interests than differences, and have greater need for cooperation than friction. China will be buying massive amounts of products from us". "China, right now, has major trade barriers-they're major tariffs-and also major non-tariff barriers, which are brutal".

Xi expressed openness to approving a previously unapproved Qualcomm-NXP deal, should it be presented to him again, it said. En route from Buenos Aires on Air Force One, the president told reporters that he would soon notify Congress that he's abandoning the North American Free Trade Agreement.

After a much anticipated dinner between the United States and China, both presidents emerged from a "highly successful meeting".

The United States and China will carry forward negotiations over a 90-day period; if that period expires without a satisfactory comprehensive agreement - an all too likely outcome - further escalation will take place.

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