Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Business | By Eloise Houston

Trade Talks With China To End On March 1 Unless Extended

Trade Talks With China To End On March 1 Unless Extended

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 United States at the weekend.

As White House officials fanned out to talk up what US President Donald Trump called "an incredible deal" with China to hit pause in their trade war, Beijing has said little on a pact that cheered markets but left many questions unanswered. Mr Trump said Chinese officials had been sending "strong signals" since they "returned from their long trip [to the G20 in Buenos Aires]".

As part of the truce, Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25% beginning 1 January, leaving them at the current 10% rate. "But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man".

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

While Mr Trump said talks with China and the 90-day truce period had already started, China did not clarify when the 90-day period was supposed to begin.

That's the view of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who believes China's President Xi Jinping may even use next month's World Economic Forum summit in Switzerland to launch across-the-board liberalization that would "take the world by storm". Trump has not promised to lift all tariffs against Chinese goods. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so.

A Chinese official told Reuters that officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicizing details.

Hannah Anderson, Global Market Strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management, said there was a lot of uncertainty over the U.S.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said on Fox News that China would face "tariffs without reciprocal tariffs attacking us" if Beijing doesn't meet certain commitments made at last week's Group of 20 summit.

The tone of these tweets is noticeably quite a bit different than of those that he made the day before, in which Trump declared, unironically, that US-China relations had taken "a BIG leap forward" and that China had agreed to "reduce and remove" tariffs on cars being imported into China from the US.

"China is full of confidence in reaching an agreement within the next 90 days", the spokesman said.

Many economists have expressed scepticism that very much could be achieved to bridge the vast disagreements between the two countries in just 90 days.

Hours later, Bloomberg News reported that officials have begun preparing to restart imports of USA soybeans and liquefied natural gas -the first sign confirming the claims of Trump and the White House that China had agreed to start buying some U.S. products "immediately".

China has yet to confirm Trump's claim that Beijing committed to cut auto tariffs and buy more American farm exports. It would also begin buying products from USA farmers "immediately", the U.S. said.

Washington also expects China to promptly address structural issues including intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers, USA officials have said.

But Chinese officials haven't confirmed any of their goals in the unwritten agreement, saying only that teams from both sides would follow through with more negotiations.

In a Twitter thread, Trump said that negotiations would end 90 days from the date of his "wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina".

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