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China 'confident' of U.S. trade deal in 90 days as questions mount

08 December 2018
China 'confident' of U.S. trade deal in 90 days as questions mount

US President Donald Trump on Monday said that America's relationship with China has taken a "BIG leap forward" and he was willing to have a trilateral discussion involving Russian Federation to reduce the arms race, a day after his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Argentina.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who rattled global markets Tuesday after declaring himself "a Tariff Man", predicted in a series of tweets Wednesday the United States and China would negotiate a new trade deal.

On the way into the White House, Daimler Chairman Dieter Zetsche told reporters he was "hopeful", while VW Chief Executive Herbert Diess said he hoped new US tariffs could be avoided.

He said a pause in additional US tariffs and an additional round of negotiations between the USA and China is exactly what he was hoping for from the G20 meeting.

Trump and Xi also agreed to immediately begin negotiations on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture, according to the White House statement. The automakers have a previously scheduled meeting with USTR on Monday, two people briefed on the matter told Reuters. "It hasn't been signed and sealed and delivered yet".

The trade ceasefire is widely viewed by analysts as merely kicking the can down the road in the complex dispute between the two sides.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton told the Wall Street Journal event on Tuesday that Chinese theft of USA intellectual property was among the administration's top concerns.

Such a move would have led to further tariffs on imports from the China and vice-versa.

And that person is President Trump.

But China trade adviser Peter Navarro, the trade hawk of the White House, struck a different tone on CNN. For China, it must rethink its fundamental negotiating strategy and time is running out.

After Trump and Xi dined together Saturday night in Argentina, the White House announced a 90-day cease-fire in the ongoing trade war.

Through a translator, Xi said that "only with cooperation between us can we serve the interest of global peace and prosperity and that is why I look forward to this meeting". It also said China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural products from USA farmers immediately. "President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will".

After a 2-1/2 hour dinner with Xi on Saturday in Buenos Aires, Trump agreed to postpone an increase in the tariff rate on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent that was scheduled for January 1.

White House aides have struggled to explain the details of what the two countries actually agreed on.

However, there are some discrepancies in what the USA is saying and what was in the brief statement from Chinese officials. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican and opponent of Trump's tariff policy, criticized the president's tweets on that basis.

"We anticipate a similar outcome in the US-China case; without any firm commitments from the Chinese on larger intellectual property or other issues, Trump will likely return to threatening tariffs when he fails to get what he wants in the next three months", Allen wrote.