China promises prompt action on USA trade pact

Marco Green
December 7, 2018

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.

In Buenos Aires, Trump agreed to delay the scheduled USA tariff increase for 90 days while the two sides negotiate over the administration's complaints related to how Beijing systematically steals trade secrets and forces the US and other foreign countries to hand over sensitive technology as the price of admission to the vast Chinese market. China's crude oil imports from the USA had ground to a halt.

The commerce ministry of China assure the agreement signed between Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump at G20 summit had been "successful" and thus China was "confident" about the new implementation on their agreements.

Chief White house economist Larry Kudlow said that the meeting between the two leaders lasted for about 2.5 hours and added that the talks were "very good", but not told any details.

"If it is, we will get it done", Mr Trump said in a Twitter post.

Trump, however, also threatened to impose tariff on China, if failed to reach an agreement with the given deadline.

The two leaders on Saturday agreed to the ceasefire in a trade war that has seen the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods between the world's two largest economies disrupted by tariffs.

Those 10 percent tariffs were scheduled to ratchet up to 25 percent on January 1 if the USA and China failed to reach an agreement to at least postpone that move.

The U.S. had a $335.4 billion trade deficit with China in 2017.

"The economic and trade teams of the two sides will actively promote the consultation work within 90 days in accordance with a clear timetable and road map", the officials said. -China relations "will remain contentious".

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

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.

There are several significant take-aways from this development, including the argument that Trump's hard line, even at times belligerent stance with Beijing, has caused them to blink first, particularly since economic growth in China has already started to feel the brunt of US tariffs, while USA economic growth, though not as robust as a few months ago, is still strong. Xi and his most senior officials, including the commerce minister and the country's two top diplomats, are in Portugal, and due back in China on Thursday. China's government has yet to issue official comment on those details.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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