Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

China gets US tariff delay but movement on tech unclear

The trade war truce followed months of economic tensions between Washington and Beijing The trade war truce followed months of economic tensions between Washington and Beijing
| 06 December, 2018, 05:04

The deal prevents an escalation on US tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, keeping the penalty at 10 percent instead of hiking to 25 percent January 1.

The not-so-subtle disparities between the USA and Chinese official statements highlight how much a gap needs to closed in the three-month trade war time-out. If they can't, the US tariff increases will go into effect on the $200 billion in Chinese imports.

Trump nevertheless praised himself for the dinner, and abandoned nuance in claiming on Twitter that China had agreed to immediately buy more USA farm products, in addition to dropping vehicle tariffs.

China trade hawks signaled skepticism with the deal, warning that Beijing is likely stalling the administration with false promises.

In a Tweet on Sunday night, Trump said: "China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. now the tariff is 40%".

What happens if there's no deal after 90 days?

"Beyond the political spin, the meeting between Trump and Xi can be considered a success in that the threatened escalation of trade tensions has been pushed back three months and the two parties are once again communicating", Greg Daco of Oxford Economics said.

USA officials for years have been pressing the Chinese government to take a tougher stance against fentanyl, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin. "China's reform and opening-up's broad perspective recognizes that the rest of the world does things differently", it said in its editorial.

Kudlow told reporters that while there was no agreement on the final level for tariffs on United States autos "I expect those tariffs to go to zero".


The president also touted an agreement with China to reduce tariffs on cars entering China from the United States.

White House adviser Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said Monday that no agreement had been reached on what the new tariff would be, but he expected levies to plummet.

If the tariffs are removed altogether, it would be "much more advantageous" for the German carmakers rather than U.S. brands, he said.

However, it did not indicate if that was a plan with specific goals or something that was merely desirable. A temporary truce rather than an agreement was reached between the two, where both sides would negotiate over trade and China's alleged malpractices in forced technology transfer.

However, concerns remain over the differences between the official statements released by the two countries. Lot's of talk and photo ops, but no real progress.

"Given the complexity of interactions between the two economies, the rest of the world will still be holding its collective breath", it said.

At the dinner, Trump said his ties to Xi were "a very primary reason" for considering a deal possible.

That's surely good news, and it's the first indication since the U.S.

He said the meeting with Trump was a "representation of our personal friendship".

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