China vows quick action on U.S. trade promises: 'The sooner the better'

Vincent Yu | AP

Vincent Yu | AP

Global markets cheered the weekend accord on Monday, only to reverse course Tuesday as doubts emerged over exactly what the world's two largest economies had agreed on.

The commerce ministry said China-US trade and economic discussions were "very successful".

That gives the president 24 hours to fix the damage inflected when the market plunged nearly 800 points on Tuesday after a series of tweets from Trump suggested a trade war with China could resume next year.

'Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina.

On Wednesday, the Global Times tabloid, which is run by the Chinese Communist Party's main newspaper, said myriad statements from the Trump administration about the deal - including the agreement that China would buy $1.2 trillion in additional US goods - were created to highlight or even exaggerate facets of the deal that benefited the United States.

The US President sowed more confusion as he opened the door to lengthier negotiations with China, suggesting that they could extend beyond a 90-day deadline to reach an agreement to avoid a massive tariff increase.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, chief economic adviser Larry Kudlow and other administration officials were meeting individually with executives from each of the three automakers.

"Free trade has made the success story of BMW in the United States possible", the company said in a statement Tuesday, adding that 70 percent of the cars made in Spartanburg a year ago were exported to more than 120 countries.

Among the conflicting assertions that White House officials made was over whether China had actually agreed to drop its 40% tariffs on USA autos.

-China trade war, only to fall sharply on Tuesday as presidential tweets and contradictory messages from senior administration officials indicated that the "deal" might be less firm than previously thought.

China pledged to buy more from the United States and the White House said the two sides would negotiate "structural changes" to thorny issues plaguing relations, but few details and no dollar amounts were disclosed. "But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man", the commander-in-chief wrote about the agreement.

Trump has argued that China for decades has abused global trade rules to lure away United States jobs, steal U.S. intellectual property, subsidise its own companies, and strong-arm USA firms.

"The negotiations with China have already started".

Megan Greene, chief economist at Manulife, said the market's recent decline had likely contributed to Trump's willingness to reach a truce.

"Ultimately, I believe, we will be making a deal - either now or into the future", he wrote.

China has said comparatively little about the Trump-Xi agreement after senior Chinese officials briefed the media following the meeting, and there have been some differences between US and Chinese accounts of what the deal entails. Mnuchin said Monday morning on CNBC that China had offered to buy up to US$1.2 trillion of additional U.S. goods, even while the "details of that still need to be negotiated". The Dow finished the day just a hair over 25,000 points-meaning that the stock market has been basically flat since March 1, when Trump announced the first round of tariffs and the Dow was sitting at 24,600 points. Fentanyl, mixed in with heroin, has caused a spike in drug overdoses in the U.S. "It will always be the best way to max out our economic power", he said.

One Chinese official told Reuters officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicising details.

Also, China's commerce ministry made no mention of the vehicle tariff cuts which Mr Trump said earlier this week China had agreed to.

The White House's press release said that the People's Republic "will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other products".

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