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Hawkish US trade official Lighthizer tapped to lead China trade talks

05 December, 2018, 04:32 | Author: Kristi Dunn
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President Donald Trump declared himself "Tariff Man" in a tweet that contributed to investors' fears about the tenuous US-China trade truce.

China's government isn't yet able to formulate its response to the summit on trade with Mr Trump as senior officials are still out of the country with Mr Xi this week, according to three officials who were briefed but declined to be named as the matter isn't public.

The president's Treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, told reporters Monday that there will be "specific changes right away" to help the agricultural industry, even as the majority of the tentative agreement remains to be worked out over a 90-day-period agreed upon between the USA and China. "I wouldn't read a lot into that myself", said Kudlow, speaking at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council's annual conference in Washington. China imposes a 15 per cent tariff on imported vehicles and raised the levy on US cars to 40 per cent in retaliation for tariffs the Trump administration imposed on Chinese products.

Trump and Xi said they would hold off on imposing additional tariffs for 90 days starting on December 1 while they sought to resolve their trade disputes that have seen the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods disrupted by tariffs. "I'm taking President Xi at his word, at his commitment to President Trump".

Kudlow explained that the 90-day countdown clock doesn't actually start until January 1, when President Trump's threatened increase in tariffs was set to take effect prior to the tentative agreement reached over the weekend.

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.

Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi told reporters, "The two presidents agreed that the two sides can and must get bilateral relations right". At the end of the day, two realities remain: the U.S.is now an energy (oil and gas) producing super power alongside the ranks of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, while China, conversely, is the world's largest energy consumer, which gives it less leverage in ongoing trade and even geopolitical negotiations and developments.

In Syria shot down an Israeli warplane
Another missile hit the area of Harfa, near the Israeli border, where there is a Syrian military base, the UK-based monitor said. According to the Israel Defense Forces, the remnants of the missile were found in an open field on the Golan heights.

Global investors, who had feared for months that a protracted trade war could hurt economic growth, seemed to cheer the cease-fire on Monday, but U.S. markets slid back on Tuesday as it became clear that there were few concrete commitments that came out of the discussions so far.

Instead, Kudlow said a proposed gesture to reduce auto tariffs to zero would serve as a "litmus test" on China's commitments to fulfill a broad strokes agreement reached between the two leaders.

Wang added that the two also agreed to open markets to each other, and that China will work to gradually resolve U.S. concerns in the process of further opening-up. "But as he found out with Mexico, Canada and now China, trade is more than the sum of goods and services exchanged between nations".

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

"Both parties agree that they will endeavor to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days".

In a series of tweets, Trump celebrated the opening of negotiations between China and the US.

"Let the negotiations begin", Trump wrote on Tuesday.

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