Trump optimistic despite haze around China trade

07 December, 2018, 00:19 | Author: Elaine Woods
  • Shanghai skyline at night. Source Shutterstock

Sharp declines in US Treasury yields added to the downbeat mood as investors fretted about the state of the global economy and even the possibility of a US recession.

At the start of the administration, Trump failed on that front when he pulled the United States out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership - a pact joining 12 major trading economies along the Pacific Rim in a trade agreement created to push back against China's mercantilist behavior. Italy's government is seeking to spend and borrow more, which could elevate interest rates and stifle growth.

China imports nearly 90 percent of its soybeans, and the United States had been the country's primary supplier of soybeans.

President Donald Trump pressed senior executives of leading German automakers to expand their investments in the United States as the White House considers imposing new tariffs on European-made vehicles.

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.

"I don't think this meeting or anything else for that matter, right now, is moving toward auto tariffs", Kudlow told reporters Monday.

A day later, President Trump said on his Twitter that "the negotiations with China have already started" and that the deal will probably happen.

Trump added that a 90-day timetable for negotiators to reach a deeper agreement had begun and that his aides would see "whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible". "Narrow agreements and modest concessions in their ongoing trade dispute will not bridge the wide gulf in their respective economic, political and strategic interests".

That includes more purchases of USA farm products, which Trump - seemingly trying to remind Xi - has said will begin "immediately".

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Last week, BMW said it was considering building a second manufacturing plant in the United States that could produce engines and transmissions, drawing praise from Trump, who has made the revitalization of USA manufacturing a key pillar of his economic program.

Stock markets rose Monday after USA officials touted the agreement as a historic breakthrough.

Alec Phillips and other economists at Goldman Sachs wrote in a research note: "The actual amount of concrete progress made at this meeting appears to have been quite limited".

It was not clear whether the preparations meant China would cut the retaliatory tariffs it imposed on those products, or when the purchases would happen.

He told reporters that China had said it was willing to "expand imports according to the needs of its domestic market and people, including importing marketable products from the United States to gradually ease the trade imbalances", adding that both sides had agreed to open their markets to each other.

China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries.

The two sides will also negotiate "structural changes" to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture, according to the White House.

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

The Hong Kong newspaper South China Morning Post, citing unidentified sources, said Beijing was preparing to send a 30-member negotiating team to Washington.

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