China swings to trade action as 'tariff man' increases pressure

National security adviser John Bolton   Alex Wong    
  Getty Images

National security adviser John Bolton Alex Wong Getty Images

Beijing will "immediately implement" terms of a tariff ceasefire with Washington and is "full of confidence" a trade agreement can be reached within 90 days, a Chinese government spokesman has said.

The United States said Monday it will need to see "something concrete" from China in the next 90 days to build a real agreement on trade, two days after Donald Trump and Xi Jinping called a truce in the escalating confrontation between the two economic powerhouses.

The U.S. and China said following Saturday's dinner that Trump had agreed to suspend a planned increase January 1 to 25% from the 10% tariffs imposed on $200 billion in imports from China in September.

The two leaders said they would hold off on imposing additional tariffs for 90 days starting December 1 while they seek a solution to their trade disputes.

Both sides will immediately hold talks on structural changes concerning forced technology transfers made by Chinese firms on US companies, intellectual property rights protection, non-tariff trade barriers, cyber intrusion concerns, cyber theft and agricultural, the White House added.

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Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said he, Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held private meetings in Argentina with China's Vice Premier Liu He, who told them Beijing would move quickly on its new commitments.

While Beijing retaliated for US tariff hikes by imposing penalty charges on American soybeans, autos and other goods, it cut duties on factory machinery and other imports from other countries. -China trade talks were on track. Vice-Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen told reporters that China and the United States would step up talks to remove the existing 25 per cent tariffs (on some other products), but gave no timeframe.

"If it is, we will get it done", Trump said in a Twitter post. Some economists said Xi might be ready to negotiate in earnest.

A lack of detail from the Chinese side has left investors and analysts wondering if Mr Trump's exuberance is warranted, and if details touted by the White House but left out of Chinese reporting on the agreement are in question.

Gen. Jack Keane said Monday on "The Story" that he's in favor of the truce agreed upon between the USA and China, but "it remains to be seen" what results it will yield. However, after this decision of ceasing the trade war Donald trump on Sunday officially tweeted that China has agreed to lower the taxes on American made cars.

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"The economics and trade teams of both sides will actively push forward negotiations within 90 days in accordance with a clear timetable and roadmap", the ministry said in a statement.

Trump "shared his vision of all automakers producing in the United States and creating a more friendly business environment", the White House said in a statement afterward.

Prices on some Chinese new vehicles have soared as a result of the 40 percent tariffs the country has put on USA -built cars and light trucks since the summer. Kudlow said USA officials would monitor Chinese progress closely.

The lower tariffs would be a boost to automakers exporting vehicles to China, including Ford and German carmaker BMW, which exports USA -built luxury vehicles to China. "MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN", he tweeted.

In exchange, China offered more than one-point-two trillion dollars in additional commitments on trade. The United States now charges tariffs of 27.5 percent on Chinese vehicles.

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