China trade war truce welcomed by U.S. associations

G20: BRICS slam protectionism as China-US trade war dominate summit

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 powerhouses.

After President Donald Trump announced steep tariffs on all imports of steel and aluminum, China slapped retaliatory tariffs on the U.S. The Trump administration responded with more tariffs targeting Chinese goods, and China replied with more tariffs of its own.

Trump tweeted that China had agreed to "reduce and remove" tariffs of 40 percent on cars, though Beijing has yet to confirm the move.

While he praised the meeting as "highly successful" and a "great honor" to be working with Xi, Trump would only say that tariff increases are on hold for now.

One of China's major concerns is US interference in areas it considers "internal" matters.

The two sides also agreed to begin discussions on how to resolve issues of concern, including intellectual property protection, non-tariff trade barriers and cyber theft.

In turn, China will agree to purchase a "not yet agreed upon, but very substantial" amount of agricultural, energy, and industrial products from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between the two nations.

But as trade tensions ratcheted up with the USA this summer, Beijing retaliated by slapping vehicles imported from the USA with an extra 25 per cent tariff, bringing the total tariff rate to 40 per cent. Meanwhile, the Xinhua news agency also reported, citing the Chinese Foreign Ministry, that the two countries had agreed to expedite talks toward eliminating all additional tariffs.

Both sides gained from hitting the pause button, with Trump securing a Chinese pledge to import more USA goods and Xi staving off the further pressure that higher tariffs would place on his country's slowing economy. "On standard trade issues, this is where we were weeks ago", Derek Scissors, a China scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and sometimes adviser to the administration, told the Washington Post. China also blocked a tie-up between two major semiconductor manufacturers, Qualcomm and NXP, as a response to American trade tariffs.

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"Both sides believe that the principled agreement reached between the two presidents has effectively prevented the further expansion of economic frictions between the two countries", he said.

Trump, speaking to reporters on Air Force One after the plane departed Argentina, said his agreement with Xi, will go down "as one of the largest deals ever made".

After 90 days, if there's no progress on structural reform, the US will raise those tariffs to 25 percent, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.

The outcome gives both sides enough to boast of a win without resolving the fundamental differences between them. "Ninety days is very little time to fix these perennial issues".

China is the world's biggest vehicle market both in terms of demand and supply.

Despite the questions, US President Donald Trump was in an ebullient mood, promising benefits to US farmers and vehicle companies.

"This is probably the best case scenario that markets were hoping for", Rakuten Securities Australia, a brokerage based in Sydney, stated in a note.

"President Xi and I have a very strong and personal relationship. Farmers, I LOVE YOU!" the USA president tweeted. Mr. Trump had warned that a disappointing outcome could prompt more US tariffs.

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