U.S. wants 'concrete' trade action from China within 90 days

Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche will be attending the White House meeting. — Reuters pic

Daimler AG CEO Dieter Zetsche will be attending the White House meeting. — Reuters pic

Chinese officials have commenced preparations to resume imports of US soybeans and liquefied natural gas (LNG) following the meeting between the two Presidents over the weekend where China agreed to enhance its imports from the U.S.

"Trump said China is planning to resume buying USA soybeans and natural gas, which he said confirms his claims that China had agreed to start "immediately" buying US products".

Investors are now grappling with the potential for a protracted conflict, as the president signaled the negotiations could be more contentious than expected.

During the meeting on Saturday, Xi and Trump agreed to suspend any new tariffs and take steps to address the trade disputes, which over the past few months had threatened to spill over into a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

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. But he added, "if that's real" - raising some doubt - it would close the USA trade deficit with China, and 'we have to have a negotiated agreement and have this on paper'.

On Monday, Kudlow said there was an "assumption" that China would eliminate auto tariffs, not a specific agreement.

In return for the postponement in the higher USA tariffs, the White House said China had agreed to step up its purchases of US farm, energy and industrial goods.

The 90-day truce in the escalating trade war between the USA and China came during a dinner meeting between the two presidents following the G-20 summit of the world's industrialized and emerging economies in Buenos Aires. While neither of these two energy products were mentioned by name, it's likely that China would not only appease the U.S.by removing tariffs on U.S. LNG imports but would also help itself since Beijing needs the diversity of supply that growing U.S. shale oil and gas exports offer. "Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting". Trump is relying on tariffs, and the threat of imposing them, to force other countries to buy more goods from America.

"When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so". Fentanyl, mixed in with heroin, has caused a spike in drug overdoses in the U.S.

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

However, there are some discrepancies in what the United States is saying and what was in the brief statement from Chinese officials.

According to Trump, . he and President Xi are "the only two people that can bring about massive and very positive change, on trade and far beyond",. adding a solution for North Korea would also be a great thing for China and the rest of the world.

His appointment of Mr Lighthizer to lead the talks instead of Mr Mnuchin puts one of the administration's toughest China critics in charge.

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