-China trade war, only to fall sharply on Tuesday as presidential tweets and contradictory messages from senior administration officials indicated that the "deal" might be less firm than previously thought.
"If it is we will get it done".
Referring to himself as a "Tariff Man", Trump issued a series of tweets that only further deepened the murkiness surrounding the trade truce that the two leaders said they had reached Saturday evening on the sidelines of the Group of 20 meeting.
Both countries had been locked into a trade war for much of the year, until Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed over the weekend to suspend new tariffs and re-enter talks.
Trump addressed one of the concerns by indicating he would not be opposed to extending the 90-day truce.
China was already hit with $50 billion worth of tariffs earlier this year. In his Twitter posts on Tuesday, Trump said they might need an extension if the 90-day timeline didn't prove sufficient. "They have said that these are targets and that that is their expectation", Mnuchin told the Fox Business Network. There, all sides agree, the American president agreed to postpone an increase in tariffs on Chinese imports to 25 percent from 10 percent, which was scheduled to take effect January 1, in exchange for negotiations on broader economic disputes.
Beijing has not yet confirmed the move and President Trump's advisers appeared less certain about the agreement. The Chinese said the United States agreed to more market access, which the White House didn't refer to in its statement.
China's reticence contrasted with the parade of USA officials talking about the deal on Monday, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House Economic Adviser Larry Kudlow. Those have included pledges to "remove or reduce" auto tariffs on USA vehicle makers and purchases of agricultural products.
The legislation, which was not put to a vote, envisaged using revenue raised by the duties to compensate those harmed by China's actions.
‘I am a tariff man’: Trump warns China against raiding ‘great wealth’ of US as trade talks start
"President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will". White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the figure was a broad benchmark that would depend on private transactions for United States goods and was subject to market conditions.
White House trade director Peter Navarro detailed on Monday what the administration hopes to accomplish by lifting tariffs on China for 90 days.
"China is supposed to start buying Agricultural product and more immediately", he tweeted. "MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN", he continued.
He "seems to be convinced that tariffs are actually a tax paid by other countries, not by the American consumer as is in fact the case", said Jorge Guajardo, a former Mexican ambassador to China.
"But if a fair deal is able to be made with China, one that does all of the many things we know must be finally done, I will happily sign".
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 biggest economies in Buenos Aires.
"He's constantly invoking the stock exchange as a referendum on his presidency", Guajardo said.
The only actual achievement so far, apart from a commitment to talk, was China's winning of an extension of the window before the proposed increase in the tariffs cuts in, which also pushes back the point at which Trump's threat to impose tariffs on China's remaining $US267 billion of exports to the U.S. might be imposed.
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