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Trump Suspends Adding New Tariffs to Chinese Imports

03 Décembre 2018

On Saturday, Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to hold off on future tariffs until March 1.

Trump gave no other details in his late-night tweet, which came shortly after he agreed with Xi to a truce in the trade war during a meeting at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina.

Xi Jinping. Photo: G20 Argentina, via Flickr.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced the "vicious" use of sanctions and trade protectionism, in a veiled swipe at United States President Donald Trump at a G20 summit.

One expert said China would have to address U.S. complaints about China's forced transfer of intellectual property rights - a major issue at the core of a U.S. "301" trade investigation - for Washington to drop its tariffs.

In May, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin declared the trade war "on hold" after Beijing agreed to increase its purchases of USA soybeans and liquefied natural gas - a move that could have put a dent in China's massive trade surplus with the United States.

An afternoon recap of the day's most important business news, delivered weekdays. Trump agreed to delay the scheduled USA tariff increase for 90 days while the two sides negotiate over the administration's technology-related complaints.

US-made vehicle brands like Tesla Inc and Ford Motor Co's Lincoln were at a major disadvantage as the move came soon after China slashed auto import tariffs for the wider market to 15 percent from 25 percent. But the magnitude and timing of such a reduction were unclear, the person said. "If you look at the White House statement there is still a lot of structural issues that the Chinese have to fulfill for the USA not to increase the tariffs".

Trump and Xi are seeking a way out of a trade war between the world's two biggest economies, while also saving face for their domestic audiences at home.

The two leaders agreed to expand cooperation based on reciprocity and mutual benefit and manage differences based on mutual respect, so as to jointly advance China-U.S. relations with coordination, cooperation and stability as the defining features.

The U.S. firm, led by billionaire Elon Musk, has said it will cut prices to make its cars "more affordable" and absorb more of the hit from the tariffs. European automakers BMW (+4.8%) and Daimler (+4.5%) also gained.

However, other political analysts expressed more optimism on the prospects of a detailed trade pact between China and the United States within 90 days.

In comments last week, Trump referred to China as "ripping off our country for many, many years". China Grand Automotive Services Co., which sells various vehicle brands and provides auto financing, surged by the 10 percent daily limit in Shanghai.

The US has hit $250b of Chinese goods with tariffs since July, and China has retaliated by imposing duties on $110b of US products. That alone, however, won't satisfy Trump's most hawkish advisers on trade, including U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and adviser Peter Navarro. About 10 per cent, or more than 280,200, cars China imported previous year came from the USA, according to China's Passenger Car Association.

Chinese state TV says agreement has been reached with the USA not to impose any additional trade tariffs after 1 January and talks will go on.

Xi appears to have offered up non-trade measures to build goodwill in the relationship at a time of multiple converging tensions, from the South China Sea to Taiwan. But U.S. crude oil was up 2.7 percent to $52.37 a barrel as of 6:07 p.m. EST (2307 GMT) on Sunday. Tesla is also building a local plant in Shanghai to help it avoid steep tariffs. There was no immediate word from China's government.

Trump Suspends Adding New Tariffs to Chinese Imports