Xi-Trump meeting provides direction for China-US relations, say experts

Ann Santiago
December 7, 2018

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump on December 5 wrote on Twitter that China was sending "strong signals", and expressed optimism that the regime would fulfill its side of the bargain.

There has also been confusion on the United States side, with the White House, Trump and his advisers making conflicting statements as to the details of a deal.

While he said he would "happily sign" a fair deal that addresses United States concerns, he warned: "remember, I am a Tariff Man". 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. While toy makers in China such as Lung Cheong haven't been hit by the USA tariffs so far, they are nervous about the fallout should the two nations fail to find common ground in the next three months.

"China has routinely exploited loopholes in the World Trade Organisation rules, imposed market restrictions, forced technology transfers, and stolen intellectual property".

For its part, China has said it will import more U.S. products to reduce its trade surplus, but no dollar amount has been publicly discussed.

On the other hand, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow refused to confirm any of these boasts.

Gao confirmed for the first time since the high-stakes meeting that China had agreed to implement consensus reached by both sides on agriculture, energy and cars, although he did not give details on any specific measures.

And in the United States, home sales have fallen sharply in the past year as mortgage rates have jumped.

"It's impossible for China to cancel its industry policies or major industry and technology development plans", said economist Cui Fan of the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing.

The important meeting between Xi and Trump happened in a critical time, Zhang added. China has responded with its own tariffs.

BMW, the largest exporter of American-made vehicles has been planning to boost output of utility vehicles from its Spartanburg, South Carolina plant with the launch of its new flagship, the X7 SUV - many of them bound for China. This fundamental misunderstanding of economics, combined with his reckless announcement of the detente that wasn't, scared investors and continues to undermine his administration's efforts at reaching a real trade deal with China.

However, the Dow Jones industrial average plunged 800 points Tuesday over confusion about what the U.S and China will do going forward, and investors are looking for hints as what to expect Thursday when markets open again.

Su believed that the important consensus reached by Xi and Trump would offer direction for future China-U.S. relations.

China's Foreign Ministry, the only government department that holds a daily briefing foreign media can attend, has repeatedly referred questions on details to the Commerce Ministry, which has yet to say anything.

In the meantime, the outlines of the agreement remain hazy and in some cases confusing.

US President Donald Trump threatened on Friday (22 June) to impose a 20% import tariff on all cars manufactured in the European Union if recent sanctions the bloc slapped on Washington are not "broken down and removed", continuing the tit for tat trade war with America's nominal allies.

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