Trump meets with German auto execs, tweets 'I am a Tariff Man'

DEVELOPING: US-China trade uncertainty fuels market plunge

U.S. President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, national security adviser John Bolton and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend a working dinner after the G20 leaders summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on December 1, 2018.

"Not to sound naive or anything", he added, "but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting".

"I am a Tariff Man", the president said Tuesday in one of a series of tweets about a new round of trade talks with China after the world's two largest economies imposed tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of each other's goods after Trump struck first.

Stocks on Wall Street fell sharply on Tuesday after President Trump threatened more duties on China if trade talks fall through. But in setting a short timeline (90 days) for the two sides to negotiate issues that have proved intractable in the past, and by reportedly appointing Lighthizer to lead the talks, Trump gave succor to those in the administration with an understandably jaundiced view of Beijing's past commitments to change its ways.

"The trade war between the United States and China has been put on hold for the holidays, but the respite will be brief given the 90-day deadline and inherent difficulty in addressing the fundamental factors driving trade tensions between the two countries", said Isaac Boltansky, an analyst at research firm Compass Point LLC.

Instead, the two sides are to negotiate over USA complaints about China's trade practices, notably that it has used predatory tactics to try to achieve supremacy in technology.

Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary, said that China had agreed to buy US$1.2 trillion of American products, but he could not offer specifics.




Trump added China would roll back tariffs of 40 percent on cars, though Beijing has yet to confirm the move. -China relations "will remain contentious".

After describing the agreement made between China and the United States during the G-20 summit in Argentina over the weekend as "an incredible deal" and "one of the largest deals ever made", Donald Trump has done an unsurprising 180 after apparently finally appearing to catch up with reality.

Trump has said China is supposed to start buying agricultural products immediately and cut its 40 per cent tariffs on United States vehicle imports. There's also been confusion just on the U.S. side, with the White House, Trump and his advisers making conflicting statements as to the details of a deal. "President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will", he said.

The catch: the ceasefire is just for 90 days, after which the US could revert to its tariff-raising plan if it sees no progress on structural reform.

In addition, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday on the Fox Business Network that China agreed to buy $1.2 trillion of US products.

What's more, it only took a few days before Trump he began threatening Beijing again.

'Then, in the next 90 days, we will follow a clear timetable and roadmap to negotiate on issues such as intellectual property right protection, tech cooperation, market access and trade balance, ' he said, stressing the consultations should be based on meeting the interests of both parties.

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