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Trump dubs himself 'Tariff Man,' threatens tougher stance with Chinese

06 December 2018

For their part, Trump and White House officials have promoted the apparent US-China agreement in Buenos Aires as a historic breakthrough that would ease trade tensions and potentially reduce tariffs - even though Beijing has not confirmed that it made most of the concessions that the Trump administration has claimed.

Trump had threatened to tax imported cars, trucks and auto parts, potentially targeting imports that previous year totaled $335 billion, and the European Union had warned that it would retaliate with tariffs on products worth $20 billion if Trump put duties on cars and auto parts from Europe.

WASHINGTON-President Donald Trump has presented Chinese leader Xi Jinping with a carrot and a stick on trade negotiations between their two countries, three days after their meeting in Argentina during the G-20 summit.

But concerns linger over discrepancies in information coming from either side. Instead of being hammered out by lower-level officials, he said Xi came very prepared for the conversation, and that the deal was mostly done by the two leaders.

The Ministry of Commerce statement described the meeting with the USA as "very successful" and said China is "confident" of implementing the results agreed upon at the talks, but didn't provide any further details on the outcome.

Beijing will start to quickly implement specific items where there's consensus with the USA and will push forward on trade negotiations within the 90-day "timetable and road map", the Ministry of Commerce said in a statement on Wednesday morning in China.

After some confusion Monday about who would head the talks with China, Trump suggested Tuesday that U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer would take the lead, "working closely with" Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, economic advisor Larry Kudlow, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and trade advisor Peter Navarro.

"President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will", Trump wrote.

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Mr Russell-Moyle received a standing ovation from his colleagues as he concluded the speech. He stood down from the Commons at that year's general election.

Noting the applause at the end of Xi-Trump summit, Mr Geng asked: "I don't know (what) people clapping at that time now mean by saying this type of thing". He told reporters that China had said it was willing to "expand imports according to the needs of its domestic market and people, including importing marketable products from the U.S. to gradually ease the trade imbalances", adding that both sides had agreed to open their markets to each other.

His Tuesday tweets said "The negotiations with China have already started", Trump adding that his White House team will be "seeing whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible".

Among the conflicting assertions that White House officials made was over whether China had actually agreed to drop its 40 percent tariffs on USA autos.

Meanwhile, as Trump and White House officials tout the truce, Beijing has said little on a pact that cheered markets but left many questions unanswered. The European Union warned that it would retaliate with tariffs on USA products.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on Chinese...

While Trump has long championed the tariffs, even referring to them as "the greatest", they are ultimately a tax on American consumers that raise the cost of goods.

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. Trump has not promised to lift all tariffs against Chinese goods. Many companies have already switched their purchases from China to another country to avoid the potential 25 per cent tariff.

"There are strong views in Japan that if China is honest about rapprochement with Japan, while respecting relevant World Trade Organisation rules based on scientific evidence, China should significantly speed up the process towards lifting the restrictions against Japanese goods and products", the source said.

Trump dubs himself 'Tariff Man,' threatens tougher stance with Chinese