The summit between President Xi Jinping and his United States counterpart Donald Trump in Argentina was "friendly and candid" and would help to avoid further trade tensions, a senior Chinese diplomat said Thursday, but offered no new details on the talks. Wang Yi failed to mention industrial policy or Trump's demand that Beijing make progress in changing it or face renewed duty increases.
"Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting", he said. The U.S. markets were closed on Wednesday for the national day of mourning honoring the late President George H.W. Bush. There has also been confusion just on the USA side, with the White House, Mr Trump and his advisers making conflicting statements as to the details of a deal.
The two leaders, who met on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Argentina, also made a decision to hold off on new tariffs and give negotiators three months to strike an agreement.
China issued an upbeat but vague promise Wednesday to carry out a tariff cease-fire with Washington but gave no details that might dispel confusion about what Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump agreed to in Argentina.
The Chinese Commerce Ministry said Beijing would seek to quickly implement specific issues already agreed upon, as both sides "actively promote the work of negotiations within 90 days in accordance with a clear timetable and road map".
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. That's a worst-case scenario that would immediately establish tariffs and customs checks on hundreds of billions of dollars in exports between Britain and the 27 other European Union nations.
In his tweets, the president said his advisors will work on "seeing whether or not a REAL deal with China is actually possible".
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It was the first official confirmation from China that there is a 90-day window for the talks.
While Mr Trump said talks with China and the 90-day truce period had already started, China did not clarify when the 90-day period was supposed to begin.
He later said China had committed to buying large amounts of United States agricultural products and completely removing all tariffs on U.S. automobiles, a huge shift from its current 40 per cent penalty.
Trump, however, has threatened to slap tariffs on auto imports from Europe and other countries, citing US trade deficits with those nations.
Chinese purchases for the aforementioned products have almost completely halted after Beijing imposed tariffs on them in response to the USA tariffs on Chinese goods.
In addition, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday on the Fox Business Network that China agreed to buy $1.2 trillion of USA products.
In return for the postponement in the higher US tariffs, the White House said China had agreed to step up its purchases of USA farm, energy and industrial goods.
However, it still remains unclear when the purchases will take place and whether China will remove the retaliatory tariffs on these products or not; Beijing may instead choose to reimburse buyers for the tariffs paid as they have previously done so.