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Wednesday, China expressed confidence that it can reach a trade deal with the United States.
The remarks by the Chinese Commerce Ministry from Beijing followed Presidents Trump and Xi declaring a truce in the trade dispute at a meeting in Argentina Saturday evening.
The ministry said China would try to work quickly to 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.”
“We are confident in implementation,” it said, calling the latest bi-lateral talks “very successful.”
President Trump, via Twitter, held out the possibility of an extension of the truce but warned tariffs would be back on the table if the talks failed to be productive
“The negotiations with China have already started. Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina,” President Trump Tweeted.
He said he would place “major tariffs” on Chinese goods imported into the United States if his administration is unable to reach an effective trade deal with Beijing.
“We are either going to have a REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all – at which point we will be charging major tariffs against Chinese product being shipped into the United States. Ultimately, I believe, we will be making a deal – either now or into the future,” President Trump wrote in a post within mins of the Commerce Ministry statement.
China’s Foreign Ministry referred specific questions to the Commerce Ministry, which is due to hold its weekly news briefing on Thursday in Beijing.
“We hope the two working teams from both sides can, based on the consensus reached between the two countries’ leaders, strengthen consultations, and reach a mutually beneficial agreement soon,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told reporters.
Failure would raise the specter of a major escalation in the trade battle, with fresh US tariff action possibly as early as March.
The White House says China had committed to start buying more American products and lifting tariff and non-tariff barriers immediately, while beginning talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers and intellectual property protection.
Sources told Reuters that Chinese Crude Oil trader UNIPEC plans to resume buying US Crude Oil by March after the Xi-Trump deal reduced the risk of tariffs on those imports. China’s Crude Oil imports from the US had halted
Officials from the U.S. and a number of other major economies have often criticized China for its slow approach to negotiations and not following through on commitments.
President Xi and his most senior officials are due back in China Thursday having visited Panama and Portugal since leaving Argentina.