President Trump Expects China to Act Immediately on Trade Issues, the Details
The Trump Administration expects immediate action by China on trade issues after a deal reached by the countries’ leaders, including lower tariffs on automobiles and measures against intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers, a White House official said Monday.
US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to hold off on new tariffs for 90 days during talks in on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit Argentina on Saturday, declaring a truce following months of escalating tensions on trade and other issues.
A White House official said the 90-day period started on 1 December. Earlier, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow told reporters it would start on 1 January.
The Chinese offered more than $1.2-T in additional commitments on trade, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said Monday. Mr. Kudlow said that figure was a broad benchmark and referred to private transactions for buying US goods, subject to market conditions.
China also committed immediately to start lifting tariffs and non-tariff barriers, including reducing its 40% tariffs on autos, Mr. Kudlow said.
“We expect those tariffs to fall to Zero,” he told reporters.
Americans will get majority ownership in companies in China for the 1st time, which should help address top US concerns about including intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.
Secretary Mnuchin said there was a shift in tone at Buenos Aires from past discussions as President Xi offered a clear commitment to open China’s markets to US companies.
“This is the 1st time that we have a commitment from them that this will be a real agreement,” Secretary Mnuchin said.
Mr. Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, said he, Secretary Mnuchin and US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer held 2 private meetings with China’s Vice Premier Liu He in Argentina and he told them that Beijing would move immediately on the new commitments.
“The history here with China promises is not very good. And we know that,” Mr. Kudlow said. “However, I will say this: President Xi has never been this involved.”
Mr. Kudlow said: “They cannot slow walk this, stall this, meander this. Their word: ‘immediately.’”