Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Markets | By Jeffery Armstrong

Trump says US-China ties make 'BIG leap forward'

Trump says US-China ties make 'BIG leap forward'

Following months of tit-for-tat retaliation over trade, China and the United States have agreed to a 90-day halt in the trade war after the top leaders of the two powers conducted discussions at the G20 meeting in Buenos Aires on December 1. That would still take effect if the sides can not agree to a larger trade deal within the three-month window.

After the 2-1/2 hour meeting, White House chief economist Larry Kudlow told reporters the talks went 'very well, ' but offered no specifics as he boarded Air Force One headed home to Washington with Trump.

"It's 90 days. It's nothing and it doesn't really make any difference".

The two presidents also agreed to begin negotiations on changes to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, and non-tariff barriers.

Beijing and Washington now have 90 days to make progress in talks over the main issues, which include U.S. complaints that China forces American companies to hand over technology and steals their intellectual property through hacking.

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The United States agreed not to raise tariffs further on January 1, while China agreed to buy more agricultural products from US farmers immediately.

Trump, who joined Xi in calling a truce on an intensifying trade war between their two powerhouse countries, earlier touted a roll-back in Chinese tariffs on US-made cars.

"China will be opening up".

"China will still need to prepare for the worst scenario of a "decoupling" of the Chinese and American economies, in particular in the high-tech sector", Wang Yong, the director of the Center for International Political Economy at Peking University, said, adding that Beijing faced an increasingly hawkish Trump administration.

Xi announced in a speech in April that China would cut tariffs on imported cars this year. Pledging to crack down Fentanyl is considered a low-hanging fruit in the Trump-Xi meeting, as China has previously pledged to work with the U.S. to stop opioid imports.

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The truce buys time for the two countries to work out their differences in a dispute over Beijing's aggressive drive to supplant USA technological dominance. The symbolism ahead of the Xi meeting was clear: The Trump administration has looked to find common cause with both nations in countering China's regional hegemony.

Trump, as often in his diplomatic dealings, appears to consider his personal chemistry with Xi the most important factor in the success of the negotiations.

"Given the complexity of interactions between the two economies, the rest of the world will still be holding its collective breath while it waits to see if the series of constructive plans that are in the works can put bilateral relations back on a cooperative rather than confrontational track", it said. Trump said on Twitter.

During the meeting, Trump and Xi were seated across from each other in the middle of the table, surrounded by their respective delegations.

The U.S. president is prone to take kindly to others when he meets them face to face. For decades, Beijing hasn't taken any concrete actions to fulfill its promises. Washington and Beijing have also increasingly been at odds over security in the Asia-Pacific region.

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