Donald Trump Has "Puzzled and Irritated" China on Trade, Report Claims

US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to give negotiators 90 days to resolve their trade spat after they met in Buenos Aires at the G20 summit

The two leaders, who met on the sidelines of a Group of 20 summit in Argentina, also chose to hold off on new tariffs and give negotiators three months to strike an agreement.

China's foreign ministry, the only government department that holds a daily briefing foreign media can attend, has repeatedly referred questions on details to the commerce ministry, which has yet to say anything.

Officials from the United States and a number of other major economies have often criticized China for its slow approach to negotiations and not following through on commitments.

The Trump administration has already levied around $250 billion worth of duties on Chinese goods and promised to tax an additional $267 billion in imports from China if it doesn't change its trade practices.

But if a deal doesn't happen, he warned, "I am a tariff man".

Last month, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, which advises numerous world's richest economies, warned that the global economy had passed its peak and faced a slowdown driven partly by trade disputes.

The White House and Beijing have essentially reached an agreement to pause the trade war for 90 days while the two sides try to reach a formal trade deal.

But the mood has quickly soured on skepticism that the two sides will be able to reach a substantive deal on a host of highly divisive issues within the short negotiating period agreed. Failure would raise the spectre of fresh United States tariff moves and potential Chinese retaliation as early as March.

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on Chinese...

Mr Pompeo said in Brussels on Tuesday that the United States could abandon some global agreements to thwart bad actors like China, which he accused of cynically exploiting World Trade Organisation rules.

The ministry lauded Mr Trump's talks with President Xi Jinping at the weekend as "successful", and said it was "confident" their agreement would be implemented.

Chinese officials have been told to take necessary steps for the soybeans and liquefied natural gas purchases, according to two officials with knowledge of the discussions.

It did not give further details but it crucially did not contradict the U.S. president's remarks that China would buy more goods from the United States to help close their trade gap and structural changes to intellectual property protection.

Trump, meanwhile, last week signaled he is still itching to open up a third front in his global trade war, urging Congress to support what could be up to 25 percent tariffs on vehicles imported from other trade partners, such as Germany.

As I noted yesterday, the agreement between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping seemed to be little more than a series of vague goals with no concrete timeline or definitive way to measure progress.

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".

Following these tweets, Trump advisors like Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and top economic adviser Larry Kudlow were left to lower expectations and admit that while a number of issues had been discussed between the two sides, essentially no actual agreements had been reached.

This follows President Trump's tweet on December 3, saying that "China has agreed to reduce and remove tariffs on cars coming into China from the U.S. now the tariff is 40%". "Ultimately, I believe, we will be making a deal - either now or into the future", Trump wrote in a post within minutes of the Commerce Ministry statement. Leaders of the European Unionhave signaled they would echo the response of China, saddling US -made vehicles with new tariffs in response.

Investors are now grappling with the potential for a protracted conflict, as the president signaled the negotiations could be more contentious than expected.

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