China and the United States agree not to impose new additional tariffs

Andrew Cummings
December 7, 2018

"China will start from agricultural products, autos and energy to immediately implement specific items that China and the USA have agreed upon", Ministry of Commerce Spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing.

Ahead of his attendance at former President George H.W. Bush's state funeral Wednesday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to express optimism about the state of trade negotiations with China following Tuesday's stock market plunge.

The clock started ticking on December 1, when Trump met in Buenos Aires with China's leader Xi Jinping and agreed to work towards an agreement to roll back the exchange of tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars in two-way trade.


The White House on Monday had to correct a statement by economic adviser Larry Kudlow, who incorrectly told reporters in a conference call that the 90-day negotiating period between the US and China would begin on January 1 instead of December 1.

As part of the truce, Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise the tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports to 25% beginning 1 January, leaving them at the current 10% rate. He added that the talks will also address areas such as intellectual property rights, technology cooperation, market access, and the trade imbalance.

U.S. imports from China rose 4.4 percent while exports fell 6.7 percent as China's retaliatory tariffs have led to reduced exports of USA soy beans.


According to Xinhua news agency, experts said "the important meeting sends a positive signal in the development of China-US relations, one of the most important bilateral ties in the world".

Furthermore, Kudlow seemed to downplay Trump's assertion following the meeting that China agreed to reduce or eliminate its tariffs on American automobiles, telling reporters that there was no "specific" agreement reached.

Gao's briefing came hours after the trade detente risked being rattled by the arrest in Canada of a top executive from Chinese telecom giant Huawei at the request of the United States.


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