Trump dubs himself 'Tariff Man,' threatens tougher stance with Chinese

Andrew Cummings
December 4, 2018

"China is supposed to start buying Agricultural product and more immediately", he tweeted. And Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Tuesday on the Fox Business Network that China agreed to buy $1.2 trillion of USA products, but added, "if that's real" it would close the trade deficit with China and said "we have to have a negotiated agreement and have this on paper".

China's foreign ministry said on Monday that the two presidents had instructed their economic teams to work towards removing all tariffs.

China said last week that tariffs on USA autos would be 15 per cent if not for the trade dispute, and it called for a negotiated solution.

What is clear is that if no deal or further extension of talks is agreed upon by March 1, the US's tariffs on roughly $200 billion worth of Chinese goods will increase from the current 10% rate to 25%. "But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man", Trump said.

"When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so", he said.

Unless extended, negotiations will now continue for three months from the date of Trump and Xi's dinner at the G20 summit in Argentina on Saturday.

Washington and Beijing said they will try to achieve a permanent deal within the next 90 days, however the USA still has significant leverage, stating that if a formal deal can't be reached then it will hike tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent, which could roil global stock markets, stagnate global economic growth, dampen oil demand growth and possibly lead to a recession across the globe, particularly in emerging economies.

‎U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has been helping to lead trade talks for the administration on multiple fronts, including China.

The president tweeted directly to US farmers, some of whom have suffered as a result of Chinese counter-tariffs, to say "Farmers, I LOVE YOU!"

The United States also expects China to promptly address structural issues, including intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers.

A lack of detail from the Chinese side has left investors and analysts wondering if Trump's exuberance is warranted, and if details touted by the White House but left out of Chinese reporting on the agreement are in question.

He later said China had committed to buying large amounts of United States agricultural products and completely removing all tariffs on USA automobiles, a huge shift from its current 40 per cent penalty.

"Just two days before his meeting with Xi, Trump told reporters that he "[liked] the deal we have right now", referring to "billions and billions of dollars coming into the United States in the form of tariffs or taxes".

"But if a fair deal is able to be made with China, one that does all of the many things we know must be finally done, I will happily sign", Trump said.

Trump's disparate statements about his commitment to brokering a lasting deal with China were the result of him trying to both appease the stock markets and gain leverage in the negotiations with China at the same time, Guajardo said.

Other reports by iNewsToday