US expects immediate action from China on trade commitments

WASHINGTON: The United States expects China to take immediate action to cut tariffs on US car imports and end intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers as the two countries move toward a broader trade deal, a White House official said.
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday agreed to a ceasefire in a trade war that has seen the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods between the world’s two largest economies disrupted by tariffs.
The two leaders agreed to hold off on imposing more tariffs for 90 days starting December 1 while they negotiate a deal to end the dispute following months of escalating tensions.
Global markets rose on Monday to their highest levels in about three weeks on the news. On Wall Street, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite all gained more than 1 per cent.
US soybean futures rose to their highest level since at least August, part of a broader commodities rally.
China offered more than $1.2 trillion in additional commitments on trade at the dinner between Xi and Trump on Saturday, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said.
White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the figure was a broad benchmark that would depend on private transactions for US goods and was subject to market conditions.
China committed to start lifting tariffs and non-tariff barriers immediately, including reducing its 40 per cent tariffs on autos, Kudlow said.
“We expect those tariffs to fall to zero,” he told reporters.
Americans would get a majority ownership in Chinese companies for the first time, Kudlow said on CNBC. Trump has made improving the terms of trade for the United States a signature of his “America First” presidency and has prided himself on confronting Beijing over trade practices that the United States and its allies complain are unfair.
“My meeting in Argentina with President Xi of China was an extraordinary one,” Trump tweeted on Monday. “We are dealing from great strength, but China likewise has much to gain if and when a deal is completed. Level the field!” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Tuesday referred questions on the details of the trade agreement to the commerce ministry, which has yet to provide any.
He reiterated that during the meeting the two leaders agreed their economic teams would step up talks to work towards getting rid of all the tariffs, and aim for a mutually beneficial deal so that trade and economic relations can get back on a “healthy” track as soon as possible.
— Reuters