US delays raising tariffs on Chinese goods

The leaders of the world's two largest economies, Donald Trump and Xi Jinping, agreed to a temporary truce on trade at a highly anticipated dinner in Argentina. CNN's Steven Jiang has the details.

Posted: Dec 3, 2018 10:27 AM
Updated: Dec 3, 2018 10:42 AM

Stock markets across the world rose Monday after the United States and China agreed to a temporary truce in their trade war, negotiated over dinner in Argentina on Saturday.

But stark differences in the language used by Washington and Beijing in announcing the deal could spell trouble as both countries begin negotiations aimed at striking a permanent end to trade tensions.

US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping met for more than two hours on the sidelines of the G20 meeting after months of tough talk on trade and tariffs on hundreds of billions of dollars of goods.

Following the meeting, both sides proclaimed the meeting a success, with Trump pledging to pause the introduction of stricter trade measures ahead of further negotiations.

But the language used in the Trump administration's announcement of the deal was very different to that in Chinese government statements, especially on Beijing's promises to buy more US goods and the possibility of removing existing tariffs.

Even the 90-day deadline set by the Trump administration was nowhere to be found in Chinese media coverage.

Bonnie Glaser, director of the CSIS China Power Project in Washington, told CNN the disparity showed there was "a lot of room for misunderstanding" in the deal between Trump and Xi.

"I think that there's still enormous uncertainty about what the outcome of these negotiations will be," she said.

90 day deadline?

Before the meeting with Xi, Trump had set a January 1 deadline for increasing tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%.

Although talks appear to have gone well, it wasn't clear from the resulting statements whether Beijing realized Trump's ultimatum wasn't canceled -- only postponed.

According to a readout from the White House, the two leaders agreed "that they will endeavor to have this transaction completed within the next 90 days."

"If at the end of this period of time, the parties are unable to reach an agreement, the 10% tariffs will be raised to 25%," the White House statement said.

But in Chinese coverage, there was no mention of a deadline, instead painting the news as a indefinite halt while negotiations continued.

"(Parties) agreed not to impose new additional tariffs," the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.

'Substantial' new purchases?

The actual substance of the deal was also very different depending on whose assessment you read.

According to the US statement, part of the deal to halt stricter tariffs was that the Chinese side would make unspecified but "very substantial" purchases of US goods immediately.

"(China will purchase) agricultural, energy, industrial and other products from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between the two countries," Washington said. "China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately."

But again, there was no reference to new purchases in Chinese statements, which only reported that parties wanted to reach a "concrete deal that is mutually beneficial."

Glaser said this omission was understandable in that "it's unlikely that Xi Jinping would want to tell his domestic audience that he was making concessions to the US."

Qualcomm-NXP deal back on?

It was the multibillion-dollar deal that Beijing kept in limbo, before it finally fell apart in July.

American chip maker Qualcomm wanted a merger with Dutch counterpart NXP, an agreement worth $44 billion first announced in October 2016. But before it could go ahead there needed to be regulatory approval in nine jurisdictions including the European Union, South Korea and, critically, China.

Amid growing trade tensions, Beijing allowed the clock to run out and Qualcomm announced the deal was off, paying a $2 billion penalty.

After the meeting between Trump and Xi however, the White House said the deal could be back on.

"President Xi also stated that he is open to approving the previously unapproved Qualcomm-NXP deal should it again be presented to him," the readout said.

There was no mention of the promise in Chinese state media though. Qualcomm has yet to comment on the news.

No end in sight?

If Chinese statements are anything to go by, Beijing is hoping this will be the beginning of the end for the Trump trade war.

"(Both leaders) instructed the economic teams of both sides to step up negotiations toward the removal of all additional tariffs and reach a concrete deal that is mutually beneficial and win-win," Xinhua said.

Xi and his team were likely pushing hard for an end to the tariffs that some analysts have said are partly responsible for slowing China's economic growth and leading international businesses to consider pulling manufacturing out of the country.

"I think the Chinese are hoping that political and economic factors will converge to convince the Trump administration to lower the bar somewhat so that China can meet some of the requirements," Glaser said.

But whether or not a complete end to tariffs was discussed in Argentina, there was no hint of it in the White House statement.

While he praised the meeting as "highly successful" and a "great honor" to be working with Xi, Trump would only say that tariff increases are on hold for now.

Huntsville
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 63°
Florence
Clear
64° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 64°
Fayetteville
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 61°
Decatur
Overcast
61° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 61°
Scottsboro
Overcast
63° wxIcon
Hi: 80° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 63°
WAAY Radar
WAAY WAAY-TV Cam
WAAY Temperatures

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 134231

Reported Deaths: 2357
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson19572348
Mobile13320292
Montgomery8811183
Tuscaloosa8586117
Madison782078
Shelby592349
Lee588759
Baldwin545650
Marshall393343
Calhoun349942
Etowah343945
Morgan327328
Houston280221
Elmore265947
DeKalb240620
St. Clair230835
Walker230683
Talladega214628
Limestone208820
Cullman189020
Dallas178326
Franklin176729
Autauga175725
Russell17573
Lauderdale169833
Colbert164126
Blount160815
Escambia160324
Chilton156431
Jackson156011
Covington138527
Dale135844
Coffee13206
Pike119410
Chambers116142
Tallapoosa115685
Clarke108916
Marion95729
Butler91639
Barbour8737
Winston73812
Marengo71620
Pickens65614
Lowndes65327
Bibb65210
Randolph64213
Hale63428
Lawrence61623
Geneva6074
Cherokee60313
Bullock59914
Monroe5848
Clay5797
Washington55613
Perry5416
Crenshaw53632
Conecuh53511
Wilcox53111
Henry4935
Macon48119
Fayette4508
Sumter43519
Lamar3662
Cleburne3646
Choctaw34912
Greene30315
Coosa1683
Out of AL00
Unassigned00

Tennessee Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 189454

Reported Deaths: 2352
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Shelby30613455
Davidson26381303
Hamilton937494
Knox929875
Rutherford924089
Williamson519836
Sumner479497
Wilson345344
Putnam327740
Montgomery304544
Unassigned29474
Bradley291417
Out of TN284426
Madison283264
Sevier259615
Blount250424
Maury232923
Washington227635
Robertson220335
Sullivan214833
Hamblen189926
Tipton180519
Trousdale16537
Gibson163622
Hardeman155826
Wayne14955
Dyer135014
Bedford132817
Dickson125015
Coffee121013
Cumberland119218
Fayette118319
Weakley117619
Henderson116924
Anderson116513
Carter115828
Obion115610
Loudon11546
Greene114244
McMinn111325
Jefferson111014
Warren10477
Macon104620
Monroe103018
Lawrence102312
Hardin102216
Lauderdale97916
Haywood96819
Franklin9639
Lake9182
Roane8854
McNairy87618
Carroll87420
Bledsoe8544
White8309
Rhea82112
Cheatham80510
Hawkins79618
Marshall7495
Cocke7439
Overton7355
Smith71311
Johnson6962
Chester62310
Henry6189
Lincoln6111
Giles59117
Hickman5738
DeKalb56114
Crockett53619
Marion5258
Decatur5127
Fentress4933
Claiborne4415
Campbell4394
Polk38810
Grainger3723
Union3531
Benton3369
Jackson3245
Morgan3153
Unicoi2851
Cannon2830
Grundy2835
Humphreys2463
Sequatchie2312
Meigs2263
Clay2245
Houston2143
Scott2132
Stewart1982
Lewis1961
Moore1691
Van Buren1640
Perry1500
Pickett1142
Hancock1063

Community Events