Shinzo Abe’s advice to Xi Jinping on talking trade with Donald Trump

China and the Unite States agreed to a ceasefire in their bitter trade war on Dec 1 2018 after high-stakes talks in Argentina between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump

Global markets cheered the weekend accord on Monday, only to reverse course Tuesday as doubts emerged over exactly what the world's two largest economies had agreed on.

In a brief statement, the ministry said China would try to work quickly to implement specific items already agreed upon, as both sides "actively promote the work of negotiations within 90 days in accordance with a clear timetable and road map".

Trump tweeted early Wednesday that Beijing is sending "very strong signals" about a new trade framework since returning from talks over the weekend in Buenos Aires.

As a gesture of goodwill, Trump told Xi during their meeting he would hold off on raising tariffs from 10 to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods that would have taken effect on January 1.

Trump, however, has threatened to slap tariffs on auto imports from Europe and other countries, citing USA trade deficits with those nations.

China agreed to eliminate the retaliatory tariffs it had placed on United States soybeans, according to the White House, which also said Beijing had agreed to buy an unspecified but "very substantial" amount of agricultural and other products.

Failure would raise the specter of a major escalation in the trade battle, with fresh US tariff action and Chinese retaliation possibly as early as March.

Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin said on Fox News that China would face "tariffs without reciprocal tariffs attacking us" if Beijing doesn't meet certain commitments made at last week's Group of 20 summit.

Mr. Trump has used tariffs to force Beijing to the negotiating table over its long-standing trade abuses, including tariffs and other trade barriers, theft of intellectual property and forced transfer of technology from US companies doing business in China.

The tone of these tweets is noticeably quite a bit different than of those that he made the day before, in which Trump declared, unironically, that US-China relations had taken "a BIG leap forward" and that China had agreed to "reduce and remove" tariffs on cars being imported into China from the US.

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"Reaching an agreement within three months is a spur to not only China, but also the U.S. If the two sides fail to reach a deal, all the White House promises will be invalid", it said. I am a Tariff Man.

Trump has long accused China of unfair trade practices that hurt Americans and the US economy.

In a subsequent tweet, Trump said he would "happily sign" a "fair deal" that addresses U.S. concerns, should one be reached with Beijing. The slew of Trump tweets prompted markets to fall as investors lost faith in a detente between the two nations.

Officials from the US and a number of other major economies have often criticized China for its slow approach to negotiations and not following through on commitments. Fentanyl, mixed in with heroin, has caused a spike in drug overdoses in the U.S.

In late November, his office released a damning report on Chinese trade practices that gave China a low grade on resolving complaints on hacking, intellectual property theft, and forced technology transfers.

Trump has agreed to delay a rise in tariffs on China while talks continue.

"There are strong views in Japan that if China is honest about rapprochement with Japan, while respecting relevant World Trade Organisation rules based on scientific evidence, China should significantly speed up the process towards lifting the restrictions against Japanese goods and products", the source said.

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.

In return for the postponement in the higher United States tariffs, China agreed to step up its purchases of U.S. farm, energy and industrial goods, the White House said.

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