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Trump Delays China Tariffs; Currencies Gain Ground

02 March, 2019, 07:55 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • US President Donald Trump with Chinese Vice Premier Liu He at the White House on Feb 22 2019

President Donald Trump stoked expectations Monday for a successful conclusion to U.S.

"The emergence of new uncertainty can not be ruled out, and the long-term nature, complexity, and difficulty of China-US trade frictions must be clearly recognised", Xinhua said.

"We're going to have another summit".

Trump hinted that if additional progress is made, he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would seal a deal, adding that a meeting could take place at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida.

"So hopefully we can get that completed, but we're getting very close", he told governors during a business summit at the White House.

USA tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese goods had been scheduled to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

Tariffs had been scheduled to jump from 10 to 25 percent next Saturday. The Dow Jones Industrial average gained 0.2 percent to 26,091.95, while the Nasdaq composite rose 0.4 percent, to 7,554.46. That paled alongside the performance of Chinese stocks, which enjoyed their best day in more than three years Monday, with the blue-chip CSI 300 index rising almost 6 percent.

But critics worry the president has given up leverage.

The Trump administration has been pressing China for specific commitments for sweeping changes to protect intellectual property rights, end cyber-theft of trade secrets and practices that coerce US companies to turn over technology to Chinese firms. "But they also think that maybe the tariffs have done some good in provoking very serious negotiations between the two sides", Stratford told Reuters earlier.

"Trump clearly wants a deal and so do the Chinese, which certainly raises the probability that the two sides will come to some sort of negotiated agreement, even if it is a partial one, in the coming weeks", said Cornell University economist Eswar Prasad, former head of the International Monetary Fund's China division.

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Weakness in both countries' manufacturing industries may be motivating the American and Chinese presidents to seek a deal, according to Pantheon Macroeconomics, a financial research firm.

Shares in Shanghai surged by more than five percent Monday - leading a rally across Asian markets - following Trump's announcement of a delay in the tariffs increase.

Reuters reported exclusively on Wednesday that the two sides are starting to sketch out an agreement on structural issues, drafting language for six memorandums of understanding on proposed Chinese reforms.

Trump tweeted that there had been "productive talks" on some of the hard issues dividing the US and China, adding that "I will be delaying the USA increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1". It cautioned there are "still some differences that need more time to be ironed out".

"China is paying us right now billions and billions of tariffs a month, I love it personally, I love it, but it's hurting them", Trump said and then recounted his fentanyl deal with Xi.

President Donald Trump relitigated his year-old beef with sports media personality LaVar Ball, whose son, along with two other players, was apprehended in China for theft while he was playing basketball for UCLA in 2017.

It's better than the alternative, which is to make production practically impossible here in the USA via the Green New Deal, incentivizing factories and growth elsewhere including China and making Americans even more dependent on imports.

Last week, the president suggested that the dispute over Huawei Technologies, the world's largest communications equipment manufacturer, was also part of the discussion.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue called China's pledges to purchase U.S. agricultural produce premature.

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