White House contradicts Trump, says there's no deal with China

Irving Hamilton
December 4, 2018

China committed to start lifting tariffs and non-tariff barriers immediately, including reducing its 40 percent tariffs on autos, Kudlow said.

However, while President Donald Trump has been talking up the truce brokered at the G20 summit as "an incredible deal" and potentially "one of the largest deals ever made", there is every reason to look closely at the fine print-or the lack thereof. The move, if verified, would hand automakers from Tesla Inc.to Daimler AG and BMW AG a potential reprieve after higher levies hit sales in the world's biggest vehicle market.

Trump has long accused China of unfair trade practices that hurt Americans and the US economy. At the end of the day, two realities remain: the U.S.is now an energy (oil and gas) producing super power alongside the ranks of Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, while China, conversely, is the world's largest energy consumer, which gives it less leverage in ongoing trade and even geopolitical negotiations and developments.

Kudlow explained that the 90-day countdown clock doesn't actually start until January 1, when President Trump's threatened increase in tariffs was set to take effect prior to the tentative agreement reached over the weekend.

"How can you buy US products if China does not reduce the tariffs?" But the magnitude and timing of such a reduction were unclear, the person said.

Per the White House: "China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries".

After the leaders of the world's two biggest economies agreed to a temporary pause in their trade war, . That's piled pressure on auto companies that have relied on the country for growth amid declining vehicle sales in the U.S. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on why they correction was made in that way.

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"By treating parliament with contempt , the government has proved it has lost its majority and the respect of the House. The sanctions ultimately available include suspending a MP, most likely Attorney-General Geoffrey Cox.

"Tariffs on US soybeans might drop as the two sides enter a honeymoon period". That's because the German luxury brands dominate the top 10 list of vehicle imports into China.

What is mentioned by both sides is China's agreement to more strongly control the trade in the opioid Fentanyl.

In dealing with China so far, Trump has lived up to his self-ascribed reputation as a "tariff man". China Grand Automotive Services Co., which sells various vehicle brands and provides auto financing, surged by the 10 per cent daily limit in Shanghai.

Kudlow was adamant, however, that China would have to move quickly with concessions that they had promised, including what he understood to be a pledge to lower tariffs on cars.

Regarding the China trade deal, White House officials have struggled to explain, for example, whether China has actually agreed to drop its 40% tariffs on USA autos. The U.S. now charges a 27.5 per cent tax on imported cars from China.

American farmers have been hit hard by China's retaliation on United States farm goods, especially soybean exports, which have plummeted. China imported 280,208 vehicles, or 10 per cent of total imported cars, from the US last year, according to China's Passenger Car Association. If talks fail, the tariff rate on $200 billion of the original $253 billion worth of goods will be hiked from 10 percent to 25 percent. The Palo Alto, California-based carmaker has been working with Shanghai's government on establishing a factory to assemble cars in China.

China only recently signaled that it may back off from its strict foreign ownership requirements for auto factories.

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