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

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Getty Image

Investors who had applauded the deal on Monday turned sharply negative Tuesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell more than 3 percent, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 3.2 percent and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC tumbled 3.8 percent. "I am a Tariff Man", Trump wrote on Twitter. "It will always be the best way to max out our economic power", he said on Tuesday.

As I noted yesterday, the agreement between Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping seemed to be little more than a series of vague goals with no concrete timeline or definitive way to measure progress.

China's national currency has shot upwards more dramatically over the past two days than over the last decade after the country reached a truce in its trade war with the United States, and in light of a temporary decline in the dollar prices.

The U.S. leader said U.S. farmers "will be a very BIG and FAST beneficiary of our deal with China". Trump, meanwhile, paints himself as a master deal-maker, so it is also to be expected that he would try to portray the truce as more historic than it actually is. "It goes down, certainly, if it happens, it goes down as one of the largest deals ever made". Those have included pledges to "remove or reduce" auto tariffs on United States vehicle makers and purchases of agricultural products.

One Chinese official told Reuters officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicizing details. They wouldn't even acknowledge that there was a 90-day deadline under which they were operating.

The U.S. embassy in Beijing posted a Chinese version of the White House's readout of the meeting on the popular WeChat platform on social media, but reposting it was not possible. Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina.

The United States expects China to take immediate action to cut tariffs on USA auto imports and end intellectual property theft and forced technology transfers as the two countries move toward a broader trade deal, Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Counci, said on Monday. But Kudlow acknowledged on Tuesday that so far they haven't seen any evidence of concrete steps being taken. "I wouldn't read a lot into that myself", said Kudlow, speaking at the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council's annual conference in Washington.

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European, Japanese and South Korean automakers would ultimately benefit from a flat, tariff-free rate on autos, Hufbauer said.

"It looks to me that the ball is being moved in the right direction", Kudlow said.

‎U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has been helping to lead trade talks for the administration on multiple fronts, including China.

China, for its part, also agreed to offset its massive trade imbalance with the U.S.by buying more, but not yet specified amounts, of energy products, agricultural, industrial and other products.

Officials in Beijing did not respond to requests for an explanation and neither did the Chinese embassy in Washington.

"If it is we will get it done".

"You don't do this with the Chinese". Trump has not promised to lift all tariffs against Chinese goods. "But as he found out with Mexico, Canada and now China, trade is more than the sum of goods and services exchanged between nations". As part of that the US said it had agreed to hold off on raising tariffs January 1 while negotiations took place.

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

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