Over the weekend, at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump agreed to halt the ongoing trade war between the two superpowers for the next 90 days.
The ongoing trade war, consisting of tit-for-tat tariffs – referring to both sides’ counteracting sanctions imposed on each other’s goods – has worried the international community that it will cause another global economic crisis just 10 years after the last.
Now, with Washington and Beijing agreeing to avoid holding each other for hostile for 90 days would prevent such expected escalation. Yet, concerns remain over differences in information coming from either side, and many have been left confused and wondering if the trade war is really going to end.
Trump has taken to Twitter saying that “President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will. But if not remember, I am a Tariff Man. When people or countries come in to raid the great wealth of our Nation, I want them to pay for the privilege of doing so.”
Yesterday morning, he added: “Very strong signals being sent by China once they returned home from their long trip, including stops, from Argentina. Not to sound naive or anything, but I believe President Xi meant every word of what he said at our long and hopefully historic meeting. ALL subjects discussed!”
Since the G20 summit, President Trump had also twitter some details about the US-China truce, but some of the information did not match with what officials at the White House officials were saying.
One of the details given by the White House was that China has agreed to purchase a “not yet agreed upon, but very substantial” amount of American agricultural, energy, industrial and other products to reduce the trade deficit between them.
The White House also said that both sides have decided “on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfer, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft”.
President Trump, on the other hand, tweeted that China promised to criminalise illegal exports of fentanyl to the United States, which has not yet been confirmed.
China has made, so far, no comment on potential tariff cuts, nor has it specified when the 90-day period begins.
Chinese officials have stated that they are “confident in implanting” certain trade commitments which would appeal to the USA “as soon as possible”. However, there were no details given about how such commitments would look like.
After US-China talks at the G20, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told reporters that “the principal agreement has effectively prevented further expansion of economic friction between the two countries”. Since then, Chinese officials also called the talks between the two leaders a “great success”.
Though, while the country has pledged to implement the agreed changes as soon as possible, it has not echoed the claims made by US officials that such changes will happen immediately. Therefore, it needs to be seen how the cooling tensions are going to evolve.