BEIJING, China (APTN/NBC) – A U.S.-Chinese ceasefire on tariffs gives jittery companies and investors a respite but is no sign the two sides have changed stances in a war over Beijing’s technology ambitions that threatens to chill global economic growth.
Asian stock markets Monday welcomed President Trump’s agreement to postpone U.S. tariff hikes on Chinese goods for 90 days while the two sides negotiate.
Chinese President Xi Jinping promised in exchange to buy more American exports.
China’s main market index was up almost 3%, while Tokyo rose 1%.
The outcome of the weekend Xi-Trump meeting in Argentina was positive, according to Jacob Parker of U.S.-China Business Council. “Both sides have recognized that a trade war harms all parties involved,” Parker explained. “Particularly in the United States, the tariffs have harmed American farmers, American consumers and the businesses that involve both exporting products from China and also those who have upstream imports from the United States. President Trump is uniquely aware to that because much of his constituencies are made up of those parties. In China, there is clearly an interest in continuing to negotiate with the United States, they’ve made that very clearly from the beginning. So returning to a framework where both sides can engage on the challenges that they see in the relationship is a positive outcome for the Chinese and it’s the one they’ve found objective to pursue for the last number of months.”
There was no sign, however, of progress in their core dispute: American pressure on Beijing to roll back industry plans that Washington says are based on theft and violate Chinese market-opening obligations.
President Trump imposed a tariff hike of 25% on $50 billion of Chinese imports in July over complaints Beijing steals or pressures companies to hand over technology.
Mr. Trump hit an additional $200 billion of Chinese goods with a 10% tariff that had been due to rise to 25% on January 1st.
China retaliated by raising its own charges on U.S. imports.
Negotiators face a daunting agenda and a 90-day window to produce progress.