President Trump doubled-down on his widespread use of trade tariffs to improve the USA economy and the American manufacturing base Tuesday, saying he is a "tariff man" after reaching a 90-day "truce" with China.
The Chinese government says it will push forward trade negotiations with the United States in the next 90 days, expressing "confidence" that an agreement can be reached even as concerns remain over whether the two sides can resolve their deep differences. Trump indicated that China was willing to cut tariffs on cars coming from the USA, but China did not respond to the claim and Trump's top economic adviser, Larry Kudlow, said Monday that these were not deals set in stone.
His appointment of Lighthizer to lead the talks instead of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin puts one of the administration's toughest China critics in charge.
China has pledge to implement the changes agreed at trade talks between Presidents Trump and Xi "as soon as possible", but it has not repeated claims from senior figures in the USA that it will happen "immediately", he said.
While Beijing retaliated for USA tariff hikes by imposing penalty charges on American soybeans, autos and other goods, it cut duties on factory machinery and other imports from other countries. And while he said the "history is not great" with China on trade, he was optimistic.
Trump had tweeted Sunday that China agreed to "reduce and remove" its 40 percent tariff on cars imported from the U.S. Mnuchin said Monday that there was a "specific agreement" on the auto tariffs.
"I think there is a higher likelihood that we get meaningful discussions now than in much of the last six months", said Kuijs.More news: National Hockey League approves Seattle expansion team for record $650M fee
Failure would raise the spectre of fresh USA tariff action and potential Chinese retaliation as early as March.
It also said China had agreed to start buying farm products from US farmers immediately.
Trump "shared his vision of all automakers producing in the United States and creating a more friendly business environment", the White House said in a statement. Wang Yi failed to mention industrial policy or Trump's demand that Beijing make progress toward changing it or face renewed increases.
A US government official briefed on the matter told Reuters on Monday that no final report on the investigation is expected for at least a couple of weeks. Trump and Xi agreed to pause the trade war between the world's two largest economies for 90 days, but no concrete commitments were made.
Questions began to swirl after China's foreign minister read a statement Saturday in Buenos Aires that said Washington agreed to halt tariff hikes.
"President Xi and I want this deal to happen, and it probably will", Trump tweeted.
Trump agreed to hold off on plans to raise tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese goods, which were supposed to kick in on January 1.
"China hopes the United States will treat Chinese companies equally", said Song Lifan, an economist at Renmin University in Beijing.