Donald Trump Warns China: 'I Am a Tariff Man'


"The negotiations with China have already started", Trump said in a series of tweets on trade talks between the two countries.

There are several significant take-aways from this development, including the argument that Trump's hard line, even at times belligerent stance with Beijing, has caused them to blink first, particularly since economic growth in China has already started to feel the brunt of USA tariffs, while US economic growth, though not as robust as a few months ago, is still strong. Unless extended, they will end 90 days from the date of our wonderful and very warm dinner with President Xi in Argentina.

The sources said the Chinese were surprised by the decision, having dealt mainly with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on trade issues in the past.

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.

A lack of detail from the Chinese side has left investors and analysts wondering if Mr Trump's exuberance is warranted, and if details touted by the White House but left out of Chinese reporting on the agreement are in question.

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.

According to the White House, the USA will still keep in place $200 billion of tariffs on Chinese imports but will not increase those tariffs from 10 percent to 25 percent after the start of the year as originally planned.

Another significant take-away from the preliminary agreement could be its impact on energy markets, both US oil import to China and perhaps even more importantly from a development perspective liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports.

White House national security adviser John Bolton told The Wall Street Journal's CEO Council meeting on Tuesday that Chinese theft of United States intellectual property was among the administration's top concerns.

In return, Washington said China would purchase "very substantial" amounts of USA agricultural, energy, industrial and other products.

The legislation, which had eight Republican cosponsors but was not put to a vote, envisaged using revenue raised by the duties to compensate those harmed by China's actions.

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US president Donald Trump expressed optimism for a US-China trade deal on Tuesday but warned if talks fall apart he is "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".

Asked whether China would remove the 40% auto tariffs Larry Kudlow, the U.S. president's top economic adviser, said he "believed that commitment was made".

The president also confirmed that US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who has been critical of China in the past, will lead the negotiations with the help of other administration officials.

"Longer-term, China has more to gain from free trade in autos", with local Chinese manufacturers such as Guangzhou Automobile Group Co. and Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd. looking to move overseas, she said. China has also agreed to buy more American farm goods, industrial goods, and energy, and to target fentanyl, a drug that has caused a large number of overdoses in America.

Trump also tweeted on Tuesday: "MAKE AMERICA RICH AGAIN".

That approach so far has amounted to slapping tariffs on US$250 billion (NZ$361 billion) of Chinese imports and vowing to impose penalties on all other imports if China doesn't make changes.

But so far Beijing has resisted confirming commitments made by Xi and announced by the United States.

"But if a fair deal is able to be made with China, one that does all of the many things we know must be finally done, I will happily sign", Trump said.

Lighthizer, he said, "will be in charge of enforcement, timelines..."