China promised Wednesday that it would carry out a tariff cease-fire with the United States, but it provided no details as to what Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump agreed to at the G-20 summit in Argentina.
“China will start from implementing specific issues on which consensus has been reached, and the sooner, the better,” the Commerce Ministry said on its website, adding that the two sides established a “clear timetable and roadmap” for negotiations.
Beijing has not yet confirmed Trump’s comments that it had committed to cutting auto tariffs and buying more American farm exports, which caused U.S. stock prices to drop Tuesday. Such claims, along with conflicting statements by President Trump, CNBC writes, sparked doubts about the chances for a lasting settlement of a battle over technology.
U.S. officials touted the agreement Monday, causing a rise in stock markets, but following President Trump’s tweet Tuesday in which he called himself “TariffMan” and renewed threats of duties, stocks plunged again.
Ma Hong, a trade expert at Tsinghua University in Beijing argued the delay in talks in a sign of cautiousness, rather that “a sign of rejections.”
“The United States has put forward many demands, not all of them reasonable,” Ma said, adding that talks will continue “step by step, not based on the rhythm of the United States.”
Among the demands made by the U.S. is that Beijing rolls back plans for state-led development of Chinese technology champions, which according to Washington is in violation of its market-opening commitments. Chinese leaders have agreed to change some details of plans such as “Made in China 2025” but have rejected pressure to scrap strategies they see as a path to prosperity and global influence.
CNBC adds that Chinese leaders often employ delays of months or years as a means to pressure negotiating partners. Still, according to Louis Kuijs of Oxford Economics, regardless of the Chinese silence, “the atmosphere is more constructive.”