China said Wednesday the trade meeting with the U.S. was “very successful” and is “confident” of implementing the results agreed upon at the talks, but didn’t provide any further details on the outcome. Beijing will start to quickly implement specific items where there’s consensus with the U.S., and will push forward on trade negotiations with the U.S. within the 90-day “timetable and road map.”
The Ministry of Commerce’s statement was the first official confirmation from China that there’s a 90-day window for the talks, although there was no mention that the U.S. has threatened to raise tariffs again if a deal isn’t reached at the end of it.
Global markets cheered the weekend accord on Monday, only to reverse course Tuesday as doubts emerged over exactly what the world’s two largest economies had agreed on. While Asian equities dropped in the wake of the biggest slide in stocks on Wall Street since the mid-October downdraft today, U.S. futures advanced after the statement from China echoed President Donald Trump’s optimism over bilateral trade talks.
China and the U.S. announced a truce in their trade war after the meeting between Trump and Xi Jinping on Saturday, but that quickly descended into confusion, with both sides announcing different statements on what was agreed. There’s also been confusion just on the U.S. side, with the White House, Trump and his advisers making conflicting statements as to the details of a deal.
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The White House statement listed what it claimed China had promised to do. The most detailed explanation of what the Chinese say they agreed to came from Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday in Argentina.
He told reporters that China had said it was willing to “expand imports according to the needs of its domestic market and people, including importing marketable products from the US to gradually ease the trade imbalances,” adding that both sides had agreed to open their markets to each other.
China would also “work to gradually resolve the reasonable concerns of the U.S. side,” he said, according to an official translation of his statement. While not directly contradicting the statements from Trump and other officials, the Chinese statement describes both sides reaching a consensus, with little detail on any actual policy changes.
Trump, who on Tuesday described himself as “Tariff Man,” continues to ratchet up pressure on China, saying there will be a “REAL DEAL with China, or no deal at all.”