Trump optimistic despite haze around China trade

US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping attend the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last weekend

US President Donald Trump and China's President Xi Jinping attend the G20 summit in Buenos Aires last weekend

President Donald Trump agreed Saturday to postpone USA tariff hikes in a fight over Beijing's technology policy by 90 days while the two sides negotiate. America has probably already missed its best chance to sell soybeans to China, according to Cargill Inc., one of the world's biggest agriculture commodity traders.

China vowed Wednesday to move swiftly to strike a trade consensus with the United States, even as mixed signals on the detente from self-described "Tariff Man" Donald Trump's administration upset global markets. Ultimately, I believe, we will be making a deal - either now or into the future, ' Trump wrote in a post within minutes of the Commerce Ministry statement.

But the mood has quickly soured on scepticism that the two sides will be able to reach a substantive deal on a host of highly divisive issues within the short negotiating period agreed.

Chinese purchases of the goods collapsed after Beijing imposed tariffs on them in retaliation for US import taxes. It also would begin buying products from U.S. farmers "immediately".

The Chinese silence has prompted questions about what Trump said was a promise by Beijing to buy more American goods and negotiate over USA complaints that it steals American technology.

On Tuesday, China's government issued a pledge that appeared to be aimed at mollifying USA complaints about rampant violations of patents and copyrights.

MARKETS DOWN Global financial markets sank to one-week lows on Wednesday amid the renewed trade concerns, extending Tuesday's slide.

The benchmark Shanghai stock index.SSEC closed down 0.6 per cent on Wednesday. -China relations "will remain contentious".

Noting the applause at the end of Xi-Trump summit, Geng asked: "I don't know why people clapping at that time now mean by saying this type of thing, what are their intentions?"

Officials from the United States and a number of other major economies have often criticized China for its slow approach to negotiations and not following through on commitments.

'Officials now face the hard task of fleshing out a deal that is acceptable to the Chinese but also involves significant enough concessions not to be torpedoed by the China hawks in the Trump administration, ' Capital Economics said in a note this week. The U.S. president a day earlier had said the ceasefire could be extended but warned tariffs would be back on the table if the talks failed and that he would only accept a "real deal" with China.

China promised Wednesday to carry out a tariff cease-fire with Washington but gave no details that might help dispel confusion about what Presidents Xi Jinping and Donald Trump agreed to in Argentina.

A Chinese official told Reuters that officials were "waiting for the leaders to return" before publicising details.

Chinese officials have begun preparing to restart imports of US soybeans and liquefied natural gas, the first sign confirming the claims of President Donald Trump and the White House that China had agreed to start buying some USA products "immediately".

The president, China's most powerful leader since at least the 1980s, flew from Argentina to Panama for an official visit and on Wednesday was in Portugal. "It will be a win-win situation if a deal is realised".

Trump is pressing Beijing to roll back plans for state-led development of Chinese technology champions that Washington says violate its market-opening commitments.

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