Trump pulls back from brink of trade war with China, hails truce


Associated Press

WASHINGTON

President Donald Trump on Monday hailed his administration’s temporary truce with China on trade, even as his Treasury secretary and China struck a note of caution on the latest agreement.

After high-level talks in Washington last week, Beijing has agreed to “substantially reduce” America’s trade deficit with China.

“On China, Barriers and Tariffs to come down for first time,” Trump tweeted.

Farmers, he promises, will come out on top.

“Under our potential deal with China, they will purchase from our Great American Farmers practically as much as our Farmers can produce,” he tweeted.

Both sides, however, have said there are no guarantees trade tensions are over. China hasn’t said how much it’s willing to reduce the U.S. trade gap. The Trump administration had sought to slash the deficit by $200 billion.

Also left unclear is the issue of intellectual property. The U.S. has long accused Beijing of secretly stealing U.S. technology from American businesses. Treasury Security Steven Mnuchin said Monday those issues “are part of our framework. These things cannot be fixed overnight.”

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, who has been part of the U.S. negotiating team, is expected to go to China soon to follow up on last week’s discussions.

A day after declaring the trade war “on hold,” Mnuchin told CNBC Monday that Trump is reserving the right to reimpose tariffs against Chinese goods if the two countries can’t agree on specifics to bring down the massive trade deficit with Beijing.

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