china trade
December 5, 2018

China Trade Truce: Is 90 Days Enough?

 |  By: Anna-Lisa Laca

Over the weekend, President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to a 90-day trade truce intended to work toward a trade agreement. But will 90 days be enough? Analysts are doubtful, and recent tweet from President Trump implies he’s doubtful too.

According to J.P. Morgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, negotiating a permanent trade agreement between the U.S. and China will be tough to reach in just 90 days.

"There's no way you can see the complexity of these trade negotiations in 90 days," Dimon said at the Goldman Sachs Financial Services conference on Tuesday, according to CNBC. "I'm hoping they'll announce that they've made progress enough to continue negotiating."

Meanwhile, on Tuesday Trump seemed to backtrack from his prior 90-day timeframe for a broader agreement with China. On Twitter Trump said an extension might be necessary if the 90-day timeline does not prove sufficient.

According to ProFarmer policy analyst Jim Wiesemeyer, White House officials plan to take a tough stand in their 90-day trade negotiations with China or impose further tariffs. Importantly, Chinese officials finally said the talks have a “clear timeline and road map.”

On Wednesday, the Chinese Commerce Ministry issued a statement on the results of the Argentine meeting. "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.

Wiesemeyer said the Chinese noted there is a "clear timetable and road map" for talks and that China would "actively promote the work of negotiations within 90 days in accordance with a clear timetable and road map." The ministry’s statement said it was "confident in implementation" and said the latest bilateral talks were "very successful."

However, Politico reports U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross thinks it’s “too early to tell if trade talks with China will be a success.” Ross said the two presidents only discussed details at “the 40,000-foot level” and that it was up to negotiators from both sides to fill in the details.

“When presidents get together, you’re at a very, very high level, very broad principles of understanding,” Ross told CNBC’s Squawk Box. “Now comes the hard part, which is translating that into a definitive agreement.”

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