Published: Fri, May 25, 2018

Trump says 'there is no deal' with China to suspend ZTE penalties

Trump says 'there is no deal' with China to suspend ZTE penalties

"Trade consensus between China and the US, the two major economies in the world, is welcome news to all".

After boasting of the deal's benefits for farmers in tweets on Monday, Trump first indicated on Tuesday he was having second thoughts as some of his loyalists publicly criticised the agreement.

One next step will be dispatching Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to China to look at areas where there will be significant increases, including energy, liquefied natural gas, agriculture and manufacturing, Mr Mnuchin and Mr Kudlow said.

Trump's evidence was that we had a big trade deficit, which meant we were "losing".

The tariff reduction is seen as an olive branch to the Trump administration.

USA manufacturers and policymakers have been arguing for years that China should lower its tariffs.

In May, Trump signalled a stunning reversal on ZTE when he said he would help the company get "back into business, fast", saying the ban would cost too many jobs in China.

Trump, who once accused China of "raping" the U.S., said he was "not satisfied" with the agreement and the issue is sure to keep grating on relations with Beijing. He added, "This is #NotWinning".

Maryland Senator Chris Van Hollen, who sponsored the measure, said it was "deeply troubling" that the president was "fighting to protect jobs in China" tied to a company that has been flagged as a security risk by USA defence officials.

Trump supporters outside the government have joined in the chorus of complaints, and some have blamed Mnuchin.

The latest announcement comes as negotiations with Canada and Mexico over revamping the continent-wide North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) have stalled over auto demands.

Trade advisor to Trump's campaign and transition Dan DiMarco lambasted the White House U-turn in the trade negotiations on Twitter.

A second round of trade talks between Chinese and US trade officials in Washington, DC varied which USA trade officials from the Beijing trip were included in the D.C. -based meetings.

On Sunday, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer offered somewhat mixed messages on what was expected to happen with tariffs going forward. While Trump said on Twitter that China had agreed to purchase "MASSIVE" amounts of American farm goods to reduce its yawning trade surplus with the United States, the two sides didn't agree on a specific dollar figure.

American companies provide an estimated 25 percent to 30 percent of components in ZTE's equipment, which includes smartphones and gear to build telecommunications networks.

Trump might have over-estimated his control over the situation and his ability to reign back in sanctions, as it seems Senators have picked up the scent and are determined to make an example of ZTE.

Chinese President Xi Jinping signaled in a speech last month that the tariff cut would be coming.

"There is no deal", Trump said flatly on Tuesday, seemingly rejecting comments by his own top economic officials who suggested the United States and China were on the cusp of an agreement to reduce the US' trade deficit with China.

President Donald Trump's plans to ease sanctions on ZTE, a Chinese telecom company, were thwarted in Congress today as the Senate Banking Committee approved a measure to block the move.

ZTE was linked to sales to Iran and North Korea in violation of previous sanctions. At a regular foreign ministry briefing in Beijing, a government spokesman said that the joint China-US statement on economic and trade consultations issued at the weekend had covered the matter.

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