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London share prices PLUMMET amid US-China trade war fears — FTSE latest

US President Donald Trump and Chinese leader Xi Jinping agreed to give negotiators 90 days to resolve their trade spat after they met in Buenos Aires at the G20 summit DEVELOPING: US-China trade uncertainty fuels market plunge
Deanna Wagner | 06 December, 2018, 16:32

Chinese officials have said they are "confident in implementing" trade commitments made to the U.S. "as soon as possible", without giving details.

Trump and Xi agreed on a trade war truce on the sidelines of a G20 summit in Argentina on Saturday, holding off on new tariffs and giving negotiators three months to reach an agreement.

U.S. President Donald Trump warned China on Tuesday that if President Xi Jinping failed to make good on the trade promises reached during their weekend meeting, the United States would impose additional tariffs on Chinese imports.

But concerns linger over discrepancies in information coming from either side.

China has said comparatively little about the Trump-Xi agreement after senior Chinese officials briefed the media following the meeting, and there have been some differences between USA and Chinese accounts of what the deal entails.

But the Chinese commerce ministry said negotiators will "actively push forward negotiations within 90 days in accordance with a clear timetable and roadmap" - marking Beijing's first public acknowledgement of the deadline announced by the U.S. at the weekend.

Ahead of the statement from China, President Trump sounded optimistic, but reiterated his tough stance.

Trump, speaking to reporters on Air Force One after the plane departed Argentina, said his agreement with Xi, will go down "as one of the largest deals ever made".

Trump didn't help when he tweeted 'I am a tariff man, ' which investors saw a sign a deal may not happen.

The White House's press release said that the People's Republic "will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other products".

Chinese officials are puzzled and irritated by the administration's shaky handling of the meeting's aftermath, according to a former United States government official who has been in contact with them.

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In addition, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Tuesday on the Fox Business Network that China agreed to buy $1.2 trillion of USA products.

"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.

In a "supremely ironic" move, China may even seek to negotiate entry to the TPP-11, which was originally conceived by the Obama Administration as part of pivot to Asia, and which may end up including China but not the US itself, he said.

Trump "shared his vision of all automakers producing in the United States and creating a more friendly business environment", the White House said in a statement afterward.

Declaring himself "Tariff Man", Mr. Trump warned China to make a trade deal - or else.

Beijing, however, has not yet confirmed what, if any, concessions it has made to the Trump administration.

Trump has exaggerated the effect of the tariffs on USA revenue. "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. "So this time around, as I said, I'm hopeful, we're covering more ground than we'll see".

Meanwhile, Trump's own top economic advisers seem confused about exactly when that 90-day period would begin and end. The Dow finished the day just a hair over 25,000 points-meaning that the stock market has been basically flat since March 1, when Trump announced the first round of tariffs and the Dow was sitting at 24,600 points.

Trump and Xi said they would hold off on imposing additional tariffs for 90 days starting on December 1 while they sought to resolve their trade disputes that have seen the flow of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of goods disrupted by tariffs. "It will always be the best way to max out our economic power", he said on Tuesday.

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