The White House’s muddled message on Trump’s China trade truce is another headache for markets

There also appeared to be confusion among Trump’s top advisers about exactly who would lead the negotiations. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is more of a protectionist, appeared to be set to play that role. But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC Monday, “it’s clear that President Trump is going to be the one who leads the negotiations, and the team will be an inclusive team.” That same day, Navarro told NPR that the auto tariffs were “just one of the many tariffs that


There also appeared to be confusion among Trump’s top advisers about exactly who would lead the negotiations. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is more of a protectionist, appeared to be set to play that role. But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC Monday, “it’s clear that President Trump is going to be the one who leads the negotiations, and the team will be an inclusive team.” That same day, Navarro told NPR that the auto tariffs were “just one of the many tariffs that
The White House’s muddled message on Trump’s China trade truce is another headache for markets Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-04  Authors: christina wilkie, kevin lemarque
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, day, white, markets, navarro, china, headache, kudlow, truce, told, president, trump, trumps, houses, tariffs, trade, message, negotiations, muddled, mnuchin


The White House's muddled message on Trump's China trade truce is another headache for markets

On Monday, Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, told reporters in a briefing call that the 90 day truce on tariff increases would begin January 1, the same day that those proposed increases were set to go into effect. But six hours later, the White House said Kudlow was wrong; the clock had started ticking on December 1, the night of Trump’s meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

There also appeared to be confusion among Trump’s top advisers about exactly who would lead the negotiations. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, who is more of a protectionist, appeared to be set to play that role. But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC Monday, “it’s clear that President Trump is going to be the one who leads the negotiations, and the team will be an inclusive team.” Trump later confirmed that Lighthizer would lead the team.

China has more clarity in that regard. Vice Premier Liu He has headed negotiations for Beijing during the Trump administration.

As for Trump’s tweet about the auto tariff agreement, neither Kudlow nor Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin nor trade adviser Peter Navarro would confirm that Beijing had agreed to eliminate automobile tariffs on U.S. cars, as Trump had claimed.

“In my view, I think the president expects them to go to zero,” Kudlow said Monday on Fox News, when pressed about the auto tariffs. That same day, Navarro told NPR that the auto tariffs were “just one of the many tariffs that have to be reduced.”

Mnuchin told Fox Business on Tuesday that China had made “specific commitments in the near-term on agriculture, LNG, industrial products, autos…with specific targets that they think they can meet.”

U.S. officials like Mnuchin and Kudlow also emphasized that nothing had been put down on paper yet, and they gave no solid time frames for when investors could hope to see concrete agreements. Instead, they repeatedly used the word “immediately” to describe when they expected the next steps in the talks to take place.

But Navarro, who is one of the administration’s top China hawks, put it more starkly. “We’ve just given the Chinese 90 days to do what they should have been doing for the last 20 years.” he told NPR.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-04  Authors: christina wilkie, kevin lemarque
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, day, white, markets, navarro, china, headache, kudlow, truce, told, president, trump, trumps, houses, tariffs, trade, message, negotiations, muddled, mnuchin


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